How the nonprofit essentials conference could have changed your life

Why should you attend a conference related to work that you aren’t required to attend you might ask? Give me ten minutes and I’ll tell you!

I attended the Nonprofit Essentials conference hosted by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits back in August with a scholarship from YNPN and the experience proved to be invaluable to me.

You never know who you’re going to meet anywhere in life, but especially at an MCN conference. I connected with so many people who showed up in other parts of my life but I never really got to know before. Case in point: I spent a good chunk of the day with one of my coworkers, from a different department, who I’d never really talked to before. Our discussions about the two conferences we attended together really got me thinking about my day-to-day work, what I truly enjoy, and how I can partner with her department more to not only be more effective but also have more fun at work!

Even though I am admittedly a very young professional (who is not married and doesn’t have kids), the work-life balance struggle is already real for me. So one of my biggest takeaways from this conference was that your personal and professional self don’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, two different people. You don’t always have to follow what is modeled for you. It’s okay to be you at work! I can’t even tell you how much this one mind-blowing moment and lesson has transformed my life.

Top 8 Reasons You Should Attend a Conference (and apply for a YNPN Scholarship!)

  1. Not only do you get out of the office for the day, but you also get millions of new ideas, lots of light bulb moments, and countless opportunities for inspiration.

  2. For the whole day, YOU choose what you do—which sessions you go to, who you eat lunch with, etc.

  3. Nuggets of wisdom are plentiful.  Everyone has catch phrases and lessons to share.  My favorite from the Nonprofit Essentials conference: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”  Thank you Josh Dye!

  4. It is acceptable to be on Twitter all day and hashtag stalk.  If you haven’t tried live tweeting, you’re missing out!

  5. Those light bulb-triggering, mind blowing moments are priceless and affect both your work and your soul.

  6. Meet and connect with people who are interested in the same things you are, but you never would have otherwise met them.  And it’s not awkward because they didn’t come to the conference with anyone either.

  7. Most breakout sessions involve a small group discussion where you can workshop an idea or problem related to their theme.  Read: You can get amazing free advice.

  8. There is a lot of free food.  MCN is so great about providing snacks for their conference attendees!  I know I’m not the only one that still has the college mentality that all free food is good food.

If you don’t want to miss out on meeting me and having the wonderful experience I’ve described, you should really consider applying the next time you see a Membership Benefit email from YNPN.

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