Raise Your Visibility & Value

Raise Your Visibility & Value: Visibility Accelerator #6 – Engage with Industry Associations


Raise Your Visibility & Value highlights seven visibility accelerators. Our sixth visibility accelerator is “Engage with Industry Associations.”  Learn how to interact and participate with colleagues outside of your organization.

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Ed’s new book, Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please check it out and share the word!

Raise Your Visibility & Value

Raise Your Visibility & Value: Visibility Accelerator #5 – Participate with a Purpose


Raise Your Visibility & Value highlights seven visibility accelerators. Our fifth visibility accelerator is “Participate with a Purpose.” Learn how to engage with colleagues in your organization and industry one-to-many.

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Ed’s new book, Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please check it out and share the word!

Raise Your Visibility & Value

Raise Your Visibility and Value: Creating a Value Identification Statement


Raising your value in your organization is not easy. A great place to start is to create a value identification statement. This document allows you to catalog your current work efforts and also creates a platform for you to use during your conversation with your boss. In this video, listen and watch as Ed reviews an effectively designed value identification statement.

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Ed’s new book, Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please check it out and share the word!

Ed Evarts

Raise Your Visibility & Value: What Types of Industry Associations Can I Engage With?

The types of industry associations that exist are endless. In an effort to create camaraderie among industry professionals, share best practices, provide education, and create opportunity, every industry is represented by numerous associations. Here are just a couple examples of professions and corresponding associations:

If you are a…              Take some time to explore…         At this website

Nurse                                         The American Nurses Association                   nursingworld.org

HR Manager                  The Society for Human Resources Management                shrm.org

 

Looking for associations that represent a specific category rather than a specific job title or industry? Simply Google your role, profession, or category followed by the word “association.” You are bound to find either a local, national, or international association that will provide you an opportunity to engage with individuals who share your interests.

Ed Evarts

Raise Your Visibility & Value: The Commitment & Complexity in Various Industry Association Roles

Last, we learned about the various roles you can play when engaging with industry associations. Each role has varying degrees of commitment and complexity. Here are a few details for each:

  • Guest. Also known affectionately as a “non-member,” most association meetings and events are open to everyone. Attending an industry association event before you join the association is a great way to “kick the tires” to assess if this is the group for you.
  • Member. Once you join the association, you become eligible for the benefits that come with membership, including reduced registration prices for events and access to industry resources that are not open to non-members.
  • Writer/blogger. Most industry associations have a website, a newsletter, and a blog. If attending a meeting is not possible for you, perhaps providing content for an industry publication is an alternative. Even if you cannot attend every meeting, you can identify a topic of interest to the membership for publication. Industry associations are always seeking content for their newsletters, and your submission will be welcomed.
  • Committee volunteer. Most associations have a number of committees that allow you to help the association including finance, marketing, membership, programming, professional development, public relations, and sponsorship. As a volunteer on a committee, you can bring your professional expertise (i.e., your talent with numbers or your love of the sales process) to the association during the year. Many individuals join a committee before moving on to more complex roles, such as serving on the Board.
  • Special project volunteer. If participating on a committee for a year feels like too much of a commitment, your industry association may host a special event (e.g., a regional conference) during the year. These special events are like a project – they have a start and end date – and once the event is over, so is your commitment.
  • Workshop/webinar/teleclass facilitator, speaker, or panelist. Whether you join your industry association or not, presenting or participating on a panel is a good way to engage with your industry. Associations are always looking for speakers who will elevate the education level of their members.
  • Board of Directors member. When you are ready to maximize your visibility within your industry, the Board of Directors is the place for you. Being on an association Board requires the highest degree of commitment, and represents the highest degree of complexity. Board roles typically include President, President-Elect, and Vice-President for the committee roles listed earlier. Being on a Board can be a very rewarding experience as it provides you the greatest opportunity to impact member experience.
Ed Evarts

Raise Your Visibility & Value: What Roles You Can Play When Engaging with Industry Associations

You can engage with an industry association in several ways. In most associations, there is something for everyone, and each of these roles vary in their degree of commitment and complexity.

You can actively engage with an industry association as a:

  • Guest
  • Member
  • Writer/blogger
  • Committee volunteer
  • Special project volunteer
  • Workshop/webinar/teleclass facilitator, speaker, or panelist
  • Board of Directors member

Next we’ll discuss a few more specifics for each.

