Hello everyone! I am writing from my third placement, Moorfields Eye Hospital. I thought for this blog I would talk about something that has been one of my main stressors during the graduate scheme: Ability.
Since I found out I had been offered a place on the graduate scheme, an annoying part of me has been leading me to doubt my ability. I constantly doubt whether I’m good enough for the scheme, my role, my university course, and for future jobs! I worry that I don’t know enough, have enough skill, or even the characteristics that are expected of me.
My first placement was a real struggle. I struggled with balancing my work with my life outside of work. Looking back, I learnt a lot in my first placement, but it wasn’t until now, well into my second year, that I realise that. I spent my first year constantly worrying and comparing myself to other graduates. I was stressing that I wasn’t achieving competencies or that I wasn’t doing the same level of work as some other graduates.
However, as I have been tasked with many projects in my new placement, I have started to become more aware of my ability. I am able to understand NHS jargon, I can successfully and confidently ask the right questions and lead meetings. I have enough knowledge and background under my belt to lead on projects. Although I realise this now, I realise that this entire time, I had ability.
I have ability to learn all that I have learnt. I have the ability to struggle with a lot of personal issues, and still make it to work (most days), university, and any other scheme requirements. I have the ability to progress in my role. What’s different now is that I can see my own ability. I can see the impact I have had on others, and the changes that my contributions have made. This isn’t what I saw at the beginning of the scheme. At the beginning, I saw a terrified, fresh-out-of-university graduate who had no clue what she was doing. I didn’t see my ability.
I now know that ability isn’t something that is learnt, or gained. It is something that is with us all the time and we need to learn to trust ourselves when we are put into terrifying situations. The graduate scheme has a team of trained interviewers and assessors that chose all of you because they saw our ability.
I had a lovely meet up with my buddy recently, and she was a bit worried about her new placement. I came up with one thing that really stuck with me:
‘We are paid to learn, not paid to know’.
This is the exact thing I would have needed to hear as a newbie on the graduate scheme. That my ability doesn’t lie with what I know. Instead, it is what enables me to learn.
Embrace learning, and trust your ability.