In today’s digital age, young professionals may think that they have networking well in hand. (Literally!) Handheld devices create connections through many online professional groups such as LinkedIn, Facebook Forums, AngelList, and more. But as technology dominates with xennials and millennial, the importance of in-person networking, especially in our community, has never been stronger. Crafting personal, professional relationships can be the critical piece that allows you to stand above the rest. As your local networking group grows, so can your career!
The Young Professionals of Mesa County (YPN), a Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce Program, has been an intregral resource for career-oriented young adults to start, grow, and expand themselves in a professional setting here in the Grand Valley.
Each month, YPN offers a variety of opportunities such as Before Hours, Lunch Conversations with Local Leaders, and After Hours where networking is kicked-off with the 1st drink free! Attendees are treated to a variety of topics while continuing to build their social capital with benefits that include strong connections with colleagues, assistance with job hunting, or simply seeking advice from peers.
Bringing together diverse backgrounds, YPN continues to help strenghthen young leadership in our valley & support young professional growth, while helping shape the future of our community. Want to know more? Visit www.ypnmc.org
Not sure if Young Professionals is for you?
Check out these top 10 reasons to join
1. Grow your social capital. There is strength in numbers! Going offline and meeting in person gives you the opportunity to congregate with like-minded professionals, share ideas, build your network and become part of a professional community.
2.Develop your leadership skills. When you join a professional group, the opportunities to lead are limitless. Are you great at marketing? Lead your group’s outreach efforts. A pro at finances? Manage the organization’s budget. Plus, you can take your new found leadership skills into your workplace. Share what you’ve learned with your managers, so they can see your leadership potential.
3.Learn from your peers. Maybe your profession is engineering, but you love event planning. Or maybe you are interested in growing your managerial skills. Joining a professional group gives you the opportunity to learn from your peers. Take advantage of classes and activities the group offers to grow your knowledge.
4.Build a better resume. In your college days, maybe you were in a sorority or student council president. Now, it can be hard to find those resume-building opportunities. Participating in a young professional’s group can be an impressive addition to your resume. It shows an interest in volunteerism and a willingness to take on leadership roles in your community.
5. Discover new job opportunities. Experts estimate that between 60-80 percent of jobs are found through personal relationships. There is no better way to forge personal, local relationships than hanging out with young professionals from different industries. Share your goals and keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities.
6.Find a side gig. If you are looking for a little extra work to grow both your income and your experience, a networking group can provide great side gig opportunities for you. Or if your company needs someone to serve as a consultant, you can offer the same side gig opportunity to a member of your group.
7.Volunteer your time. Professional networking groups are often focused on giving back and volunteerism. The Young Professionals of Mesa County for example, have several opportunities to raise awareness for a variety of community organizations throughout the year.
8. Stay inspired. No matter what your profession, staying inspired to grow and innovate can be difficult when you are in an office 40 hours a week. Meeting with like-minded young professionals gives you the opportunity to trade ideas, solve problems and get inspiration that will only help your career.
9. Make new friends. Gone are the days when you can find your new bestie bonding over chemistry lab work. Whether you are in a new city or a simply a new phase of your professional life, joining a networking group can connect you with a whole new group of friends.
10. Get motivated. Whether your goals are to grow your career and build up your network or to help your community and make new friends, joining these groups can help you stayed motivated to reach your personal, professional and community goals.
Source: Trish Adkins, Beyond LinkedIn: 10 Reasons to Join a Young Professionals Group
Click here to download the full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce April 2019 Newsletter.