New Orleans is an incredible city to live in when you’re young – it’s one of the reasons we started this blog. For many, the appeal comes from low-cost of living, never-ending stream of music, and delightfully liberal attitudes towards alcohol.
More than that, it’s also an amazing city for young professionals. Not only are there a ton of employment opportunities, but there are many organizations dedicated to helping you navigate the Big Easy. Here are just a few of the ones you should consider joining.
YLC – Young Leadership Council
The Young Leadership Council (YLC) is one of the oldest organizations for young professionals in the city, with roots in New Orleans dating back to 1986. They partner with a number of organizations around the city aimed at strengthening community ties and improving the city’s structure. Wednesdays in the Square and One Book One New Orleans, an adult literacy and community project, are just some of the events the YLC is involved in. There are several other projects and committees to join with the YLC if you want to get to know young professionals in the city and help improve it at the same time.
Known as “the New Orleans home base for talent,” 504ward is aimed at helping young talent in the city find sponsorship, jobs and opportunities. The focus of their organization is to find the gifted and motivated and keeping them here to help improve and enrich the city. They see the best way of doing this is to find the right outlets and opportunities for the talented, young individuals of New Orleans. They offer young people a chance to make connections, find establishment and join signature events, workshops and panels.
The Junior League: The New Orleans Chapter
The New Orleans Junior League is a great organization of women that work hands on in their communities to improve families and life conditions for those living in New Orleans. The New Orleans chapter will be celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, making it one of the oldest women-only organizations in the city. They run a number of programs including Safe Sitter to help children 11-13 learn the best babysitting skills, Kids in the Kitchen to teach children nutrition and the dangers of obesity, as well as the Judgment Call, a group that teaches children how the justice system works and to educate them about their responsibilities and rights as a community member.
NOLA Black Professionals
Aimed at bringing together black-owned businesses and organizations, NOLA Black Professionals provides assistance and leadership for the African-American professional through activism, volunteering, job outreach and community support. Their site offers a great calendar of professional events (which anyone can attend) and volunteer opportunities for people to help improve their neighbors and their neighborhoods. The fascinating articles about everything concerning New Orleans and life as a young black professional are just a little lagniappe as well.
Made in Mind Social
For the creative mind, New Orleans can be an oasis of like-minded people but it can also be difficult to have your voice heard when all the others seem to be talking at the same time. Enter Made in Mind Social, a New Orleans group aimed at bringing together creative people in the city twice a month and having activities and publicity to show off that creativity. They just recently had a Photo Walk throughout the Warehouse District of the city with some beautiful results. Activities are low-cost and it gives people a chance to network and learn new creative techniques.
Not So Serious Sports Leagues
If you want to have a bit more physical fun and meet young New Orleanians then you should join one of the numerous adult sports leagues around town. For those that enjoy tossing, there is NOultimate and NO Team. Kicking more your style? Check out PLAYNOLA , Kickball of Crescent City (KOCC), WAKA kickball or many others. There is usually drinking before, during and after as well as some good natured fun to help you burn off some of the work week and meet some new friends.
Here at Red Beans and Life, we are always looking for new ways that young professionals can meet in the New Orleans. If you know other organizations or networking events in the city, tell us about them in our Comments Section below!