Young professional groups are getting older

What luck. For anyone who wishes that they were 10 years younger, it's officially happened to all of us. Sort of.

The Boston Globe ran a fun story earlier this week, written by staffer Meredith Goldstein, about how business groups for young adults have been upping the age limit of their members. While most organizations generally cater to adults from 21 to 39, some have bumped that up to a ceiling of 40 -- and even 45.

This change in thinking among those who call the shots at young business professional organizations is happening for two reasons, apparently. First, you join a group in your 20s or 30s, you like it, and then you hate to leave when you hit age 40. That's perfectly understandable. There's a great quote in the piece where one guy heading a group says: "Are you going to treat it like 'Logan's Run' and take them out back and shoot 'em? We try to be realistic about it."

But the second reason older professionals are attracted to young professional associations, according to the Globe, is that "these groups say that more people in their 40s identify themselves as young professionals because they're still single, divorced, or starting new careers."

It's a funny way to look at things. It's perfectly understandable why networking groups would appeal to single or divorced people, and men and women jump-starting a new career, and it highlights the need perhaps for someone to begin some older professional networking groups. Because if society now considers people young because we're single, divorced or starting a new career, then none of us ever have to get old.

Just don't marry, or leave your spouse or quit your job. Presto. You get to call yourself a young professional. Even if you're 80.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
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