I didn’t think about anything more than just joining YNPN in the beginning – no committee work and no additional responsibilities. I originally met with Danny and Brianne Sanchez (I have to include her last name, as people often need clarification now that there are two of us) a few months before making the decision to join the group. I didn’t know at the time exactly what group(s) I wanted to be involved in, or what commitments I should make that worked well for my career and personal life. It didn’t take too long to realize that membership in YNPN was well worth not only the financial investment, but worth it for the opportunities that would come my way as a member.
So joining the organization was one thing…
My very first ‘true’ experience with YNPN was at the birthday bash last January. I came to my first social event and found myself amazed at all the great things the group had done so far, but I was honestly more shocked at all the fantastic people in the community who were a part of the organization. I instinctively knew right away that I needed to be more than just a member – I needed to find a way to give back and help move this organization forward. I wanted to be a part of the magic happening.
In my previous life, I lived in Muscatine, IA where I was a part of the local YPN chapter (Young Professionals Network) for a number of years, and served as the co-chair of the committee that was very similar to our Professional Development committee here at YNPN. I enjoyed what I helped with there, so thought I would join in on the fun here too. When I joined the committee, it was merely to help where I could. I wasn’t sure I had the time to devote more than that. Besides that, I never thought I would have the opportunity to step up and work side by side with my now wonderful partner in crime, Sarah Welch. We didn’t really know each other well, nor did I even really know the fellow committee members, but I didn’t let that stop me. (Trust me, if you do let that stop you, you are missing out on life!) Now almost ten months after joining the organization, I couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to join YNPN and help lead the Professional Development Committee. Yes, I have a demanding job. Yes, I have a family who needs me. Yes, I have other commitments, sit on boards and have volunteer time outside of work. And yes, I still need to find time for me. Would I be who I am today without my experiences through YNPN? Probably not!
So now I ask you – why should you consider stepping up and taking on a leadership role? Well, because you should. Simply put. It is my belief that it is inherent in all of us to succeed and be a leader, we just need to find the way in which we WANT to succeed and what that leadership looks like for each of us. Think of how many additional connections you will make. Think of how this will help you professionally and personally. Think of how wonderful it would be to have that added to your professional resume. Think about how good it makes you feel to give back. Lastly ask yourself – why NOT lead with YNPN? (I bet you can’t think of too many reasons!) —Brianne Fitzgerald