For lots of professions such as accountancy, law and medicine it is compulsory for you to join a professional association. For other professions membership is not compulsory but there are definitely benefits of joining Professional Associations.
What are Professional Associations?
A professional association can be defined as an organisation of and for professional people. They are usually responsible for providing codes of practice and guidelines for the given sector and generally work for the benefit of its members.
There are numerous professional associations covering all careers and sectors.
So why should you join a professional association?
Being a member of a professional association looks good on a CV and can be a great way of standing out of the crowd especially if you are an active member within a group.
Becoming a member of a professional association will mean that you also receive a number of specific benefits. These benefits could include:
- Access to Job vacancies you might not necessarily have heard about
- Professional publications offering a further insight into the sector
- Opportunities for professional development through training courses and workshop
- Sponsorship opportunities for further study or attending conferences
By far and away the biggest benefit of joining a professional organisation is the opportunity you get to network with a wide variety of other professionals in the sector. You will be presented with networking opportunities at conferences run by the association and if you become a member of an association task force or group. Make the most of these opportunities as they could lead to exciting opportunities.
Getting the most out of Professional associations
The best way to get the most of a professional association is to become as involved as possible. The more effort you put into being an active member (getting involved) the more benefit you will feel. Being actively involved enables you to gain a range of skills and experiences you will be able to highlight to possible employers. It may even lead to career progression as other members get to know your skills you have.
Therefore I recommend that where possible you –
- Join working groups / taskforces
- Submit articles for publications
- Apply to attend conferences
To find out more about the benefits professional associations can bring read this interesting article.