On being involved

Division 49 Early Career Psychology Column October 2017

During my first American Psychological Association Annual Meeting, I wanted to find my place within a large organization and feel like what I did mattered. My friend and I sat on a rooftop at APA in DC and talked with a senior psychologist. She was impressive! I loved her stories about the history of APA and it seemed like she was involved through it all. She talked about APA like it was her professional home for many decades and there would be nothing that stopped her from attending annual meetings.

When asked how she got so involved, she encouraged my friend and I to show up to meetings, volunteer for a project, and deliver on that promise. This is the advice I want to pass to other ECPs who are reading this column and wondering how to fit into APA and make their voice heard. Here I must confess, my fear is for my voice to not matter or to be irrelevant. I would like to have a say, no matter how small, in the events to come. Things might not work out the way I want, but I still want to have a voice in the process.

If you share my fear or have some other internal motivation to become involved, I say to you: “Show up to that meeting, volunteer for projects, and deliver.” It’s that easy.