Participating in professional organizations is a great way to enhance your appeal to potential employers and create a portable asset for your career. Connections made through these organizations can assist you in establishing a network of professional contacts and maintaining relationships with other practitioners within a specific field. Membership in a professional organization will also provide access to statistical information, directories, journals conferences so you can stay up to date with the field's emerging issues and trends.
- Be on the cutting-edge. Show employers that you are keeping up with industry standards and the latest innovations by being involved in and learning from professional organizations. Search for a professional organization or association in your career field, join the group and play an active role in the association. Once you belong to an organization, you can take that membership with you wherever you move. Your level of involvement can change depending on your location, but you will remain a member and can use that to your advantage as an item on your resume and a talking point in an interview while you look for job opportunities at your new duty station.
- Contribute ideas. Employers value employee participation in professional organizations because it can lead to increased efficiency on the job. Professional organizations are great places for professionals to share and compare standards of practice in the field. Employers may take you more seriously if they see that you are digging deeper into your career field by participating in a professional organization. You may gain many new perspectives and approaches to challenges in your field, making you rich with problem-solving ideas for your current or future employer.
- Collaborate with professionals. Networking within professional organizations allows you to build relationships with industry leaders and other workers. Ask association members you meet whom they think you should talk to for more information about your targeted career. Professional contacts can also be an effective way to learn about job openings and to continue to expand your network. Find a mentor or become a leader and mentor to others in the association. Collaborative efforts by professionals in these organizations can improve the quality of the profession itself. Make a mark in your field through the work you do within a professional association.
With all the changes that occur in your mobile military life, belonging to a professional organization can be a welcome standard in your career. It can give you a sense of continuity and belonging while you work to find your place in the career field as you relocate. You can gain confidence and maintain the lingo and latest industry news while you are in between jobs.
You can find more information about professional associations by checking out additional resources in the Career Connections lifecycle section of MySECO. If you need additional assistance or wish to speak to someone about building networks or finding the right professional organization, speak with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or use the Live Chat feature in the header of the MySECO website.