Association membership is a valuable tool for professionals interested in advancing in their field. Most people join because of the benefits the association offers. Many professionals who lead busy lives know that being part of an association gives them the opportunity to stay up to date on industry trends. Joining an association pays off in the long run as it gives members a competitive advantage. Here are some benefits of joining an association:
- Access to specialized and current information- Associations offer resources, latest news, events, best practice procedures, or developments that can affect the industry. Experts are available to answer questions and offer mentorships. Other resources are newsletters, directories, books, articles, publications and job listings. Being part of an association is like having inside information.
- Networking- Being in an association gives members the unique position to attend conventions, seminars, award dinners and other related events with like-minded professionals. These events can form a development of ideas and collaborative efforts outside of your workplace. Members can connect with prospective employers at annual meetings and make contacts with other members.
- Training and Education- Some associations offer advanced training and certification courses. Many of these are required to advance in the field. Specialized courses offer prestige and reliability in the mind of customers or employers.
- Advocacy- Professional associations regularly lobby the government on behalf of industry to ensure their interests are protected. By becoming a member, professionals can be active in those efforts or at least be informed of what is being done on their behalf. Associations can also sponsor nonprofits and provide member volunteer support and participation.
- New Opportunities- Associations are full of opportunities and resources to help members advance their career. Most professional organizations provide access to mentors, giving members opportunity to participate in mentoring others as well.
Being in an association not only helps members bond together as they share experiences and challenges, it allows them to advocate for each other. The top associations per industry offer an extensive resource library, several events per year, and the latest updates relating to the industry. Don’t forget that listing a professional association membership on your resume is commendable to prospective employers, as it shows them you are invested in your career.