Coastal Young Professionals Week in Sheboygan is always a great time of connecting with other young professionals and learning. The annual week of events includes an awards ceremony, education sessions on various topics interesting to young professionals, tours of local companies, and exercise classes. I would highly recommend young professionals in Sheboygan County attend some of the events offered as they have been really beneficial to me in past years.

The first event I attended was the Next Wave Young Professional Awards held at Acuity. I was nominated for community volunteer of the year, and while I didn’t win that title, I won a Next Wave Award, meaning I was selected as one of their Top 10 Young Professionals from the group of 31 nominees. It was really awesome of JOA to sponsor 10 people to come with me to this event as it really helped me feel supported.

The second event I attended was actually one I was invited to participate in as a speaker. Coastal Young Professionals Network chose to hold a trolley tour event with a focus on trafficking and drugs, how they are related, and how they are affecting our relatively safe community. I was chosen to speak on the topic of what we can do about it, so I spoke on Freedom Cry’s mission and how people can get involved in our projects. It was a great afternoon filled with creating awareness, making new connections, exploring the county and listening to three other speakers on the topic, one of which is our local human trafficking detective, Tamara Remington.

The third event I attended was a class made specifically for women on how to negotiate salary and other aspects of employment in the hiring process or when you wish to change your job or get a promotion within the organization. We had some fabulous wine and appetizers at Lakeview Wine Bar that has beautiful views of Lake Michigan and is one of my favorite spots in the whole county. We did some negotiating activities and heard from an HR executive at Sargento. The biggest takeaway from that class for me was just that we need to evaluate our wants and needs before going into a negotiation of any kind, be open and honest about our circumstances in life up front and what those needs are, and if we don’t know something, simply ask questions. The hiring process can be a scary thing if you feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells and don’t feel empowered to be open, honest, and ask questions early on in the hiring process, so it was great to get that affirmation from a woman who has done hundreds if not thousands of negotiations over the course of her career.