As I headed to Baltimore last week for the annual conference of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) where I presented a workshop on writing a business plan for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses, Angela Wallace, our association president, sat down with a reporter from the New York Times to talk about the organizing industry today.
It was very exciting to be at the conference when the story was published. More prestigious papers, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, followed quickly with interviews of their own.
When I began working as a professional organizer in 2003, the notion of professional organizing was much less well-known than it is today. Now we have
- a formal education program for new organizers (I teach one of the classes in that program. It’s called PO-105 “Eliminating Excess.”)
- a legally defensible certification process (I was in the inaugural class, and it felt wonderful to have an opportunity to help shape the professional organizing industry!)
- as many participants at this year’s conference in Baltimore as the whole association claimed just 20 years ago.
Of course we still encounter folks who’ve never heard of professional organizing, those who mistake it for union organizing, and other misunderstandings. And even those who’ve heard of professional organizers don’t always know the scope of what some organizers do, including working with the client to design an organizing system just for them, consulting on planning and goal setting, and teaching clients to use new productivity tools.
That’s why it was so exciting to see our president in the paper a few days ago. I’m in favor of anything that helps overwhelmed professionals to know that there IS help available for their organizing and productivity challenges.