Should You Join A Professional Organization? If so, which one? - Part 1
Joining a professional organization is a great way to keep in touch with the industry, stay up to date with the latest trends and technology, enhance your network, and advance your career. You can find professional organizations for almost any industry and at a local, state or/and national level. The administrative professional industry is no different. You can find a variety of organizations and some even focus on various specialties.
As a new graduate or someone just entering the industry, belonging to a professional organization gives you legitimacy and an easy access network when starting your job search. Attending events or functions will allow you to meet and interact with others. You can build relationships with potential mentors, employers, and even competitors. As your network grows they can help alert you when new positions open or give you tips on where, when, and how to look for a position. In addition to this, many professional organizations include a job board specifically for their members.
Many organizations provide opportunities for training and certification. As you grow in your administrative career you will need to stay competitive in the industry, by continually updating and learning new skills to best support those you work for and with.
As with anything, there are pros and cons of joining an organization. Most have yearly membership fees and some require you to fulfill certain responsibilities, such as volunteering, which can be difficult to fit into your already busy schedule. That being said, the pros of joining an organization greatly outweigh the cons.
The administrative professional industry has a variety of professional organizations that you may want to look into. Most are for any type of administrative professional but some focus on one industry or another. There is a great blog post here that further discusses the benefits of professional organizations and has a short list of administrative professionals associations. In the coming weeks we will discuss a few of the organizations mentioned in the blog and others, more in depth.