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Shimmy and swim to confidence

Speak Up. Don't Speak Up. Be Assertive. Raise Your Hand. Calm Down. Interrupt. Be Nice. Don't Be Intimidating. Don't Be Angry. Calm Down. Stop Shouting. Dress Respectably. Be Confident.Every person at the latest Pollen Work Redux event about Confidence was beautiful. I mean this in the sense that the folks attending were projecting a seriously genuine aura of belief in themselves, support, and kindness, and it was absolutely amazing to be in a room with 250 other women with that kind of vibe.

This is true of every event I go to in this series focusing on bringing together “women spanning diverse backgrounds to reimagine the future of the workplace.” Unfortunately, there’s no space large enough for every woman in the Twin Cities to simultaneously experience a Work Redux event, so this blog is my little part to share the message far and wide – women are in the workplace and, in the words of Pollen’s Jamie Millard, we have a crisis of confidence, but together we are going to totally rock the world.

Pollen's Work Redux events embody what Nancy Lyons of Clockwork (and one of the panelists) advised – “As leaders, we make room for people to come exactly as they are.” Outside of our jobs, we have families, passions, hobbies.  We are activists and artists, naturalists and explorers. We can’t leave our worries, our mental and physical illnesses, or our insecurities at the door. We are whole people, and accepting a whole person in a space – especially a work place – can bring so much to the table. How we accomplish this can look really different, depending on the space.

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Does your boss have your back?

main4.jpgLife in the nonprofit sector is challenging. The pay is often low, the challenges are high, and burnout is a real and serious concern. Many people come to YNPN looking for insight about how to succeed in this challenging field. Proactive workers looking for ways to excel can have an especially difficult time accepting that they don’t have total control over their own destiny in an organization. The reality is that your boss or supervisor holds the keys to a prosperous or painful path, and they need to want you to succeed if you’re to shine.

As the person who dictates your duties, evaluates your performance, and has the final say on whether to pursue the ideas and projects you propose, your boss is a critical figure in your professional life. It benefits you to do what you can to encourage a positive relationship. But sometimes it can feel like you’re on different teams, despite both of you working for the same organization with the same mission.

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10 gifs about why you love YNPN Twin Cities

YNPN Twin Cities turns ten this year, and it’s no secret that we love GIFS. We probably love GIFS a little too much, but that’s a discussion for another time. To celebrate ten years of providing and promoting professional development opportunities for young nonprofit professionals, here’s ten GIFS about why you love YNPN Twin Cities.

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How I learned about power

main2.jpgFighting for a position to fight for people that need a better position is a real… well, fight. And, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know all the questions to ask to move my organization’s mission forward. Or how best I can implement the ideas from the answers I come up with. I need others’ perspectives to understand what’s right, and to make sure what I am doing isn’t wrong. I need all the help I can get and I get the best tools for helping others from working with others. This is what I was hoping for when I applied for the YNPN-TC scholarship to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2016 Nonprofit Essentials Conference, and this is what I experienced in spades.

As a fairly recent graduate and one of the newest additions to the local world of nonprofits, I am not wealthy. However, I do have a certain relationship to power that I didn’t have as a little kid in a working-poor family in South Minneapolis. Today, I have a role and an opportunity that I never imagined I’d have. I am an idealist at heart, but I understand the demand for practicality. I think this tension was masterfully named by the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Vanjelis Ngwa in his deep exploration into the subtleties of power.

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We want your blog

main.jpgHave you always wanted to write a blog but didn't know where it could be published? If so, you should sign up to be an YNPN-TC blog writer!

We hear all the time from people across the country (and even people across the world!) that love the YNPN-TC blog, so this is a great opportunity to get your name and ideas in front of a whole variety nonprofit professionals. 

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The do’s and don’ts of grants

main2.jpgApplying for grants can seem like a scary clown living under your bed. You don’t entirely understand how you were put in this situation, it can feel like there’s no one there to help you and there’s a lot of mystery to all of the logic involved. I hope to offer you some advice on how to navigate this process if you’re new to applications and if nothing else, hopefully some of this might get rid of Mr. Pennywise who’s below the mattress.

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Fear not!

main.jpgLately, I’ve been doing something that scares me. And I don’t mean "scare" like the stress from taking on a new responsibility at work; I mean pupil-dilating, limb-trembling, tunnel-vision fear. My personal kryptonite is public speaking, and regardless of preparation, I quake and barely remember what happened when I walk off the stage.

For this blog post, I was hoping to inspire everyone with my story of joining Toastmasters & tackling fear head on. There are so many work-ready platitudes out there about fear — "do one thing that scares you every day" or "face your fears" — I was sure there would be research showing that fear is somehow healthy, that it fires up our brains, that the adrenaline forces us to achieve.

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Networking tips for people who hate mixers

main.jpgThe schedule said the speaking event started at 5:30. I had a class at 6:30. If I left a little early, I could catch most of the panel on generational interaction in the workplace. I showed up a little before 5:30 and was ready to go.

But 5:30 rolled around, and it didn’t look like things were going to start anytime soon. 5:35 comes and goes and people are milling around, chatting and networking. I asked one of the people working the welcome table when the panel would start.

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Life on leave: Lessons learned as a new parent

tummytime.jpgTwenty-sixteen has been an incredible year for the Winegar household. In April, my husband and I celebrated a major milestone: We became parents. Our son, Garrett, is pretty awesome (#MomBrag) and he's definitely schooled us when it comes to parenting. There is undoubtedly a steep learning curve as any new parent will tell you, but while on maternity leave, I found there were four lessons I could aptly apply to my professional life, too.

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Time to leave your comfort zone: Change requires uncomfortable conversations

hands.jpgWhat was the last obstacle you faced, and how did you conquer it?

We overcome challenges every day and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Any time we are faced with a situation in which we don’t know the answer, it is often helpful to seek knowledge and resources from others.

I consider myself a resourceful person who does exactly that. When I don’t know a fact, my first response is “Oh, I’ll Google it.” If I don’t know how to complete a technical task, I watch tutorials on YouTube. If I can’t pinpoint the right word, I research synonyms at thesaurus.com.

And admittedly, when someone asks a seemingly easy question, my first thought is: “Have you looked it up?” In other words, I wonder if this person has tried to figure out the answer on their own prior to asking me. In fact, I even grow a bit impatient and annoyed if they haven’t.

But what happens when a solution cannot be readily met? What happens when the problem is bigger and more complex than a Google search or YouTube tutorial video? What happens when the problem is deeply rooted in a culture of privilege, hurt, or hate?

What then?

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