Both experienced and new planners express frustration on figuring out how to hire and manage a talented employee, or how to be good employees. Industry groups have dedicated much effort to building practice management and career development programs for new planners and experienced ones. But they jump right over the mid-level issues that are facing the profession.

Here’s an example. The FPA dedicates a considerable amount of time and funding to a career development Web site for new planners, and resources on finding a job, internships, and mentors. It has also spent a considerable amount of time helping planners build their practices through initiatives like the annual Moss-Adams/FPA Staffing and Compensation study. But there is virtually nothing from the FPA on practice management issues related to hiring, retaining, building a career track in your business, offering ownership in a business, or ways to manage and motivate employees. Nor is there anything on how to be productive in your job, add value to your firm, ask for ownership in the business, or on what constitutes a reasonable timeline to achieve advancement.

If you attend any of the national FPA conferences, you will find two groups in attendance: firm owners, and students or career changers looking for jobs. Where are the employees and new planners who are working with firm owners? In truth, there is no good reason for those folks to attend the national FPA conferences. In fact, many young and mid-level planners are beginning to wonder if there is any value at all in being a member of the FPA.–Angela Herbers