In my little cul-de-sac neighborhood, someone in every home has a job that has been impacted by COVID. One neighbor owns a sit-down restaurant and is scraping rent together by opening for take-out every night with a shoestring kitchen crew. At another house, an oncology nurse’s schedule was reduced to every other week. Yet, another neighbor is the principle of a very successful interior design firm, and she saw her business go from far too busy to no client work in three days. Across our yards and while on walks, we share the news of furloughs and financial fears, and we are not the only ones.
Job loss is top of mind in many professions and industries right now.
One role associations can play is to help our members become indispensable. Being indispensable does not save every professional from job loss, but it can protect them because indispensable professionals have options at their fingertips.
What makes a professional indispensable?
Indispensable people know or have access to learn the technical skills they need. Many associations excel in providing this learning. Beyond the technical skills, members need more to become indispensable.
Indispensable people have strong soft-skills. They know how to influence even when they don’t have direct authority. Indispensable people are good a presenting their ideas. They have excellent listening skills, and they learned emotional intelligence.
Indispensable people understand the business behind the organization. They know their way around financial statements, they understand how their role boosts the organization’s top line, and they frequently champion ideas that will make or save money.
Indispensable people are on top of the trends. They can hold their own at any high-level meeting because they can identify the handful of significant near-term and far-off trends that are likely to impact their organization.
Right now is the perfect time to question what an association is and what your association should be doing. Perhaps one way forward is to help your members become more indispensable.