The start of fall usually brings with it a schedule packed with networking events and what better time to master your elevator pitch then now. Whether you are in school, just starting your career or an experienced professional there will always be endless scenarios where you need an elevator pitch. The perfect elevator pitch will consist of enough information about yourself to give the listener your background and goals in about 30 seconds. I swear this is not a myth and can be done!
Having multiple opportunities to volunteer your time and network with like-minded individuals certainly isn’t the worst situation for a young professional to be in. I consider myself lucky to be in a position where I can work with local leaders and influencers. Not only do I gain knowledge from their guidance and meet new people through volunteering, I am able to showcase my skills and be a part of a team of diverse and enthusiastic people. However, the balance between engagement, work, and home life can pose a substantial struggle for young professionals trying to fit it “all” in. We cannot be everywhere all the time, nor can we be everything to everyone, but in an increasingly connected and competitive world, the grind is on for young professionals across the province to be hyper-engaged and well-connected both in their work and extra-curricular lives.
Is your YPN having trouble with the definition of what a "young professional" is for the purpose of membership? You may wish to limit membership without arbitrarily discriminating against those who may get a lot out of being a member or who have a lot to offer. As the Young Professionals Network of Ontario has addressed in the past, this is a common issue. Obviously there are two parts to the definition, so let's break it down:
Alright, I made it up, Econo-tural isn’t really a word. I was trying to think of a word that equally considers the essence of an economy and cultural identity. You see I’m a firm believer that these two things go hand-in-hand, forming the expressions of a society.Nine years ago I left a smaller town that didn’t have a very diversified or appealing culture, and you could say the same about it’s economy, at best. Its economy was more visibly collapsing, and I didn’t see it getting any better. The writing was on the wall. I didn’t agree with the depressed bitter culture… the people, the lifeblood of this city, wasn’t one that would thrive in difficult times. The fabric of society was weak there. I made a decision to move to Kitchener-Waterloo a region which displayed a positive culture. A vibe you could feel everywhere. Hints of a promising economy. That was the beginning of 2007. If I’ve ever been absolutely correct in a general assumption, that was one of those times. Waterloo Region has never let me down in that regard, in fact it’s lifted me higher than I thought possible at the time. I’m not the only one who thinks so. The region has gained attention throughout the Province and beyond.
Each new year is a new opportunity to rethink and re-envision your Young Professional Network’s plans and activities. For Hamilton HIVE, 2016 presents new opportunities and considerations as the organization is now incorporated as a non-profit. As the 2016 HIVE exec creates the operations plan for the year, there are a few key considerations that govern our approach in executing HIVE’s vision. Here are a few suggestions that can help you define your YPN’s focus for the year:
Many people have different interpretations of ‘networking’, chatting with people from a different area or sector of work, simply meeting new people or the exchange of business cards and chit chat over a beverage. In many instances, this is a fair depiction of what it looks to be, but there is a deeper meaning than simply exchanging business cards and meeting someone new. Whether you are at a networking event to acquire new business, introduce yourself and meet other people, advertise yourself and/or your business at the end of the day, you should be there for a very specific reason. If you’re simply handing out as many business cards as possible- good for you but how many people did you truly engage and connect with on personal levels. Now, I’m not talking about sharing extremely confidential information, when I say personal level, I’m talking getting to know each other and making un-forced conversation- Building a Relationship.