No matter what career path you have chosen, there is a network for you. Professional organizations exist for a variety of careers, some exist on a national level and some are more local. After college and any secondary education, how do you still learn about the changing information within your profession? How can you find out what other professionals are doing to embrace industrial change? Professional organizations can help you answer these questions.
Some people generally join these organizations to be around a group of like-minded individuals that have the same professional interest as them. Some enter professional organizations specifically to grow their network and build their personal brand. In addition to providing information about your chosen field, professional organizations enhance your professional development and provide endless networking opportunities. Some associations even provide monetary returns such as tuition assistance through private grants and fellowships.
Here are the most important reasons you should join a professional organization:
- It is an opportunity to network with other colleagues in industry and practice.
- It allows you to make connections with others who have similar interests reinforces why one has chosen this career.
- It enables new professionals to associate with senior members of the profession and learn from them.
- They are critical in keeping abreast of the latest knowledge and practices locally, regionally, and globally.
- It helps the professional to stay abreast of current issues and opportunities and will also assist in personal advancement for the member who becomes involved.
When prospective employers seek individuals whose field knowledge is not solely dependent on college studies, association memberships are excellent supplements for your resume. Participating in a professional organization conveys to an employer that you are dedicated to your field of study. Your membership could also open doors of opportunity as you are provided with greater exposure to the job market – many organizations provide “members only” job listings in their publications.
So far, we have discussed how membership with a professional organization can impact your professional growth and all the ways you can benefit from it. However, when joining these associations, you must also understand that you will get out what you put in. Just attending meetings and events will only get you to a certain point. Building relationships is a good way to get vested within the group and for them to learn your interests. Be sure to understand that you are not building these relationships to gain anything specifically. These relationships empower you to confidently and eagerly make career decisions, continually innovate, and recover from any professional setbacks along the way. By creating bonds with like-minded individuals and collaborating with them on solving shared social problems, you could develop engaged advocates for you and for your business. It could also make them your most powerful allies in building other relationships within the association and business community.
Personally, I can say that being a part of a professional organization has given me more insight into Human Resources that makes working in this field even more enjoyable. The relationships I have created are especially important to me and the support I’ve received from making them is much appreciated. Joining a professional organization provides occasions and experiences to renew one’s enthusiasm for the practice of their field. I encourage you to get involved and genuinely believe it will be an enlightening experience.
Here’s a link to a list of Professional Organizations by Industry: https://jobstars.com/professional-associations-organizations/