By April 29, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Member of an Association? It’s more than just a resume builder!

Member of an Association? It’s more than just a resume builder!

Building a professional career in your chosen field means more than simply doing a good job for your employer. It also means getting involved in an association that represent your industry or profession to expand your knowledge and learn from others.

If you look at what you do as a profession, not just a job, you will benefit from involvement in related association.

Associations can bring a great deal of value to your career and your job, ultimately benefiting your employer at the same time. This includes networking, learning from others and perhaps even earning a designation.

Since most associations exist to further the industry and benefit their members, they usually have resources to expand your knowledge in the field beyond the scope and experiences of your current role. This not only benefits you as a member, it also benefits your employer as you apply things you learn from the industry to your current job.

The resources available to you as a member can include books, research reports, local chapter seminars, industry councils, annual conferences and association publications such as newsletters and magazines. In addition, the association gives you the opportunity to network with other professionals and solution providers within your industry. These resources give you a wider perspective on the issues and solutions that impact your profession.

Deciding which association is the best fit for your current role and your career aspirations is important. Sometimes there are a variety of associations that cater to similar professions or industries. Each one of has a particular emphasis or focus. Often, membership in more than one association is ideal, since you are exposed to a broader range of fellow professionals, resources, industry experts and experiences. Some associations also have industry-recognized certifications or designations that help demonstrate your base of knowledge to current and future employers.

To get the most value out of your association, you can’t just sign up. You need to be an active member by becoming involved in the association. Attend seminars, conferences and even volunteer in some capacity.

Being part of an association itself can be quite rewarding, whether you hold a formal position or become part of a committee. Committees usually cover a wide range of functions, provide lots of opportunities and certainly welcome volunteers. By volunteering for a committee, you will get exposure to the association, increases your networking opportunities and contribute to your profession based on your interest and available time.

By getting involved, you can then decide whether you want to pursue a formal position in the association at a later date.

From a career perspective, being an active member of an association will show better on your resume than simply listing a membership. Your involvement will also open more doors to you through new connections than if you are simply a passive member.

While it may be difficult to get your current employer to support your membership fees or time spent involved in the association, it’s up to you to demonstrate the value to the company, not just to your career. For your next job, make support, ongoing education and even funding attendance at an annual conference part of your employment conditions.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

Posted in: Career

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