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Generation Y

Where Do We Grow From Here?

Gas prices are high. Job openings are slim to none. The housing market still looks rough. It seems like the Great Recession continues to hang out like an unwanted guest after the party is over. And to top it all off, companies across the country continue to cut jobs—upwards of 16,000 cuts announced yesterday alone.

Cutting entry-level jobs stunts leadership growth for next generations.

Gas prices are high. Job openings are slim to none. The housing market still looks rough. It seems like the Great Recession continues to hang out like an unwanted guest after the party is over. And to top it all off, companies across the country continue to cut jobs—upwards of 16,000 cuts announced yesterday alone.

What does this mean for our own businesses? For supporting organizations and associations? Considering that Baby Boomers are up for retirement (albeit some will wait due to our friend the Great Recession that just can’t take a hint) and that roughly 37 percent of Generation Y is jobless or underemployed, it means we’ve got work to do.

We need Gen Ys to sustain our businesses, to help us grow and to lead us into the future. However, the proverbial “career ladder” that has been helpful to many Boomers has been thrown in the garage, rarely to be seen by new generations. Entry-level positions are cut and, in turn, cause Gen Y to float from job to job (or no job at all) never developing what could be—what should be—excellent leadership ability and skills to move organizations forward. In fact, the Pew Research Center says nearly 60 percent of Generation Y has switched careers at least once already, either by choice or by job cuts.

Unfortunately, businesses are not the only organizations affected by the generation gap (and our annoying friend the Great Recession). There are more than 100,000 associations and Chambers of Commerce in the United States. The majority of these groups are sustained by Baby Boomers. But with Boomers out, it means Gen Y is in. It also means that it’s time for associations to create opportunities for this new generation of leaders. Because if Gen Y isn’t being afforded the opportunities to grow their careers—if they’re struggling to find work—how can you expect them to be a part of your organization and a part of your leadership team?

As companies continue to cut jobs that would otherwise offer leadership development and growth, it creates huge opportunity for associations. Fact is, Gen Y is still looking for their chance to shine. They want to help lead and to be involved. Your job? Nurture your relationships with this future generation and encourage their growth.

Take the first step towards your future.

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