Make a New Year's Resolution to be Involved in Your Professional Association
Posted: December 28, 2015
This year is coming to an end. Many people see the New Year as an opportunity to have a fresh start and make a resolution. Unfortunately research indicates that after six months less than half of all people who made a resolution are still on target for their goal. Make 2016 different! Make a New Year's Resolution that you can keep and benefit from. What is it you ask? Make a resolution to be more involved in your professional association.
Many of us are already members of a professional association but are you an involved member? Why should any of us care? Well, if you are looking for a way to "move the needle" in a positive direction, then your professional association is a valuable resource. Professional associations are created to serve a particular profession and maintain membership based on set requirements. These requirements may be different for individuals, industry, supporters, businesses and vendors. Membership level may provide greater participation including voting privileges, online library access and regional meetings. Professional associations provide relevant education, training and legislative updates which support requirements for professional certification for their related fields.
Most associations offer an annual local or national conference for members to attend. Conferences are essential for providing an opportunity to share and learn new information and to stay up to date on current and past issues. Associations also take time to recognize those in your field that have provided exceptional service and have achieved stellar accomplishments. Successful associations have one more important role which is making your job more fun! This can be done in a variety of ways including social events and interactive training.
Being a member of an association may provide the opportunity to advocate for your profession which you may not otherwise have. Those who are employees of a government entity, a non-profit or other profession, may not be allowed to have certain contact with political officials, specifically an activity such as lobbying. As a member or supporter of an association you may have this opportunity and be able to meet with State Representatives or members of Congress. Associations can also collaborate with related industry representatives to provide better products and services.
The idea of a New Year's Resolution can also be applied to an association. Is your association struggling to maintain membership? If this is the case then it's time to evaluate why. Does a strategic plan exist? Since everyone is feeling fresh after the holidays the start of the New Year is an ideal time for associations to review or create a strategic plan for the future. Maybe the challenge is attracting new members? If this is the case consider creating a young professionals group within your association so there is long term sustainability.
So are you ready to make your 2016 New Year's resolution? Make being more involved in your related professional association your resolution for next year. This is one resolution we will all be able to accomplish and benefit from!