If your association forms a group for "young" professional members, should there be some effort in requesting or ensuring they actually are young? I have to admit I was entirely annoyed when I was in my twenties and invited to a young professionals event only to find most I didn't consider young, even if they thought they were. I didn't go back. And it changed my attitude about the organization as they lost my trust at hello. The hello name tags.
When you're a young professional, there's absolutely no problem finding colleagues one, two, three, or four decades older than you are. A real challenge is finding your own peer age group, with a shared experience. I love the experiences of working with many generations that association management provides - both from standpoint of members and employees - they're all crucial to our effectiveness. But when any professional group is given a descriptive label for networking or gathering purposes, should it describe?
I've heard the cliches that we're all "as young as we feel" or young is a "state of mind". Um, okay. But it's actually potentially a certain age group too. And if I'm a young member, and you tell me you're a young group, and you really aren't (by the standards of the young member) - then why. If you don't really mean "young", then why intentionally put that label on the group? Skip the word if it doesn't apply.
As we look at building relationships with our younger members, associations are deciding if should provide specific networking groups (online, live or both). Let's be honest. I want their trust.