An excellent way of making your job search easier is joining a professional association. In almost every career field there are many different professional associations you can join that bring together people from diverse backgrounds working within the same industry. This alone can have many great benefits on your career trajectory as it can equip you with the right knowledge and experience to succeed.
The only downside to joining a professional association is that the majority charge a lot for annual membership fees which only raises one question: is it really worth it? Before making that move, you have to think about what are the benefits of joining a professional association, what’s the potential value to what you are working on or want to work in the future and assess whether this is worth of your time and money.
To help you out, here are 5 reasons why you should consider joining a professional association so that you can weigh up your options:
1. Gain practical experience outside your major
As a member of a professional association, you can get valuable practical experience even outside of your subject. Having said that, you are given the opportunity to explore alternative career paths within the same industry or even combine your major with another area that interests you e.g. marketing with public relations. Also, you can gain awareness on more specialised subjects and further your career with a Masters.
2. Network with people in your industry
You have probably heard just how important networking is in terms of searching for a job. Your connections might already know someone who is hiring and be able to recommend you with the prospect of getting a job! Otherwise, if you are not currently looking for a job, you can still network with people with whom you share similar interests and learn from each other.
3. Be up-to-date with current trends
Having a membership in a professional association can help you stay at the cutting-edge of your profession. This is perhaps the most effective way of ensuring you are up to date with ongoing events and trends within your career field and always being on top of your game. In order to be successful, you have to ensure that your work is relevant to current practices.
4. Expand your knowledge through seminars
Joining a professional association is a great way of expanding your knowledge and hands-on experience within your industry. Throughout the year, there are many conferences and seminars that take place in your country or around the area you live in that you should take full advantage of. Such presentations can provide you with a useful insight into your chosen profession and advice on how to succeed from experienced professionals who have already been there.
5. Build on your personal brand
While networking with other people, you have the chance to create and develop your personal brand easier and more effectively while being a member of a professional association. If you think about it, a circle of contacts is already at your disposal and you decide whether you want to approach them and discuss a job opportunity. All that you need is a perfect elevator pitch that will help you boast about your achievements and skills.
Becoming a member of a professional association doesn’t only look good on your CV, but also helps you explore career opportunities and meet other professionals in your field! While there are going to be membership fees, they are definitely worth the money considering how beneficial this is to your career.
So, how about you? Are you a member of a professional organisation? Let us know in the comment section below…