When I heard we were going to do a session on non-linear career paths as part of the EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute, I was super excited. I’m a pro at this; I’ve spent the last six-ish years having absolutely no idea where my career was going.
I graduated in 2009 with a double major in International Relations and Arabic and a concentration in Middle Eastern studies, so I had one very clear career option: becoming a spy. (Or, you know, going into international business, working as a translator, becoming a diplomat, etc.)
Unfortunately for me, none of those careers panned out, and it was the height of the recession. There were no jobs for recent college grads, so my career focus had to shift from dreams of shaken martinis to attempts at gaining job experience and building my resume.Read more
The following blog is by Amy Highness.
Self-care. Such an obvious, yet seemingly elusive concept. The notion of taking care of ourselves in order to be more effective in our work and personal lives seems pretty straight-forward, yet in the crunch to answer a few more emails, check off a few more to-dos, and simply meet the basics of daily survival, it gets lost. Something needs to change, but the usual advice - go to the gym, eat healthy food, socialize! - feels too vague and perhaps those are things we’ve been doing all along anyway. So now what?
We dug into this quandary at our most recent session of the 2015-16 EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Twin Cities chapters of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC). The group was not short on fantastic ideas, and there were a few key themes that really stood out to me:Read more
Picture a leader you admire. What do you think makes her/him tick?
One of my most admired leaders has always been Martin Luther King, Jr. Here’s the problem: I’ve often thought of him as kind of a saint. I have forgotten that he had everyday, mundane decisions to make – small things that added up to the sum total of his life. He ate three meals a day, needed sleep, and had a family. He was just like you and me – except for how he managed to transcend the everyday mundane details, to strive for his highest ideals.Read more
The cohort model of learning is based on the importance of community in education. Human behavior suggests that people learn better when they are learning in a collective of peers. EPIP-YNPN’s Leadership Institute takes this idea a step further and tests the assumption that rather than learning mainly from a consumption- or lecture-based style, that co-creating a learning experience with peers encourages mutual creativity, networking, and encourages progress.Read more
A year and a half into working for a big nonprofit that deals with complex community issues, I was struggling to get outside of my networking silo. It was taking enough time and energy to build rapport with people inside of (and working in partnership with) my organization, so I rarely had the energy to network outside (with the occasional exception of some people connected to my work).Read more
It’s crazy that the idea of “work-life balance” even needs to be discussed. In a perfect world, a beautiful equilibrium across all facets of our lives would be so implicit that a phrase to describe it wouldn’t even exist. But we live in an imperfect world, and working in the nonprofit or philanthropic sectors means spending a great deal of time trying to keep bigger parts of the world in balance, often foregoing relative harmony in one’s own life.
In the past, I have struggled with a pendulum of all work or all play, a slightly destructive cycle that switches directions in full force whenever I’m overcome with exhaustion—a rhythm only recently broken by the birth of my son, and now all time outside of regular work hours are devoted to him. However, knowing my own penchant for the imbalance of work/life I was thrilled to learn that the first peer-led YNPN-EPIP Leadership Institute session would be about balance. Not only would I walk away with a toolkit for working toward balance, but I would also learn that I am not alone in my struggle to keep all parts of my life aloft.Read more
Not that long ago I came across the poem “To be of use” by Marge Piercy. I barely got through the first stanza and thought she could be writing about YNPN Twin Cities. The entire history of our organization is filled with people who “jump into work head first/without dallying in the shallows”. It’s in our DNA. It’s what inspires me at every event and with every interaction. I read the poem as a reflection of pieces of YNPN-TC’s vision to connect through purpose and lead together.
When members saw a gap in the leadership development opportunities of young nonprofit professionals, YNPNers came together with a clear purpose and created a Leadership Institute that has just launched.Read more
On night one of the inaugural EPIP-YNPN Leadership Institute kick-off retreat, we experienced a World Café discussion, where I offered to play table host (mostly so that I wouldn’t have to switch tables). After hearing the amazing thoughts of my fellow cohort members, I was so humbled and weighed-down with the immense responsibility of capturing, then harvesting their oh-so-insightful nuggets. When it came time to share, I turned to my tablemates, silently asking their permission.Read more
YNPN-TC and EPIP-MN have partnered to launch a 10-month cohort learning experience for young professionals working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. The experience is aimed at encouraging exploration of participants’ big career questions while doing some serious skill swapping and network weaving across the local foundation and nonprofit worlds. We were thrilled by the overwhelming number of truly stellar applications, but are only able to manage logistics for a small number of participants in this year’s pilot program. We look forward to exploring the ways we can work together to create a broader array of these kinds of opportunities in future, now that you, the YNPN-TC members, have demonstrated such strong interest. (If you are interested in joining in this exploration and planning, we'd love to hear from you!)Read more