Select Page

Understanding Your Members’ Lifetime Career Journeys

Your association can be the top career development destination in your industry. Your membership displays a wide range of career stages – from students/new grads, early careerists, mid careerists, late careerists, to retirement. If your association caters to members at every career stage, you can: 

  • Increase member engagement, retention, and new member acquisition 
  • Increase traffic to your career center 
  • Gain insight into the career growth opportunities your members are interested in 
  • Generate additional revenue by directing members to continuing education based on their career stage 

So, let’s take a look at the steps in your members’ lifetime career journeys. 

1. Students/New Grads 

Students and new graduates join a local or student association chapter and start searching and applying for internships so they can begin crafting their professional skills. It’s also a great member benefit to match them with a mentor and connect them with a certification and accreditation program.  

TIP: Your association can connect interns and mentors through YM Careers software solutions, InternBoard and MentorBoard.  





2. Early Careerists 

Many early careerists join a professional association within their industry in the first five years of their career. At this career stage, members place higher value on  associations that help them earn certifications and map out their career path options.  

TIP: Career Journey by YM Careers inspires and empowers members to plan out their career paths. 

career pathing tool

Career Journey

This group is eager to search and apply to industry jobs using your association’s job board. They’re also going to look for opportunities to attend career fairs, and associations that can offer career events in a variety of ways (virtual, in-person, or hybrid) will stand out in their industry. Early careerists also begin engaging with Learning Management Systems (LMS) as they work on their continuing education (and as some of them prep for board exams).  

  • Subscribe to recommended jobs emails 

TIP: Job Flash™ emails from YM Careers send job opportunities to member databases, delivering open positions to the inbox of the talent employers need. 

3. Mid-Careerists 

Mid-careerists take continuing education self-assessments and focus on maintaining their certification credentials. As they progress along their recommended lifelong learning paths, they might also take leadership courses. And, as this group takes on more of a leadership role, they can help recruit and hire highly qualified staff – both for their employers and for your association. 

TIP: Your association’s career center can be backed by the world’s strongest recruitment ad sales team and process. 

4. Late Careerists 

Late careerists want to track their progress on any continuing education credits. They tend to take on more ancillary roles, such as serving on the Board of Directors. They can also build an employer brand within your association’s recruitment guide. 

TIP: Your association can get digital and printed recruitment guides from YM Careers. We take care of all the legwork, from sales and marketing to production and distribution.  

recruitment guide

Recruitment Guides

Members in this group are also great candidates to become mentors to young professionals. And, at this stage in their careers, they’re candidates for buying booths as an employer for onsite and virtual (or hybrid) career fairs. 

TIP: YM Careers fully manages career events including career fairs and annual meetings – from marketing, to sales, to execution. 

5. Retirement 

Members entering retirement obtain lifetime member status with your association and want to maintain their credentials. They’re also great candidates for guest speakers at annual conferences and other engagements. 


In your members’ eyes, the value your association provides will grow and change as they move through their careers. From initial recruitment to renewal, it is imperative that your organization understands what members want and need at each stage of their career and how you can deliver value on what they find most important.  

Learn more about how to support your members’ lifetime careers journey.

Watch the on-demand webinar, “Members for Life: Fueling the Journey from Student to Retiree”

Recommended for you

08/29/23 Association Membership

3 Ways to Improve the Value of Association Membership

5 min read
05/09/23 Association Membership

10 Ways to Improve Association Member Retention

5 min read
04/26/23 Association Membership

3 Association Trends That Will Help Your Organization Grow

5 min read

Blog Subscribe