Future View of Young Professionals
by Ashley Glensor, Programs & Workforce Strategies Manager at the Lancaster Chamber
How are YPs impacting the landscape of businesses growth in Lancaster? What are some of the challenges or opportunities that young professionals in Lancaster County will be facing in the next 10, 20 years? What are some of the changes we might see in programming or direction in the Young Professional Network that will support these challenges and opportunities? How will the role of YPN need to change over the next 10-20 years in order to meet the ever-changing needs of YPs?
Young professionals are catalysts for change in Lancaster.
Ideation, innovation, values, and vision are considered vital organizational aspects by young professionals. Employee development has been thrust to the forefront to meet the needs of young professionals eager to grow. Young professionals’ values systems are different, spanning across two generations – Millennials, firmly in the workplace, and Gen Z, entering the workplace.
Young professionals today maintain different expectations for their employers than past generations. Seismic changes in the workplace necessitate organizational changes and, throughout history, every generation of emerging employees challenges existing systems, structures, and norms.
Culture. Mental Wellness. PTO. Diversity and Belonging. Tuition Assistance. Work-Life Boundaries.
We know the trends.
After all, we were all young professionals once, with our own expectations, needs, and challenges as we entered the workforce.
And yet – the value of our emerging leaders in the workplace is often overlooked.
Young professionals have so much to offer. Our interactions with the Chamber’s Young Professionals Network indicate that our emerging leaders are passionate, eager, and interested in harnessing their strengths for success in the workplace. Young professionals, however, cannot achieve their full potential alone. Emerging leaders need employers to invest in refining their skills, provide enriching experiences for growth, and guide their career journeys – even if that means a young professional may one day outgrow their role in your organization.
While investing in young professionals’ abilities through professional development is important, investment extends far beyond training opportunities.
People are built for relationships. It’s where the most impactful learning occurs – through the vulnerability in sharing stories and offering perspective on navigating the interwoven intricacies of our personal and professional lives. Providing mentoring opportunities, whether formal or informal, is critical to the development of emerging leaders in your organization.
Investment is also building a positive workplace culture that acknowledges and embraces young professionals for the unique strengths they offer to your organization. It’s understanding the values and passions of the emerging leaders in your organization, providing appropriate opportunities for self-direction and flexibility in responsibilities to explore interests and potential growth areas. It’s connecting young professionals to the community and offering time to give back to the community in ways that are meaningful to the young professionals in your organization.
At the Lancaster Chamber, we’re rethinking our role in the lives of emerging leaders, too.
As organizations evolve to meet the needs of its emerging leaders and early career workforce, so must groups dedicated to creating spaces for young professionals in our community. We’re repositioning the Lancaster Chamber’s Young Professional Network as a launching point for emerging leaders across all industries interested in creating authentic connections, discovering the tools and resources needed for success in the workplace, and developing an awareness of the role businesses play in addressing the broader challenges facing the Lancaster community.
Through a variety of new programs, emerging leaders from across Lancaster County will hear lessons in leadership from fellow young professionals sharing their stories, engage with business professionals and community leaders, and feel equipped to be a collaborative and effective leader through a variety of professional development opportunities. Networking remains a critical element of the Young Professionals Network, with an emphasis on building and maintaining deep, long-lasting relationships with other young professionals in Lancaster.
The Young Professionals Network is a community that exists to welcome young professionals into Lancaster’s workforce, develop growth opportunities, and propel emerging leaders forward in their careers.
We want to partner with employers to engage their emerging leaders in our programming to ensure that Lancaster County remains a vibrant, prosperous community. Like many of you, we’re leaning into the tension that accompanies change and adapting our programming to meet the needs of our emerging workforce.
As your organization grows to meet the needs of emerging leaders in the workforce, we’re here to support you by providing a space for your young professionals. Invest in your organization’s emerging leaders through the Chamber’s Young Professionals Network. We’re embarking on this journey together. Join us!
Programs & Marketing Specialist
Lancaster Chamber of Commerce