TRC Talent Solutions

When professionals network, they tend to focus on others who are close to their age. At times, this is simply coincidental, as they may have more interactions with members of their peer group than people outside of it. In others, it’s a bit more intentional. Professionals may believe they don’t have much in common with individuals who are notably younger or older than they are, or that those connections might not provide them with enough value to make pursuing the relationship worthwhile.

In reality, cross-generational is incredibly beneficial to professionals of all ages. Every group brings something unique to the table, so connecting can give you more opportunities to keep your career moving in the right direction.

If you are wondering why you shouldn’t just network with people who are your age, here’s what you need to know.

Why You Should Network with Younger Professionals

Many professionals assume that there isn’t much of a need to network with individuals who are a generation or more younger than them. Often, this is based on the notion that they aren’t as far along in their careers, so it may seem like the relationship wouldn’t provide you with much value.

However, these connections can be incredibly beneficial. Younger professionals may be more aware of freelance and consulting opportunities, partially because they might have more exposure to the gig economy. They also tend to be tech-savvy, so they understand how to use technology to their benefit. Plus, they are invested in social media, often cultivating large networks that their connections might be able to tap as well.

At this point, Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. Additionally, the oldest members of Generation Z are arriving in the workplace, and they are already making their presence known. As a result, Baby Boomers and members of Generation X shouldn’t ignore their younger counterparts. Otherwise, they may miss out on valuable connections that can help them advance their career.

Why You Should Network with Older Professionals

Some younger professionals question whether networking with older individuals is worth their time. They might assume that seasoned professionals are technology-averse, behind the times, or stuck in their ways. Additionally, they may think that they wouldn’t have anything in common with older generations. In the vast majority of cases, none of that is true.

Many older professionals are incredibly well-versed in the trends and growth of their industry or field. Plus, they have a wealth of experience under their belt, usually having already navigated the roads that younger professionals are just starting to walk.

Additionally, older generations might be more likely to be in leadership roles. They might be aware of job openings that aren’t publicly advertised or be heavily involved in hiring decisions. Plus, they often have strong networks filled with managers and company leaders, and those are assets that other members of their network may be able to tap on occasion.

Looking to develop your career?

Ultimately, cross-generational networking is always beneficial, no matter your age. If you’d like to learn more about building a robust network, the team at TRC Talent Solutions can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our professional networking expertise can benefit you.