What is a professional organization?
Professional organizations aim to govern the oversight and regulation of professional standards and practices, with the public interest in mind. Organizations that provide a venue for members to communicate and network with each other through meetings conventions and journal publications. Professional organizations strive to provide members with resources for ongoing learning opportunities and career advancement. They also add volume to your resume. Employers see that you are willing to invest in your career.
What are the advantages?
There are many advantages to joining a professional organization. There's normally a tie between your passion and your reason for wanting to join. This enables your ability to developi standards and best practices for your profession. Another huge advantage is having the opportunity to network with other members. Professional organizations offer continuous learning opportunities. Benefits can also include things such as membership group discounts, and access to scholarships, and internships.
How do I choose which one to join?
It is important to choose an organization with an established reputation and is a good fit for your goals. Do some research. Seek out established, well-run associations. Look into what groups others have joined. Attend a couple of events and social gatherings. Review membership fees and dues. Consider joining local chapters to save in costs. National chapter dues are often a little more expensive. Most of all make sure you care about the organization.
Here are 4 ways joining a professional organization enhances career growth.
1. Professional Development
Attend meetings, conferences, and workshops. Professional organizations are filled with opportunities to grow your skills.
2. Leadership and Speaking Opportunities
If you’re into public speaking, here is your chance! Offer to speak or present. Establish yourself as an expert in your field.
3. A Platform of Your Expertise
If you’re not big on presenting, no worries! Most professional organizations have a publication or journal. As a member you will find some sort of platform to publish or share your expertise.
4. Collaboration and Support
Consider this as a step above networking. Professional organizations are designed to generate opportunities for you to share ideas and collaborate with other professionals outside of your company.