Education is the first step towards an exciting and fulfilling career, but what can you do to further your opportunities beyond the classroom? Joining professional organizations strengthens your network by introducing you to some of the top industry influencers and getting your name out there at the same time. Contributing your time and talents to a professional organization is an investment in your career. Learn how this investment grows below.
Expand Your Knowledge Base
The key to success in any career is to be a lifelong learner. As a member of a professional group, you gain access to continuing education courses, online resources, and seminars. You can attend conferences and learn more about industry trends and the newest innovations in your field.
Broaden Your Network
Professional relationships are a critical part of growing in your career. When you join an organization, you create contacts that you might miss out on otherwise. The organization connects you with peers that have similar career interests as well as businesses that offer you services that you may need.
Working within a professional organization helps you develop leadership skills that are important for both personal and career growth. You can volunteer to take part in committees, attend conferences, and strengthen your management skills by working with others on projects for the organization.
Over time as you progress in the organization, you can take college graduates just getting started under your wing. You can teach them the benefit of networking and being part of an organization.
How to Find Professional Organizations
If you want to join a professional organization, start by asking the people you work with or your vendors for suggestions. This will lead you to industry-specific groups.
Look online for professional groups that interest you. You can search through forums and read reviews to the find the ones that offer the most perks for your budget. You can also check your city involvement website for professional groups that might be in your neighborhood.
Be sure not to limit yourself to one organization. For example, an accountant might join the National Society of Accountants and a local organization for young professionals at the same time to take advantage of the benefits of both groups. No matter what career you chose, there is a professional organization waiting to help you succeed. You’ll find people with like interests and resources that you won’t get on your own.
Georgia WebMBA at Georgia College has access to a multitude of professional organizations. Click here to learn more.