Spokane Regional Networking, Social Media, Professional and Business Development
My high school football team was recently honored during halftime at the East Valley vs. West Valley game. It was in honor of our teams’ 1981 AA State Championship for the state of Washington.
As you can imagine, it was an incredible feeling and I got an opportunity to visit with friends and coaches from a talented team. It was a very special time. We were deeply honored and appreciated the administration at East Valley who decided to make this gesture to us old timers.
As I visited with former teammates and coaches prior to the game, I began to comprehend just how important our coaches were to that team and to me personally. Not just because of the discipline, strategy and the teaching element of football they provided, but more importantly, because of the mentoring and sense of belonging they instilled in many of us.
For me, the coaches on that team, and various teachers and parents during my high school years, represented much more than they probably know. They became important mentors and role models for me. They actually took a personal interest in a young man who could have gone down a much different path.
This was especially meaningful, because, like so many others, I was one of those kids who was struggling in a dysfunctional situation and desperately needed adults in my life to let me know I was important. I was fortunate to have some caring people in my life from the East Valley Community, for that I am extremely grateful.
In my case it truly took a village to raise a child.
This is even truer for today’s young adults who represent the next generation of professionals, entrepreneurs, teachers, coaches and business owners.
According to Experience.com, an online provider of career services for colleges and universities, people in their late 20’s and 30’s (Generation Y) will represent over 50% of the workforce in the next 10 years.
This is due primarily to the mass exodus of Baby Boomers from the workforce that is imminent. Unfortunately, with it goes many years of experience and wisdom that cannot be taught or learned with an iPhone app.
Our economy will eventually be run by a generation that was raised during the Internet era, where, for many, face to face interaction and social skills are not seen as vital to the human experience. Quite frankly this worries me.
According to an Experience.com survey, 79% of Generation Y indicated that face to face networking was a waste of time for building relationships.
As the next generation begins to take the reigns of our shaky economy, let’s not forget the Baby Boomers before they all head to Arizona for the winter. You never know, combining the business experience of Baby Boomers and the tech savvy Generation Y, a new game plan could be developed for our economy that becomes a winning strategy.
But it all starts with mentors who take the time to give back, and with people who are willing to be coached.
Bill Kalivas is the co-founder and managing partner for LaunchPad INW, LLC, a regional networking business that helps professionals create business relationships by connecting members online and face-to-face.