On the other hand, if you’re asked to take on something that doesn’t appeal to you, make sure to be gracious about thanking those who chose you and explain your reason for declining. Explain that while the time isn’t right for you at the moment, you’re open to future opportunities. And if you do decline, don’t leave it at that. “Always suggest someone else,” said Samantha Anne, MD, a pediatric otologist at the Cleveland Clinic, secretary of the BOG for the AAO–HNS, and past chair of the AAO–HNS Young Physicians Section. “You’re making it easier for them this way.”
Give It Your All
When she decided she wanted to become more involved in the AAO–HNS, Dr. Anne pushed herself to speak with the chair of the Young Physicians Section and ask what she could do to help out. The chair asked her to write an article about young physician-related material. She gave it her all. The chair later said he had given her something difficult and was impressed with how she handled it, so he continued to involve her in the section. The following year, he asked her to chair that section. And, last year, she was asked to run for secretary of the BOG. “Initially, my reaction was, ‘ME?’” she said. Later, she realized she had proven herself with each task she was given, and members recognized and appreciated her follow-through.
When you volunteer for a committee and you’re brand new, you may be tempted to sit back and listen for the first few meetings, but don’t let it go much beyond that. “It’s easy to be quiet because you’re the young person or the inexperienced person or the quiet person,” said Dr. Anne, who said she understands the temptation to let everyone else do the talking. “But people take notice when you speak up and have something to say, so fight that urge to be quiet because you may feel you don’t belong in the room. It is important for people to hear your voice. You bring something new to the table.”