As we are nearing the end of 2009 I find that, like me, many local organizations are emailing ballots and calling for nominations for new board members for 2010. In any-town-USA you hear leaders speak of diversity and the need to infuse new talent into their dying organizations. Here is where your Young Professional Organization (YPO) can lead, and lead in a big way.
Your YPO is a Petri dish of talent, and is extremely valuable to your community. Position your YPO as the go-to for committee members, board members or volunteers. YPs might not have funds to donate, but oftentimes they have skills and/or time which they are happy to share. This concept isn’t new and it is a win-win for all involved.
The young professional (YP) has an opportunity to make a direct impact on an organization in their community. Additionally the YP has an opportunity to showcase talent and/or skills. In today’s economic climate, many YPs can gain a leg up on their competition by building their resumes through volunteering or interning. For example, it might be second nature for a YP to build a Facebook or set up a twitter account where it could take a local small business or non-profit days to maneuver due to time and lack of familiarity.
Volunteering with a local small business or organization allows YPs to maintain sharp skill-sets while filling gaps in their resumes. As employers examine the numerous resumes piled on their desks they will quickly weed out many. YPs in between jobs need to fill their time by volunteering. This shows initiative, work ethic and determination on the part of the YP. As you can clearly see, volunteering is a positive for the YP. Now- what about you?
The infamous question that lurks beneath the surface of every transaction is, “what’s in it for me?” Young Professionals are the future and they need to be brought to the table. YPs are thirsting for responsibility and hungry for knowledge; two things that benefit you.
Let’s start with responsibility. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Baby Boomers complain that Generation X & Y want it all and want it right now. They don’t want to pay their dues; they want to be the boss. So let them. Give them a project or a task that they can take ownership of and execute. Give them guidelines and parameters and let them loose. If you are a small business owner, you wear so many hats it’s hard to keep up with them. If you are involved in a not-for-profit organization, you are well aware assistance is welcomed. Let the YP lead. They want the responsibility.
Growing up in an era of in-your-face information and technology, young professionals thirst for knowledge. If a YP is at your table you better have your homework done because you can expect that should they question a statement, figure, statistic or fact they are going to be on their smartphone researching the topic. Utilize this hungry to your ability. Translate it to your business or organization. Allow the YP to be an integral part of the conversation and ask their opinion; they have no problem giving it to you and they are connected with millions of other YPs whose opinions can be solicited with a 160 character question and a push of a button.
Use your Young Professional Organization in your community. Find the emerging leaders and connect them with established talent. Create opportunities for them to flourish, and in turn, you will too.