I’m part of the ASAE’s Writer’s Pool, and we periodically get an email with some questions related to upcoming Associations Now articles. I spotted this one, and I thought this would make a great discussion here on the blog.
How will Gen-Xers lead associations? Members of Generation X (those born between 1966 and 1980) make up a notably small group sandwiched between two very large ones. With many experienced Boomers holding fast to their jobs and Gen Yers taking leadership roles in departments that didn’t exist five years ago, how have Gen Xers found ways to take charge at their associations, and what are their prospects for the future?
What do you think? Are you a GenXer with an experience to relate? For me personally, I was definitely bitten by the bug of entrepreneurship that is not uncommon for my generation, and worked very hard to build the “personal brand” I needed to take the plunge and jump ship to the “dark side” of consulting after years of working in associations. I needed to create something. I needed to be able to think deeply about things. I needed to be able to learn from others in a way that wasn’t being provided “from the inside”. I needed to be able to push the needle (and the envelope). I needed to be able to experiment with ideas and with work. I needed to write. I did try all of these things in many small ways while I was working for an association, but in the end, I was dying inside. I thought I had much, much more to give and while I took a huge risk by leaving all the security of a regular paycheck behind, I have not looked back for one second.
But that doesn’t answer ASAE’s question, does it! What about you? Have you “found ways to take charge” – inside your association? What does your future look like? Please share in the comments!