Chamber pros: Swipe this article! We wrote it just for you. All of the images are attribution-free. The text has been optimized for the phrase “young professionals group” so you can use it on your website or blog to help young professionals find and join your group. Be sure to customize the last section to match your program offerings.
Here you are. A young professional, just about to kick off an amazing career and make your mark in the world. You have so many tools at your disposal. The path may sometimes seem confusing but a young professionals group could be exactly what you need. Keep reading to find out why.
How do you find the answers to all the great questions about your professional path such as which job opportunity do you choose? How do you ensure you’re on the right career path? And what about that business you’ve thought about starting? How do you find the resources you need?
Maybe you could watch a few YouTube videos or follow someone on LinkedIn?
While all those are great resources for finding answers, who you know is just as important as what you know. And ultimately, success in business comes down to people.
So, future business superstar, it’s time you add networking to your to do list. While we know you love your friends, if they don’t have the same business goals that you do, it might be time to meet some professional acquaintances who do and one of the best ways to do this is through a young professionals group.
What is a Young Professionals Group?
A young professionals group (or YP group) caters to emerging leaders and the needs of people at the beginning of their careers.
The groups are usually focused on social gatherings, education, innovation, and leadership. Young professionals groups may be found independent from organizations and also as part of groups like your local chamber of commerce, non-profit, or industry association.
The benefit to joining a young professionals group within your chamber of commerce or association is that it is backed by a long-established, stable organization. Plus, you’ll automatically be welcomed into the larger business community as a whole.
A YP group on Meet-up or one you found on Facebook, on the other hand, could disband next week if there’s a lack of participation.
Some young professionals groups are open to everyone because they define “young” as a state of mind, not a specific age range. YP groups may also be attractive to people who are changing careers (and thus starting over again) or those who want to spend time talking about things like innovation and technology.
In groups that are open to all ages, older people may be early adopters of tech. They may be looking to interact with younger people who are more open to tech (that’s a great opportunity for reciprocity).
YP groups also tend to have more networking events that are more activity focused like axe throwing or zip lining.
While there are many social mixers in the average young professionals group, there are also leadership opportunities on their governing council. Leadership positions are volunteer positions and they may be by invitation only or you may need to run for them or apply depending on the organization.
What Are the Benefits?
There are many benefits to joining a young professionals group such as:
- Networking with people of similar age and interests as well as meeting people from different backgrounds and in other industries
- Leading among a smaller group of people
- Attending fun events
- Learning important best practices in business as well as other affordable educational opportunities through membership
- Being around people who have similar stage of life experiences
- Helping to make your community more attractive to young people
- Contributing to create a louder voice for young people in the community
- Being part of a mentor/mentee program
- Giving back to the community in a YP service project
- Building a more well-rounded resume
- Sharing ideas to improve your community and building support for those ideas
- Learning from peers
- Discovering new job opportunities before they become advertised giving you an inside edge
- Making new friends
- Discovering a side gig
- Getting experience in public speaking and improving your networking abilities
- Finding inspiration to take your career to the next level or following your dream of opening your own business
- Learning from and exchanging ideas with entrepreneurs
If you join a YP group, you may want to let your employer know as well. Your employer may be interested in working with the group or becoming more involved with you, particularly if your company markets to younger people.
How Do I Find a Young Professionals Group?
You can find individual, non-affiliated YP groups on Meet-up or virtual ones on Facebook groups but remember, they may not last.
Here are several potentially more stable options:
- Many chambers of commerce have young professionals or emerging leader groups.
- Check your specific industry association (like the Bar Association or a medical society).
- Some non-profits offer YP groups as well.
- You could also start your own by reaching out to other like-minded professionals (be aware that this is a high time-consuming option).
To join the young professionals group through your chamber or association, you will need to be a member of the larger organization. However, some organizations have a YP rate so you pay a fraction of annual membership dues. Joining the larger organization can have a lot of benefits for your career as well.
However, before you join, check with your employer. If your employer is a chamber member, as an employee you are already a member of the chamber and may participate in any of their activities. When you reach out to the chamber, let them know you are an employee of your business and that you are interested in finding out more about their YP group. They can put you in touch with leadership or recruitment.
If you contact your chamber of commerce or association and they don’t have a young leaders group, you may want to suggest it to them. Perhaps they have considered it but are looking for a leader for the group. You can work with them to start one for your chamber. This can be a fantastic opportunity to meet people in your area.
Even if you’re in college or even high school it’s not too early join a young professionals group. While most YP groups are for those over 18, some organizations have discounts on member dues for college or trade school students or they may even have a junior program for interested high school students.
If you’re serious about your career and want to meet people who share your drive, you will find your tribe in a young professionals group. It’s likely there are several nearby and you can be a member of more than one.
Isn’t it time you take a look at what career doors could be open for you by meeting other young professionals?