THE MOVERS

July 6th, 2010

Benefits of Joining a Professional Association

businesscard

Professional associations are the most forgotten and misunderstood career development tools. The thought of having to put yourself out there and meeting other professionals can be intimidating.

networkingSome people are too busy to invest time in this additional relationship building, while others do not see the return on investment for association fees. The initial cost of membership varies but can reach up to hundreds of dollars. And of course, professional association meetings are offered during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

These meetings vary greatly in cost. And most professional associations have an annual conference with vendors and seminars, which can also be costly. However, networking is essential for business and entrepreneurial growth. Below are a few benefits of joining professional associations:

Expand your professional network. Many people only connect with those who work directly with them. Professional associations allow you to build relationships with professionals in your field that may not necessarily be a co-worker. This is essential for business growth as current contacts can be very limiting. Students should also take advantage of professional associations as it allows you to meet like-minded students. This opens up the opportunity for future business ventures and lifelong partnerships.

Consistent updates on current industry trends and developments. Many organizations host workshops and/or classes on the latest trends and members often are allowed to attend at a free or discounted price. These workshops are often inclusive and taught by notable professionals throughout the industry; which allows you direct access to them. Furthermore, possessing knowledge about your industry awards you a competitive edge against competition for new employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

An opportunity to increase awareness of your company. Entrepreneurs, this is an ongoing avenue to promote your business while simultaneously receiving pertinent advice on your business plan, vision, and strategies from owners who have created long-lasting businesses.

Discover what other companies are doing. Many individuals possess a ‘tunnel vision’. This means that they are only prone to their company’s way of doing business. Gaining exposure to other ways of doing business is a necessity, as employers are constantly looking for employees who are flexible and bring a fresh mindset to their companies.

Access to monthly, quarterly, and/or annual newsletters. Sometimes, professional groups offer job listings and an opportunity for members to advertise what they are looking for. This is also another way to stay up to date with what your association is doing without having to attend every single meeting. These newsletters also promote what other chapters, outside of your region, are doing.

The benefits of joining a professional association are quite obvious. Are you ready to join? Yes. Are you ready to attend a meeting? Not quite. What happens once you pay your initial fees? Well it depends. Here are some strategies that will ensure that you make the most out of your membership.

Have a strategy for attending the meeting. Have your business cards ready. If you are shy, practice your speech and responses with a co-worker or friend beforehand.

Pre-determine a goal for the meeting. Challenge yourself by ensuring that you meet 2-4 new contacts. Collect their cards and write brief notes about them on the back to jog your memory. The notes could be both personal and professional in nature. Personal could be a similar Greek organization membership that you share or your hometown(s). Professional can range from their place of employment to career goals.

Volunteer to join a committee within the association. This will allow you to capitalize on the skills that you may or may not already possess. Also, you will have personal access to relationship building with other people within the association.

Follow up with your new contacts. Always be ready to sell yourself. Be open, you never know who they may know. Take advantage of every opportunity to have lunch with a fellow member. That way you gain a new friend, both personally and professional.


About the Author

Joshlyn Ross
A native of Oakland, California, Joshlyn Ross works diligently to share variations of industry news. She also shares words of wisdom and tips for other young professionals looking to capitalize in their respective fields.




 
 

 
5960338-brainstorming-concept--related-word-cloud-color-sticky-notes-and-white-chalk-lines-on-blackboard

7 Rules to a Perfect Brainstorming Session

We all know that as budding entrepreneurs we have to create new ideas 24/7. We always have to have our thinking caps on and forge new ways to market our products or make people want to use our services. When we are sleeping, ou...
by DeAndra Harrison
278

 
 
018pdu5a8rflF_140

Top 5 Best Cities for Jobs

As the economy continues to ride an emotional roller coaster, as young professionals we can either wait in line or find another thrill. Some things that you might consider…  turn your hobby into an interest or possibly a...
by DeAndra Harrison
125

 
 
popquiz1

So You Think You Can Be an Entrepreneur?

There is an enormous difference between wanting to do something and being able to make a living at doing that something. Have you ever watched the American Idol audition shows and witnessed a tone deaf singer’s shocked re...
by Socialtik Mag
159

 

 
trust1_2

Can Your Boss be Trusted?

A certain level of trust is needed for any team or business to succeed, but trust encompasses a lot of things and definitely means different things depending on who you are. It is unquestionably important that you are able to p...
by Socialtik Mag
73

 
 
Shortcuts

Look Smarter; Work Faster

Businesses are really pushing efficiency of their work force, doing everything they can to get more out of their employees. More and more of our daily tasks are becoming computer-centric and many people, young professionals inc...
by DeAndra Harrison
12

 



6 Comments


  1. Love your job? Check out the National Apartment Association's “Get Reel” Career Video Challenge and you could win a a trip to the 2011 NAA Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNCRxaxvSGg


  2. a href=”” title=””>

    <code


  3. I really liked your blog quite informative and interesting facts and figures you have discussed on your blog even the comments are very fruitful and helpful in enhancing the knowledge regarding the topic.


  4. Last summer our kids and I headed on the path for just a four day extravaganza. Something I might normally dread as my children come up with a practice of messing around with every toy they generate the initial half an hour.


  5. Very much like such a good blog, hope to have more information to share with us


  6. Always be ready to sell yourself. Be open, you never know who they may know. Take advantage of every opportunity to have lunch with a fellow member. That way you gain a new friend, both personally and professional.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Twitter Users
Enter your personal information in the form or sign in with your Twitter account by clicking the button below.


thru 9/26 - Fall Sale. 30% Off select styles. Disc