As a workforce we house a variety of businesses and start-ups both large and small that are managed and lead by divergent age groups. Before we go much further, I’ll preface this article with the disclaimer that stereotypes aside, generational gaps do exist. That said, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials have much to learn about each other and more importantly, a great deal to gain.
The Mukilteo Chamber has been working with a group of young professionals in our area for the past few months. Our goal: to provide an enhanced program of services that will target and foster professional relationships among all members of the business community.
First we must evaluate the evolution of our business culture. Certainly for many, it is a shift in perception. What makes a valuable employee? How do you define work ethic? Can you marry autonomy with creative freedom? These are just a few of the topics that, depending on whom you ask, you are likely to receive a conflicting answer.
For many progressive Millennials hitting their professional stride, business hierarchy and politics in the workplace may seem stifling. Following a protocol might feel like a compromise to integrity of ideas. Contrast that with Baby Boomers who entered the workforce two decades earlier. Their approach to that same infrastructure etiquette might have been quite different. Hence, the invectives “entitled” and “out of touch.” Oil and water analogy aside, it’s more than time to connect our professionals in the community, whatever their age or career choice. We will build an energized and vibrant culture of change and growth when we leverage all demographics toward one common goal.
Our new program, Next Generation: Mukilteo will officially launch in April. Chamber members (or their employees) in the 20-40 age demographic, will be invited to their first soft networking event. Print and social media invitations will be extended with specific date and time information sometime in the next couple of weeks. The goals of NGM are multi-faceted: professional networking with like-minded business professionals, volunteering on a community based project for their civics target, and social engagement. Dovetailing with that, will be increasing professional connections within the Chamber membership, inviting new people, and representing area businesses in a positive fashion.
Several young business professionals have worked with Chamber executives to spearhead this program: Ross Gardiner (Law Office of Ross Gardiner); Wade and Katherine Becher (Wicked Wraps); Mike Talkington (Talk Media); Sara Bruestle (Mukilteo Beacon); Doug Miller (Edward Jones); Lindsay Rucker (The View From Harbour Pointe); Emma Leedy (Mukilteo Chamber).
As the Mukilteo Chamber continues to grow, we will serve as a resource to our members and continue to provide strong infrastructure to our business community.
excerpted: Mukilteo Beacon