On Wednesday, YNPN RVA held their summer social at the Daily Kitchen and bar! We had a great time catching up, having drinks and sharing laughs. The place was packed with seasoned nonprofit professionals, folks just starting out in the sector, and even career seekers looking to learn more about our work, and curious about how to get their foot into the door.
Whether you are looking at ways of connecting and collaborating with other professionals in the sector, trying to advance the position you already have, or are trying to make a leap into the nonprofit world, being creative about developing yourself can have a big payoff.
Finding ways to develop leadership and management capabilities can be particularly challenging though for young professionals who are new to navigating the day-to-day work of nonprofits, but it’s not impossible.
Bridgespan recently wrote a great article on 4 tactics young professionals have used to develop themselves while building their organizations:
1. Find advisers/coaches early on who reflect the particular growth stage of your organization or have expertise that you don’t have but want to develop.
Check out our recap from our YNPN RVA Mentoring Matters event, where we brought in local nonprofit leaders to talk about how finding a mentor advanced their career.
2. Reach out to peers in similar organizations for support and learning.
Take advantage of the plethora of resources on ConnectVA! From our Organization Directory, where you can find contact information and learn more about a nonprofit’s mission to our Community Discussion Forum, where you can ask a burning question or make an announcement – ConnectVA is here to help you get connected and stay informed!
3. Cultivate self-awareness. To prioritize areas of development, know what you’re good at, where you need improvement, and how your strengths and weaknesses are perceived by others.
Again, finding a mentor or confiding in a trustworthy colleague can really help you recognize where you may need to improve and how you can capitalize on the strengths that you have. During the fall and winter, Nonprofit Learning Point has some fantastic day-long classes that can also help you in your journey towards self-awareness:
- Emergenetics: Thursday, September 3, 2015 – 9:00am to 4:30pm
- Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: Friday, October 16, 2015 – 9:00am to 4:30pm
- Clinic on Personal Productivity: Time Management and More: Monday, October 26, 2015 – 9:00am to 4:30pm
- Time Management for Teams: Monday, November 16, 2015 – 9:00am to 4:30pm
- ED/CEO Bootcamp: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 – 9:00am to 4:30pm and Tuesday, December 15, 2015 – 9:00am to 4:30pm
4. Be persistent. Have the vigilance to fight through obstacles and stay focused on why you chose the work. This commitment can help build your confidence to face any challenge that comes your way.
Did you miss our summer social? The next opportunity to get involved with YNPN RVA is on HandsOn Day, the region’s largest day of service, where nearly 1300 volunteers will be volunteering at dozens of local nonprofits from 9am – 1pm on October 17th. Save the date and stay tuned for how to sign up to participate in a volunteer project with us!