As I write this, I'm three days away from Washington, D.C., and the 50th Annual League of Women Voters National Convention. And I'm freaking out a bit. You see, I have sporadic bouts of conference anxiety, wondering if and how I can make the most of the wisdom, opportunity, connections and expense that's packed into those few days or few hours. Add to my angst the rapidly approaching Minnesota Conference of Nonprofits Leadership Conference on June 26, and it's been a stressful start to summer.Read more
by Amanda Bingham
follow me on Twitter: @amanda_l_b
Writing this blog post has been hard for me. For the past two days, I’ve been asking myself “What do I have to offer the nonprofit community?” (I’ve also been asking myself “Why did I wait until two days before the deadline to start the post?”) I don’t even work for a nonprofit—I work for a company that works with nonprofits. So here I am, young in my non-nonprofit career and trying to write a blog post for other nonprofit professionals…talk about stepping out of my comfort zone. (Cue my blog topic a-ha moment.)
One day, hopefully in the not too distant future, I will work for a nonprofit. Being a force for positive change in the world has been my dream for as long as I can remember. To start meeting other nonprofit pros and learn about Minnesota nonprofits, I joined YNPN-TC. I increased my commitment by becoming a YNPN-TC volunteer. When given the opportunity to lend a hand at events or lend my words to the blog, I signed up for that too. Putting myself out there as a voice for the nonprofit community, while still trying to find my place in it, has all been a little terrifying.Read more
In their excellent book Superconnect, Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood emphasize the “strength of weak links,” recognizing that we can yield “enormous dividends” by reaching out to the acquaintances in our lives. This is the half of networking we’re always told to work on—as we build our group of professional acquaintances, we increase the chances that one of them will lead us to that perfect new opportunity or connection. There’s certainly some truth to this.
But the authors of Superconnect pay short shrift to the other half to networking (or as we should really be calling it: connecting). It’s not just about expanding your group of random “weak links.” It’s about habitually strengthening the bonds you have with your closest connections. When your good friends know what’s going on in your life, it makes it easier for them to offer support, accountability, and ideas.Read more
You're busy. You probably miss a lot of events and opportunities for professional and leadership development. If one of those missed opportunities was our last Insider event—Turn It Up To 11: Finding the Next Setting in Your Leadership Path—you've got some homework to do.Read more
Have you ever left a happy hour or networking event uninspired by the lack of connections you made? Just how valuable is a 20-minute conversation of small talk? And what's a business card good for if you aren't even sure what you’re looking for?Read more
By Virginia Brown
Follow me on Twitter: @3manypuppies
We’ve all read articles about networking, and we know we’re supposed to do it to find that perfect professional opportunity. But something is missing from the conversation: What exactly should be happening at these network coffees and lunches? And how do you really make the most of that time?Read more
So, Twin Cities, you think you’re pretty great with your high volunteer rates, your appeal to young professionals, and all your other chart-topping, quality-of-life rankings you’ve pulled in? But where do you fall on the list of Best Cities for Transplants? Turns out, there isn’t such a list. Really, it’s subjective and unique to each transplant, so such a ranking may be flawed from the start.
The truth is, Twin Cities, you are pretty great. I’m guilty of the list-effect – I moved here in search of a robust nonprofit culture, rooted in progressive and organic organizing, professional in its volunteerism and appealing to young people who aren’t quite hipster, but want to pretend like they are for a couple years of their young lives.Read more
In this edition of Q&As, I caught up with Lars Leafblad—recently named the "most networked" man in the Twin Cities—to discuss the ins and outs of becoming a top-notch networker. Find out what skill Lars says is even more important than networking, and how you can learn to do it!Read more
The following blog is by Jeff Achen (guest post)
Her glittery Yoda t-shirt had first caught my attention and it led to our discussion of a mutual love of the gentle green Jedi master. It’s funny, but I’d have to say my interaction with this young woman was the most genuine social interaction I’d had the whole day.
That’s not to say that I wasn’t genuine in my chats with others. I had a great time talking with everyone. It’s just that we really connected for a few moments because of a mutual, if not over-the-top, obsession with Yoda. We connected because of something we both enjoyed. It was fun.Read more