Professional organizations are a great way for you to keep up with trends and new information in your industry.
They can also provide a great opportunity to network with your peers who work in the same industry and are interested in similar topics.
What many people do not realize is that professional organizations can be a great avenue for building your skills.
Typical Professional Networking Membership
If you are new to a professional organization, you will likely join as a member and attend the regularly scheduled events. You may set a goal to meet 2 new people at each meeting and actively work on achieving that goal.
At the structured information-sharing events, you may take notes and apply that new information to your own work. You quickly begin to realize the benefits of this organization.
Why not take your membership to the next level? Ask yourself, in what ways can you make the most out of being a part of this professional organization? In your answer, consider the following perspectives: tactical skills, social skills, network building, and staying current in the industry.
The Next Level of Career Development
Making the most out of your professional organization often involves being involved in a specific position within the organization. Here are some steps to follow to identify the right position for you:
- List out the opportunities available in the organization beyond being a member, such as officer positions, committees to join, and so on.
- Of the positions available, identify which position can help you build the skills you want to develop or become proficient in.
- Finally, find out how you can move into one of those positions and what the requirements are.
These steps will help provide you with information on which positions would be good for you to consider and which ones may not be the best fit for your goals.
In general, professional organizations should be a part of your career management plan.
I would argue that you need to look at the professional organizations you are involved with and determine in what ways you can make the most out of being a part of them from the following perspectives: skills development, social opportunities, building your network, and staying current on the latest industry information. The beauty of using professional organizations to help your personal or work performance plan is that you also benefit the organization with your efforts.
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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