Professional status - where do project professionals figure?
A recent poll published by the Guardian asked people how much status particular groups of people have in society today. The sample surveyed was representative of UK population as a whole. Top of the pile unsurprisingly were doctors and nurses, followed in order by: teachers, lawyers, architects, social workers, computer consultants, management consultants, politicians, website designers, bankers and last of all journalists.
The Guardian notes that journalists were at the bottom of the respect pile 10 years ago so not much has changed, especially when you realise that this poll was completed in mid July at the height of the phone-tapping scandal. So is there anything that the professionals in project management can take from this survey? Its good to see that professions where project managers are likely to be found feature in the middle rankings, although I do wonder where project managers would fit if the question were asked, given the media profile of PMs thanks to The Apprentice! Bankers fare worse than politicians, although interestingly the Guardian chose to report the findings otherwise, claiming that politicians were second last.
Professional status is one of the key reasons why people choose to join professional bodies, including APM. But the challenge to the professional body is then to create value around a very intangible requirement. How does a member judge whether their professional body is meeting their needs in terms of professional status? What tangible or visible benefits satisfy them? Post-nominals, demand for particular qualifications amongst recruiters and employers, seeing your professional body mentioned regularly in the media - these are the most-mentioned when we ask the question. But am I missing something and if so, what is it?