As a recent college graduate (class of ’13), I’m still in the phase of my career where I am working…
Rucha Heda

Thanks for reaching out Rucha! In the interest of seeing you and Lauren R. Hasson excel, my following response is mean to push you both and I hope you’ll take it in that spirit. Do know that you are always free to do as you wish with my suggestions and I will in no way be offended ;)

First, I’d stop calling yourself a recent grad. You’ve been out for 3+ years, that’s plenty of time to have developed additional skills both hard and soft. It’s important to be aware of what we call ourselves, because it influences others perception of us. If we think we’re inexperienced, others will think we’re inexperienced too.

Now you may feel that 3+ years is not enough time to speak. I’d argue that you’re falling prey to what I like to call the myth of readiness. It’s where you defer doing something until you feel ready. Days, months, and years can go by, and you can continue to use your lack of credibility as your crutch. But this just becomes a circular argument. The real goal needs to be you aren’t ready, but you give speaking a shot. Then as you speak you slowly start to build up credibility.

I’d also argue that 3+ years is enough time to build up a modicum of credibility.

I understand that you might feel you are not as credible as professionals who are older or more experienced than you, that will always be the case. There is always someone out there who is better, smarter, older, more experienced, etc than us. That shouldn’t stop us, it should only make us want to learn from then, and to also realize that someone may want to learn from us.

I’ve taught and been taught by people 15+ years my senior and 15+ years my junior. It’s about the insights you have to to offer each other, which could include things experienced people maybe have forgotten how to do or didn’t know are important, and less experienced don’t know how to do.

Finally, when you are starting something new, the measuring stick isn’t quantifying achievements in order to do it, it’s practicing to get better at the IT ;)

For example, if I start to play the piano, then I practice at home for a number of days, weeks, and months, I may choose to showcase my learning at a recital. I might not be amazing or a virtuoso, but that’s not the standard for the first performance. The goal is to have that first performance. I might suck at it, people may find my playing drivel, or maybe I’ll be amazing. Either outcome doesn’t matter, what matters is that I show up, play, and have my first recent whether I suck or am stellar!

Similarly, you say you’re being presented with opportunities, that’s great. Harness those opportunities, and give the talk! It doesn’t matter if it’s the first or fiftieth time someone has heard the information. If they are showing up, give them the benefit of the doubt that they want to learn something from you. If they get up to leave, that’s their choice, but that shouldn’t stop you from speaking and sharing the experiences and knowledge you have with others who are attentive.

Hope that provides you with enough of motivation to get out there and speak! ;)

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