Nalini Padmanabhan

Absolutely speak up! As a fellow equivalent to a GS-9 who has been in the federal government less than a year, I was also nervous at first. But once I started voicing my opinion more often, I was invited to get involved in more projects, was actually asked for my thoughts and recommendations, and have been explicitly praised for participating. It shows that you pay attention (which is all too easy not to do at meetings!) and care.