Have you considered becoming a member of an association? If not, perhaps you should investigate the benefits!!
First, review and answer the following questions for yourself:
- Is continuing education part of your personal performance development plan?
- Do you wish to strengthen existing business relationships and initiate new ones with clients, client prospects and industry suppliers?
- Are you interested in building your leadership skills?
- Does the idea of making longlasting friendships appeal to you?
- Would you embrace an opportunity to become a leader in your business community?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions then its time to take the plunge and get involved!
Expanding on the above questions consider the following typical benefits of association membership:
Instant Network: The best thing about associations is they provide you with a ready-made network available as soon as your membership fee is paid. Not only will you strengthen relationships with people you already know who are members, but the door is open to making new acquaintances.
Leadership Development — Join a committee. You will not only get to know your fellow association colleagues better, but your face/voice will be out there for all to see/hear. Build strong ties with those who may help you get a job or advance your career in your particular field. You will learn much about your peers and build your leadership skills in the process. A win/win/win for everyone
Continuing Education — Most associations offer a terrific learning curriculum to their members. Participating in these educational events will impress your employer, as your commitment to the organization will be validated and credibility as a professional enhanced. If you are applying for some type of professional certification successful completion of these seminars can usually be credited towards that process.
Amazingly there is literally an association for just about any topic you can think of. To find an association serving your needs I recommend using a search engine such as google. Also across the globe there are some links available to free online directories:
- AssociationCentral.Com — Another searchable and browseable database of association links.
- Associations on the Net — A service of the Internet Public Library.
- Trade Association Forum Directory — A searchable database trade associations, guilds and federations located in the United Kingdom
- The Scholarly Societies Project — A directory of over 3,100 scholarly organizations from around the World.
There is a time commitment that goes along with being a member of an association. The really good news is the energy you put into your membership experience will be returned to you tenfold!
Do you have an experience you would like to share about being a member of an association? Please post a comment and we can all learn from your feedback!