If you haven’t given thought to joining a young professionals’ league, here’s a reminder that the Bay Area, as with tech, sightseeing, and fusion foods, is ripe with opportunity.
Maybe you’ve considered and forgotten, or simply dismissed the idea as boring. Or perhaps you weren’t aware of any around you.
“Young professionals want three things: to belong to a community of like-minded people, to learn something new in a social setting and to meet artists and make art,” said Kate Johnson, the Asian Art Museum’s membership director, when the museum launched their young professionals’ group Lunar Society in 2016.
The art principle may not apply to your particular interests (that’s why the San Jose Sharks have your back), but there’s little doubt there’s a young professionals’ group out there that’s bound to capture your attention. But the question remains - why should you give up your time and a bit of pocket money for membership dues?
The actual networking:
If you feel like you’re constantly meeting the same kind of people, this is a great way to branch out. Sharing a common interest others is a powerful bonding tool, not to mention an effective route to creating a new social circle. You’re likely to encounter people living very different lives from you as well as people who may be able to help you get your food in the door at a company you’ve always wanted to work for.
Deeper community involvement:
Studies have shown that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Becoming involved in a particular community gives you roots and helps you develop connections you might not have otherwise. Receiving recognition for your community work can also provide satisfaction outside the workplace and your personal relationships.
Expand your skill set:
Learning how to head a committee, organize a huge fundraising event or secure sponsorships are all skills you’re likely to pick up that can carry over into your career.
To sound hella cultured:
As long as you don’t overdo it, this element of your life can be worked into your existing elevator pitch to make you sound pretty fabulous. You’ll impress the socks off your future mother-in-law, the COO of your company, and the host at State Bird Provisions when you beg for a last-minute table.
The perks and parties:
There will be parties, photo opps, exclusive event invites, and opportunities to meet some fancy people. And you’ll deserve them after putting in hours of hard work and enthusiasm.
First, here’s a nutshell guide to help you begin navigating through Bay Area institutions that offer young professionals’ groups of their own.
Symphonix // supports the San Francisco Symphony. Membership includes group volunteer opportunities, discounted symphony tickets and exclusive event invites.
ArtPoint // supports the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, including the de Young and the Legion of Honor. Memberships includes invites their social and educational events and gallery parties—including a recent Summer of Love themed on in honor of the De Young exhibition. Very San Franciscan.
Lunar Society // supports the Asian Art Museum. Craft brews and arts and crafts with professional artists is among the highlights offered by the Lunar Society.
Bravo! // supports the San Francisco Opera. In addition to galas and pre-show reception, members also get to look behind the scenes at the making of the opera.
San Jose Sharks Foundation // supports the nonprofit branch of the San Jose Sharks. Give back in the name of your favorite hockey team by assisting with fundraising events.
Make a Wish // supports Make A Wish Greater Bay Area. Take on fundraising and advocacy roles in order to help Make A Wish further its mission locally.
California girl | Social media marketer | Writer | Buyer of plane tickets | Dave Grohl and pizza enthusiast | @ucdavis alumna.