What comes to mind when you think about your Junior League volunteer experience? Maybe you think about all of the wonderful friends you’ve made and the fun social gatherings you’ve attended. Or perhaps you’re reminded of the great volunteer work and positive impact the League has on the Nashville community. But what about a springboard for your professional advancement?
Not only is the Junior League a great place to connect and serve with inspiring women. It’s also a place to explore new interests, cultivate marketable skills, and gain valuable experience that will enhance your professional resume.
Some questions you might reflect on are: What experience are you missing from your current job but need for that promotion? Do you have any professional strengths that you are unable to utilize in your role but want to keep sharp? Are you considering altering your career path altogether? What do you want to learn more about that may not pertain to your job but can help with your overall growth?
Here are a few pointers on how to tap into what the League has to offer:
- Attend General Membership Meetings (“GMM”). Go to more than the required three per year. These are a great way to network with other members you may not see often, and each GMM includes a valuable learning and training portion as well. And don’t be afraid to ask questions to speakers and our Board/Management team.
- Attend Development and Training events. The Development and Training Committee is dedicated to providing JLN members with quality personal and professional development experiences throughout the League year, in addition to the GMMs. Make sure to keep an eye out on Digital Cheetah for upcoming training sessions. These are great platforms to expand your knowledge and meet like-minded women who are interested in the same topics.
- Consider your JLN placement. Volunteer in a capacity that expands and refines your professional skills in a way that your current job does not. This may increase your value to your current employer, boost your resume, and make you more marketable to future employers. We host a Placement Fair in the Spring (typically in March). Go and ask questions to current chairs and committee members to make sure your League experience is exactly what you want it to be.
- Check-in on the JLN Calendar for Membership experience events. Our Membership Council works hard to make sure there are events scattered throughout the year to help provide fun and unique experiences to our members. Make sure to sign-up for some to grow your network. With a League of over 1,400 women, it’s hard to meet everyone. These smaller events are fun ways to network and expand your experience.
- Sign-up for leadership opportunities. Maybe you’re not in a position to lead on your team at work. Fortunately, there are an abundance of leadership opportunities in the League, both internally and externally. If you are interested in expanding your League experience in this way, take a look at the Leadership Opportunities section in Digital Cheetah.
- Apply for the JLN Mentorship Program. This is a great way to connect with a dedicated partner who is sincerely interested in your growth and success, outside of your professional manager. Mentor/Mentee applications are typically emailed out in the Summer/early Fall, so keep a lookout in Tuesday News for the call for applications.
- Get involved with JLN affinity groups. Within the last two years, JLN members have stepped forward to create groups that cater to the interests of different members. Whether you’re a mom looking to go to brunch with other moms, a dog-lover who wants to try out the latest dog-friendly patios, or a female lawyer looking to network (and probably vent) with other legal professionals, there’s a group out there to help you grow your skills and tap into the amazing women of the League.
- Apply for non-profit Board training through our partnership with the Young Leader’s Council (“YLC”). YLC is a great way to connect with like-minded professionals, grow in your knowledge of non-profit governance, and serve in a leadership role within the community. Learn more about the upcoming YLC training at the JLN headquarters by visiting ylcnashville.org and visit the YLC tab under “Member Home” on Digital Cheetah. Applications typically open in early Fall and the JLN YLC program runs once a year for about 11 weeks.
There’s great truth in the saying, “The League is what you make it”, so why not make the most of what it has to offer socially, philanthropically, and professionally. Ready to challenge yourself professionally and meet amazing people who may be forever friends? Let us know which one of the above you’ve tried on social and tag us!
If you would like to work with us on a blog post or are a member with a blog post idea, please email our Publications chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Mary Timaeus Olson, Publications Chair-elect ‘19-20