Editor’s Note: Transition Stories

Millennials may be getting all the chatter these days, but this issue of Associations Now focuses on those later in their career.

You’ve surely noticed that, as a society, we’re obsessed with millennials. Whether in business, politics, pop culture, or almost any walk of life, the impact of the generation that now dominates the workforce has been studied, processed, celebrated or lamented (depending on the topic and your point of view), and otherwise dissected for a good 20 years.

There are lots of solid reasons for that, and we’ve done our share of millennial-gazing here at Associations Now. But in this issue, we flip the script.

Workforce transformation is happening across the generations, and as millennials are making their mark, older professionals are changing the traditional late-career trajectory. More baby boomers are working past retirement age—in many cases because they want to—and even the first Gen-Xers have turned 50 and are examining what career fulfillment looks like after 25 or 30 years at work. As Karla Taylor found in her reporting, this career stage is a time when creativity, flexibility, and a continued commitment to skill-building can open up unexpected opportunities, even as new challenges arise. She tells a few of those stories from the association world.

The secret sauce for late-career success, as Karla notes, is to get good at transitions. That’s true, it seems to me, regardless of where you are in your career, and it’s certainly true for organizations that must constantly adapt to external changes—say, a new administration in Washington, DC, or emerging sectors in the industry your association represents. Inside, we look at both of these scenarios: how association government relations professionals are adjusting their advocacy strategies in the early months of the Trump administration, and how opening up surprising new membership categories is changing how associations see themselves and their missions.

This issue is a good reminder that the only thing that’s constant is change.


Julie Shoop

By Julie Shoop

Julie Shoop is the Editor-in-Chief of Associations Now. MORE

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