Did You Know?

Career Advancement Topics Increasingly Important to Association Leaders

By Association Adviser staff • July 17, 2015

Even with a growing economy and rapidly improving job market, career advancement topics are increasingly top of mind for association leaders, according to our annual Association Communication Benchmarking Study.

For the first time in the four-year history of our study, “How-to/best practices” supplanted “Lobbying and advocacy” as the topic that association leaders believed was most important to their members.  More than half of the 704 association leaders who responded to our study cited “How-to/Best Practices,” up from 49.6 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, coverage of lobbying and advocacy was cited by 45.7 percent of respondents, down from 52.1 percent in 2014.

Among other Top-10 topics of importance to members were “Career/professional development,” cited by 45.2 percent of respondents (up nearly 4 percentage points from 2014); “Statistics that help me do my job better,” cited by nearly 31 percent of respondents (up 5 percentage points from 2014; and “Networking for young professionals,” cited by 21 percent of respondents (up nearly 5 percentage points from 2014).

Year-over-year change in career topics of importance to readers

  2014 2015 % Change
How-to/best practices 49.6% 50.4% +0.5%
Career/professional development 41.5% 45.2% +3.7%
Statistics that help me do my job better 25.8% 30.9% +5.1%
Networking for young professionals 16.6% 21.1% +4.5%

Source: Association Adviser eNews and Naylor Association Solutions, 2014-2015

career advancement
Respondents to our 2014 Association Communications Benchmarking Survey ranked career advancement the second most-important topic to them. How-to advice came in first.

So, what does it take to engage your career-focused Next Gen members?

“Provide meaningful and engaging work. This generation is looking to make a measurable impact during their involvement with associations/nonprofits,” observed one survey respondent.

“Match them up with mentors,” suggested another respondent.

And get them involved in leadership.

“Choose a couple of the most outspoken, well-liked young members and engage them in board activities,” suggested yet another survey respondent.

You’ll be glad you did.