Benefits Of Joining A Professional Association
Considering joining a professional organization may not be met with a lot of enthusiasm. Especially if you already have a full plate. The idea of attending more meetings or events doesn’t appeal to everyone.
Don’t write off the idea of joining a career specific organization or association. Consider the benefits joining one might offer you.
Becoming an expert in your field requires you to learn and develop your skills. Some companies have internal training programs to allow staff to attend classes or seminars. Not all companies are able to offer training to their employees.
Professional organizations can sometimes offer free or low-cost continued learning opportunities. You may have the chance to sit in on webinars specific to your job. You might be able to attend in-person seminars on relevant topics. If your company can’t provide training, a professional organization may be able to help.
Professional organizations will give you the opportunity to network with peers. Usually, professional organizations host a number of social events throughout the year. This allows its members to get to know each other on a more casual level. You will have the opportunity to meet people in your field you might otherwise never have had a chance to.
Creating professional networks will be invaluable to you as you advance in your career. A network of contacts can serve as a valuable source of information. It can be used when you’re facing challenges in your career. You can cultivate a professional network into the support system you need.
Many organizations offer professional development opportunities that are only shared with members. This may include workshops, conferences, publications and courses. Professional organizations are often focused on keeping their members up-to-date on industry trends. This can be an otherwise difficult task to do on your own.
If your job requires you to maintain a specific license, a professional organization may be able to help. They can offer you the continuing education credits you need for free.
You might even have the opportunity to take on some leadership roles. This depends on how involved you want to get with your organization. Most professional associations have boards or committees that are comprised of internal members.
Many entry-level employees could benefit from the mentorship of someone more seasoned. Depending on the size of the company you work for, mentoring opportunities might not be available.
Large professional organizations provide the benefit of having hundreds (or thousands) of people. Each member can be at a different career level.
If you are seeking a mentor, a professional organization might be the perfect place to look. You might not be looking for a mentor but someone to serve as your mentee. You could also provide guidance to someone else just starting their career.
Discounts and Perks
Many professional organizations have relationships with vendors. They can provide discounts or unique perks as part of your membership. Discounted or free subscriptions are often available too. This is for industry magazines, publications and newsletters.
Conference and seminars fees are often reduced for those who have an active membership. Being part of a professional organization could end up saving you a lot of money if you attend a lot of events.
Many professional organizations have resume experts or career coaches. They can give you tips on resume formatting or cover letter building. Even if these services don’t exist, you have likely created a network of professional contacts who can give you some advice or look over your resume.
Joining a professional organization gives your resume a boost. Potential employers are often impressed with a candidate’s membership to professional organizations. It shows you are dedicated to your career and take the initiative to prioritize it.
This can give recent college graduates an edge over other candidates for a position.
For many people, one of the most important aspect of joining a professional organization is the job opportunities. You never know where the next great opportunity will come from. Not all jobs can be found by looking through an online job board.
Unique job opportunities might be made available to you through the networking and connections you make. Keep an ear out for potential jobs during the organization’s social and professional events.
For some, the cost of a professional organization is a deterrent to joining. Please remember that these organizations usually offer a vast amount of resources you may not find elsewhere. You need to take full advantage of them so you can make sure that it was a worthwhile investment.