According to the US Census Bureau, most businesses are relatively small. 99.7% of companies in the US have 500 or fewer employees. Even in organizations with 500 staff, most professional positions are held by people who are the only ones who do what they do at that organization. Sometimes these roles are differentiated by hierarchy (CEO, VP, Director) and sometimes these roles are distinguished by skill set or responsibility, like a subject matter expert or technical lead.
When you are the only one who does what you do, you are always different. Your goals may be at odds with other people’s goals. For example, you may be trying to speed a project up or slow it down. You see things others do not see, and so you may not share the same frustrations or triumphs. You get so used to feeling like the only one you do not realize that you are not the only one.
One of the first soft benefits many new members receive from their association is realizing for the first time they are not alone. Over and over new members report that THIS IS SUCH A GREAT FEELING. They join and go to the conference or attend a chapter event and for the first time, they get to interact with people whose goals are the same, who share like experiences, and who think similar thoughts.
What about those new members who can’t make it to the conference or chapter event? How can you let them know they are not the only one?