Most professionals are in pain. In the not so distant past mid-level and more senior-level manager positions offered security, a sense of a job well done and mastery. Now when I talk to friends about their jobs I hear: frustration, anger, fear, loneliness and discouragement. The naked pursuit of revenues pales compared to the mission they bought into all those years ago. Some are bored because they have been confined to a very narrow box while at other companies employees are experiencing round after round of layoffs. Former friends act badly while they jockey for a place in the new organization. Today fewer professionals in the corporate world talk about pride, fun, connection, contribution or excitement.
Things have changed. Decades ago competent employees were rewarded with life-long work. More companies felt a duty to their employees, not just to the stockholders. The relentless pressure to eke out a fraction more revenue or market share was less then than it is today. And this is not changing anytime soon. We are in the race to the bottom as Seth Godin says.
Professionals are in pain and this opens a gaping void that associations can (should) step into. Professionals want real connection, mastery and security. They want to contribute to something meaningful, they want to be heard, they want to look into the future, they want time to reflect, they want to belong and they want to matter. How do we step into this void and fill this need for our members far better?