Phoenix Professionals Network and Discuss the Non-Profit Sector
By Julie Euber, Board Member and Communications Committee Chair, YNPN Phoenix
On September 25, YNPN Phoenix hosted a Speed Chat Networking Happy Hour at San Tan Brewing Company. Guests chose a table at random, then pulled a set of questions from an envelope and chose one question to discuss. After an 8-minute discussion, everyone switched tables and looked through a new set of questions.
Here are a few takeaways from our September Speed Chat Happy Hour:
You’re not the only one coming from a long day of work, so don’t stress if you’re feeling a little off your “A” game at a networking event.
Nearly everyone walked in the door with the same feeling…what a day. Events, deadlines, meetings and writings were still whirling through the heads of many guests until they started connecting with others allowing them to be more present.
When you’re unsure if you can be your best self at a networking event, keep in mind that you won’t be the only one recovering from a long day. Give yourself a break and know that people will want to meet your authentic self over a “perfect” version of you any day.
You never know who you’ll meet and what you might learn from them.
At one point, a table of speed chat participants introduced themselves and realized that they all worked at for-profit organizations that support the non-profit sector. Some work in architecture and others in tech, but they were all excited to meet other young professionals like themselves who are passionate about the impact of the social sector.
Keep an open mind about who attends networking events and which events might be a good fit for you. Don’t assume you know everyone’s background based on the theme of the event, but instead listen to people’s stories and ask questions. It’s one of the best ways to gain new perspectives.
Feel awkward talking about yourself with strangers? You can still be a great networker.
There’s a myth floating around professional communities that networking is all about talking about yourself and convincing others that you’re the coolest kid on the block. Not only is that a lot of pressure – it can make you behave in ways that are not true to yourself.
Instead, consider networking as an opportunity to build relationships and discuss key topics in your community. Not sure what to talk about? Here are a few of the topics covered in our Speed Chat to give you a few ideas:
- -Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the non-profit sector (Read YNPN National’s stance on EDI for more food for thought)
- -Effective board service
- -Barriers to effective collaboration and how we can do better
- -Best ways to work as a team in the workplace
- -Leadership development for non-profit professionals and how to encourage professional development in the workplace
- -How to avoid burnout and support work-life balance
Thank you to YNPN Phoenix’s Programs Committee for organizing the event and to our guests who thoughtfully engaged in important conversations and made the program a success! At our next program on October 23, Beers & Ballots, we will have a nonpartisan discussion about the many items on the ballot for AZ's November 6th election and how they could impact the nonprofit sector. You won’t want to miss it!
Interested in networking with the Phoenix nonprofit sector? Consider becoming a member of YNPN Phoenix! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.