The evolution of the Young Professionals Network: Replace yourself!

Despite the constant slack millennials receive for spending too much money on avocado toast, young professionals are resilient, educated and passionate members of Canadian society. According to Nielsen, millennials account for 27.5% of the population. It should come as no surprise with more than 10 million millennials in Canada, Young Professionals Networks (YPN) have emerged across several industries including real estate.

There’s a lot of buzz around the “Y” in YPN. Ask yourself this: Why does a YPN exist? Is it a professionals’ network, a platform to host events with like-minded people, or an opportunity to foster young leaders? Knowing what differentiates a YPN from other professional networks in your industry and beyond is an important step in starting a YPN or restructuring your current network.

How can you ensure your YPN stays true to its mission while also remaining inclusive? The answer, replace yourself.

According to REALTOR®  Jenn Aunger-Ritchie, a past YPN Committee Chair with the Ontario Real Estate Association, “Replacing yourself in any committee or board is a good idea to ensure its continued growth, while also giving you the opportunity to focus on new aspects of professional and personal growth.”

Whether you’re the Prime Minister of Canada or on a Board of Directors, you will get replaced eventually. You can’t take it to heart.

Being replaced means creating equal opportunities for others to leave their legacy and impact on the industry. With their help, the younger generation of REALTORS® will evolve the industry for years to come.

Replacing yourself doesn’t mean you get the boot. Embracing mentorship can be a key component and engagement strategy for a professional network. This mutually beneficial program will allow you to connect younger members with more experienced members, thus increasing educational and networking opportunities for both.

“By mentoring the next person, you too can learn and grow through their questions and already established professional insight,” Aunger-Ritchie said. Respect the mission of the committee but leverage assets already available such as past YPN Committee members, experienced members and key board and association staff.

Hakuna matata. Replace yourself. Both are equally good mottos. Replacing yourself is more than letting a new person take over, it’s about being driven so you can take your career to the next level. Investing in yourself and others will lead to greatness.

Looking to get involved in a local or provincial YPN committee? Check our directory on or get in touch with us at

As former Assistant Marketing Manager, Lizzie Lennox promoted CREA’s products, with a focus on developing member and consumer campaigns for She also acted as a national liaison for board and association YPN initiatives. An avid traveler, Lizzie enjoys exploring new places and meeting new people. In her spare time, she can be found at the ski hill, working on her inner yogi, volunteering with Special Olympics, and spending time with friends and family.

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