Networking is the golden rule of any business. In order to build your career and to learn the right tools, you need to know people. Sometimes, those who are just starting out in their careers don’t know where to look, who to talk to, or how to take that leap into the business professional’s community.
According to Board Source less than 2% of nonprofit board members are under 30 years old. In contrast, 57% of nonprofit board members are 50 and over.
I have spoken to many “rookies” in the professional sector and the re-occurring theme I hear is… “Is no one like me?”, “How am I going to mingle with the generation gap between us?”, “We will have nothing in common!”, “I am so overwhelmed by the amount of professionals in one room.”, “I don’t even know what to say to these people who are way above me on the professional ladder!”, Or my favorite: “I am so nervous. I cannot talk to anyone. I will just stand here in the corner and wait to be approached.”
Why does networking appear harder than it really is? Yes, networking at first, feels like everything is happening all at once. But you become more comfortable after you go through the process a couple of times. Trust me; people will start to recognize your face and approach you quicker. People will remember your role in your business and they will become leads. You build a circle of trust with these people that want to better themselves, and the other like minded professionals around them. EM NARI offers the support, education, and resources you need to network with the right people. If you want to be a professional in the remodeling industry, these are the people you want to know - regardless of your age or experience.
By expanding your network in this way, you’ll discover that you have access to mentors and professional opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t.What’s most important is that you begin to understand that not only is it possible for young professionals to join EM NARI, but it will give you the confidence you need to build meaningful relationships with corporate executives, potential customers, even new friends! By engaging with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, including board and staff members, you will reach a broader base of customers, and learn how to reach your target market through these networks.
EM NARI will give you direct experience and can expose you to senior contacts at a variety of other companies and organizations. You begin to respect the work of other professionals outside your circle of clients and co-workers, and their advice and experience will give you the insight and knowledge you can use as you grow throughout your career. You gain more confidence and will feel good about serving your peers and a cause you care about. You will learn about selling and business development, fundraising, leadership, community access, global issues, educational opportunities, healthcare, housing, ethics, and a great deal more. You will develop skills that you may not have had the opportunity to develop at your own job. You will have the opportunity to select the activities that you want to dedicate your time to, allowing you to develop new skills and utilize other talents you possess.
I speak to all the professionals who are over 35, the twenty-something’s know something you may not! We are young, ambitious, business professionals who have waited countless months just to land a position out of college. We are motivated to learn and to be the best we can be to prove a point. Other generations say “oh they are the “me” generation. They are concerned with themselves, they are lazy living at home with there parents, waiting for the perfect job.” As young people, we are just like the rest of you. We are the “me” generation not because we can take a selfie. We are the “me” generation because we believe our efforts can make a difference in the world. We are energetic, flexible, and comfortable with technology. We can teach you how to broaden your customer base by targeting a mass range of people through the web. Whether it’s a hashtag or retweet on Twitter, a like on Facebook, a new follower, whatever social media tactic it may be, we can offer you and your business exciting opportunities.
Personally, I was more than excited to jump at the opportunity to take a leadership position within the EM NARI organization. It has been a great learning experience and I have met people who have shaped my career path. It has allowed me to gain valuable experience and the confidence I needed to improve my network at F.D. Sterritt Lumber Company, as well as my shy characteristics. Non profit organizations, such as EM NARI, will only jumpstart your career in your business. So let’s build the bridge for like-minds to come together and share ideas, whether you are just starting out or have decades of experience under your belt.Meghan LandryF. D. Sterritt Lumber Company