It is important to make sure you get into the habit of putting yourself in the right place at the right time. Organizations are great ways to accomplish this. Professional organizations can be used to strengthen your network, further your career, or just help you get used to a new area. Professional networking organizations can be a great option for you in many aspects of your life and career. Not only will you gain valuable information about your chosen field, professional organizations can enhance your personal and professional development and provide endless networking opportunities. It doesn’t matter where you are or what your industry is, there is an organization that is for you.
Here are the Corporate Hustlers’ top 10 reasons for joining a professional networking organization:
Expand Your Knowledge: You need to constantly work on improving your skills in your industry. Professional organizations sometimes offer courses, seminars, and/or lectures to keep themselves and their members up to date on the latest trends in their industry. It’s also a way to become a thought-leader in your industry by answering questions and providing solutions for others. I always stress the importance of becoming a subject matter expert in your field this can be your foundation for doing just that.
Career Enhancement: The best source to find out who is hiring, are the people who work for the companies. When you join a professional organization and begin networking, you can obtain information on job openings, what it’s like to work for their company, and how their pay is, directly from insiders. This is a great way to find targeted job postings for your area of interest.
Resume Upgrades: Many organizations have career resources available for tips on effectively building your resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile. They will know what the popular keywords and buzz skills that would help set your resume and LinkedIn profile up. Listing your association membership on your resume is impressive to current or future employers, as it shows that you are dedicated to staying connected in your profession.
Examples of organizations: You can Learn a skill while networking ToastMasters Black Women Golf Black girl Run Girl Trek
Enhance your network: If you don’t know who you should be networking with or where to start, just mingling with your industry peers is a great start. Professional organizations provide the environment for you to cultivate a relationship with key movers and shakers in your industry and community. Making connections is critical, and joining associations gives you countless opportunities to connect on a local, national and even global level. Creating professional relationships is important, and joining a group allows you to have a sense of security and trust that you are not wasting your time.
Be a Leader: There is more than one way to grow your leadership skills. Professional associations and organizations give you a great opportunity to develop your skills as a leader. They normally have everything from executive board positions to committee chair roles, and more. They provide great experiences that you can take back into your work environment.
Examples of general professional organizations: Junior League NPHC Organizations Urban League/ Young Urban League National Coalition of Black Women
Become a mentor: You should make it a habit to give before you receive. As you begin to network, you will run into others that need your advice and could learn from your experience. Use professional organizations as a place to give back and add value. This is a great way for you show your professional skill set while creating an ally in business. Participating in LinkedIn Groups, organizational panels, and other activities sponsored by an association is also a great way to grow your network while giving back to it.
Make strategic new connections: It is hard once we graduate from school, to know the best places to find like-minded people to interact with. Professional organizations are breeding groups to spark new connections that become lifelong friends and business associates. Use professional networking groups as an opportunity to escape the norm and meet new people that may give you a reason to come out of your shell a bit more and have fun. There is no growth in your comfort zone, practice being more confident inside of professional organizations and you will see it translate into your work environment.
Examples of Great Industry Specific Organizations: Society of Women Engineers Women In Technology National Society of Black Engineers SCRUM Alliance
Give back to the community: Once you are vested in a quality professional organization, you will find they are always finding ways to use the organization’s collective knowledge and resources to give back to the community. There are plenty of organizations that coordinate socially conscious initiatives to support community efforts. It can be something as simple as a party for a cause event or more hands-on events like feeding the homeless, teaching girls to code, or cleaning up the community. If you know you like to give back, but don’t know where to begin a great professional organization will be able to assist.
Numbers Matter: Once you join a professional organization you will see quickly that you have common problems that are shared amongst other members that need to be solved. You are not alone in your frustrations at work or your not the only one who doesn’t have a clear vision for their career. Together you will discover and share solutions to get over those common obstacles. Long days in the office are common and you don’t always have time to research, but somebody you meet may already have the answer or solution to your problem. At the end of the day, you may have ideas for cultivating partnerships, yet not feel up to shouldering all the responsibility to organize them. In a community organization, you have access to an established support system of experienced people who are motivated to get things done.
Empowerment: Professional organizations can expose aspects of your industry that you never knew existed. You don’t know what you don’t know. They can put you on to strategies, tips, and information to help you learn to love what you do! Once you take the time to get to know the organization and become a part of the community, they keep you inspired and motivated to get things done. It’s important to be proactive about things you discover on the journey. I encourage you to join a professional organization and get out your comfort zone.
Hope I run into you soon at a professional organization event!
Demishia, The Corporate Hustler
Be sure to join us on Corporate Hustle Podcast that is available on ITUNES, Google Play Store, and Soundcloud to continue the conversation on how to utilize professional organizations to enhance your professional endeavors.