On a rainy, dark November evening, young professionals from across the sector gathered in London to connect, hang out and discuss what can be done to better support professionals under 30. Over Prosecco and canapés by the side of the Thames River, members of ERP Today’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) opened up about what is needed for them to develop and thrive in enterprise technology.
COVID-19 came up often in conversation. While many have spoken extensively about the pandemic’s impact on working lives, it can be forgotten that a large number of young professionals have never experienced working full time in a busy office. Stuck behind Zoom calls, the joy of building relationships on-site is something that many under 30s haven’t fully enjoyed. Add that to the perks of international travel having been largely stripped from client-facing roles, and you can see how much of the fun and excitement that came with starting jobs in enterprise tech is no longer being experienced in the same way.
What’s more, it’s easy for young professionals to get lost in big companies; easier still for them to go through working life never or hardly meeting people who work in similar roles in different companies. Our industry demands hard work under high pressure, so it’s fair to say young employees need friends and mentors to check in with on the way, whether that’s for advice, feedback or reassurance. At the social, the YPN was given as an example of how this support could be set up between companies, to give more room for young professionals to connect, build relationships and seek help as they navigate the complexities of working in enterprise tech.
A huge number of ideas were pitched for how ERP Today could host events to benefit young professionals. From ‘speed dating’ socials, to mentorship schemes, to cross-company buddy systems, to fireside chats with the biggest names in ERP and more, it’s safe to say we’re excited to get started with next year’s programme. 2023 will then culminate in our Young Professionals Awards on 23rd November, an evening dedicated to celebrating the success of under-30s and their mentors across ten different categories.
ERP Today is further excited to announce that the YPN will be co-chaired next year by Yassy Shayesteh and Adam Stewart, winners of ERP Today’s Young Professional Award in 2021 and 2022 respectively. They’ll be working together with the YPN Council to deliver an exceptional year of events which respond to the multitude of ideas shared during the social, and which reach as many young professionals as possible nationwide.
It was wonderful to see such a brilliant turnout, and reflective of how much appetite there is for in-person events after recent years of lockdown. Attendees had traveled from across London, Rugby, Reading, Oxford, and further afield, which was incredibly affirming. As one young professional commented: “[It was] an excellent event… Really positive to meet other like minded professionals in a relaxed setting.”
If you would like to hear more about future events, please sign up for the YPN, and we’ll be in touch in the new year with information about how to get involved. Further, if you’re a young professional who would like to have their voice platformed on ERP Today, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a pitch for what you’d like to write on.