I first heard about YGL from an ex-colleague just as I was starting my new career. The details she gave me were vague but it was enough to pique my curiosity. I researched the site and ended up signing up for the newsletter. Couldn’t hurt right? After all, the concept that it was an organization filled with young professionals working in federal government greatly appealed to me. Little did I know that me signing up to receive the YGL newsletter will eventually lead to me becoming its editor.
In all honesty, the primary reason I joined YGL was to make friends. I was (and still am to an extent) very new to federal government and to the Washington, D.C., metro so I wanted to connect with people my own age that understood what it is like to work for the government. It wasn’t long after I started my government career when I realized that life in a federal agency was a completely new ball game. It was particularly challenging for Millennials like me so I sought to find teammates who not only shared the same interests, but also have the same forward thinking attitudes.
The second was to widen my professional network and YGL seemed like a great place to start. I identified with being young, both in age and career level within government, and I always thought of myself as a natural leader. What I liked most was YGL’s pitch about providing “a voice to aspiring government leaders.” It signaled to me that this was an organization that welcomes change and isn’t afraid of evolving. The career advancement opportunities were aplenty too. Finally, the membership was free. I weighed the pros and cons of joining and the decision, really, was a no-brainer.
I’ve only been on the YGL leadership board since December of 2015. Despite that short tenure I can honestly say that the rewards have exceeded my expectations. Not only have I met plenty of interesting folks, I became friends with some of them too. In addition to expanding my social network, I’ve also picked up tips about organizational management, leadership, and communications that I began to apply within my own agency. The results are encouraging thus far proving once and for all that any empowered “young” person in government has the capability to facilitate change, a little bit at a time.
What’s your YGL story? Share your own motivations for joining the organization and let us know your personal and professional success stories.