The first time I volunteered to do something for AADE, I simply answered an email that asked, “Can someone help me with this online group?” Though I didn’t know the first thing about it, I said, “Sure, can you teach me how to do it?” Nobody is born into a career knowing how to do everything. We learn from our collective experiences and from our mentors — chosen and elected. Sometimes these mentors were just in the right place at the right time, but they were there and they helped us learn.
What I’m here to tell you is that most of the things I’ve learned, I’ve learned from asking others who already knew how to do them.
I meet a lot of people in my travels and lately I’ve met a lot of people that said, “I don’t know how you learned how to do that?” They are referencing my ability to look at an app critically, write a blog post, or use twitter. They are amazed at whatever novel skill they find so unobtainable. What I’m here to tell you is that most of the things I’ve learned, I’ve learned from asking others who already knew how to do them. Other times, I volunteered for an experience for which I had the time, but not the talent, hoping I would gain the latter by the end of the project. Usually, this worked out well for me — and you know what? It can work well for you too.
What’s something you you’ve always wanted to do but thought was too hard? Is there a skill that you just haven’t mastered — clinical or otherwise? What is it that is keeping you from moving forward and growing in your current situation? Once you can write down one or five of these things, then head on over to AADE’s Education and CE opportunities webpage and see what matches that criteria. Now in no way am I suggesting you take on a solo project you know nothing about, but I am suggesting taking on a project you can work on with others where you can contribute while learning and developing important skills. I started volunteering for AADE eight years ago and each time I do, I learn something new. So next time you ask someone, “How did you learn to do that?” Think instead, “How can I learn to do that?” You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to learn something new from some really great people.
About the Author:
Molly McElwee-Malloy is the Clinical Services Manager for Tandem Diabetes Care. She previously worked for TypeZero Technologies and UVA's Center for Diabetes Technology. Molly is the chair of the technology workgroup for AADE. She's active in the diabetes online peer support community: @MollyMacT1D.