Ed Evarts

Raise Your Visibility & Value: Sample Memo to Your Boss Regarding Your Attendance at an Industry Event

Once you convince your boss that your membership and your attendance is work-related, you want to have your organization pay for your membership or registration fees. How do you start? You could write a memo similar to the example below, or use the key points from this example as talking points for a conversation.

Sample Memo

Dear Sharon,

I am interested in attending a professional development workshop being hosted by the Software Development Association (SDA). The workshop is on Tuesday, April 10, starting at 8:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm.

The SDA is a global organization dedicated to the professional development of business professionals in the software industry. As I continue to grow my career with our organization, I believe attending this event has the following advantages:

  • I would like to use this opportunity to search for candidates for the open Legal Assistant role. There will be over 100 professionals in attendance at this workshop.
  • I would like to recap best practices that I learn during the workshop and share them with you. Together we may identify a couple of best practices that we can implement here.
  • I want to seek out a colleague who is familiar with the new invoicing platform to which we will be moving in three years. I anticipate this colleague can provide us some information and advice about his/her experiences.

During my absence, I plan to have Marc be the “point-person” for my team and any client issues. I am going to meet with my team two days before the workshop to plan for my absence, and meet with them the day after the workshop to ensure any issues that arose during my absence were immediately addressed.

I anticipate that attending this workshop, as well as any challenges I face managing my absence, will help me grow my capabilities as a leader at our organization. To that end, I am also requesting that you approve paying for the workshop which costs $499.00 (lunch and materials included).

I am excited about this opportunity and appreciate your support. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Best regards,

Carl

Ed Evarts

Raise Your Visibility & Value: How Do I Get My Company to Pay for My Industry Association Membership?

An important mindset for you, your boss, and your organization is that your membership in an industry association is work-related. This is not an extracurricular activity. The benefits to you and your organization, as we reviewed in prior posts, are compelling and numerous.

Once you convince your boss that your membership and your attendance is work-related, you want to have your organization pay for your membership or registration fees. Ideally, your boss has budgeted money for industry memberships and meeting registrations. If not, help your boss become proactive by allocating dollars during the budget planning cycle for professional development and industry memberships. The fastest way to close a conversation regarding your organization paying your fees is that there is no money budgeted.

Ed Evarts

Raise Your Visibility & Value: Gaining Your Boss’s Support for Industry Association Engagement

Here is a more in depth look at how you can help ensure that your boss’s mindset regarding your participation in industry association events is a hurdle rather than a roadblock:

  1. Be open with your boss. Your participation in an industry association should not be a secret. In order to reduce the stress that your boss or your organization may create due to your membership in an industry association, be open with your boss regarding any industry affiliations. Share with your boss that while you anticipate it will be infrequent, you will be interested in attending an industry meeting or conference that might occur during a workday. Confirm with your boss that you will let her know immediately so that your attendance is not a surprise.
  2. Ask for support. Once your boss is aware that you might attend an industry association meeting or conference during the workday, ask for his support. Ensure he understands that the meeting is work-related, and remind him of the benefits, including the following:
    • You will network with other business professionals in order to identify talent for key open positions in your department.
    • You will network with industry experts who might have insights on how to plan and implement a big project that is scheduled to start next year.
    • You will learn and bring back to the organization best practices that can help the organization achieve its short- and long-term goals.
    • You will accelerate your professional development, increasing the value that you provide the organization.
  3. Plan for your absence. Once you are committed to attend an industry event that occurs during the workday, ensure that you plan for your absence. Often, you boss will feel less angst if she knows that pending work is being completed while you are away. Delegate key tasks to your subordinates, and ask a peer to act as a “point-person” for your team in your absence. This way, you ensure that the work you are responsible for gets done. By identifying a peer to act as your point-person during your absence, you also reduce the risk of drowning in a flood or emails and phone calls from subordinates, clients, and bosses.
  4. Deliver on your plan. In order to ensure that you can attend future events during the workday, you must deliver on your plan. Nothing will shoot down a future request to attend an industry event during the workday faster than the memory of a debacle that occurred during your last absence. Assuming your plan worked, ensure your boss is aware that your team rose to the occasion.
Ed Evarts

Raise Your Visibility & Value: How Do I Balance Work and Industry Association Engagement?

Balancing work and industry association engagement in your busy organization is not easy. Engaging with industry associations can become harder if your boss does not support the concept. Your boss may feel that industry association meetings are just social or networking events “dressed-up” to look like a work-related event. Your boss may believe that engaging with your industry is not a productive use of time. Your boss may think that any industry related activities should be done “off-the-clock.” If your boss has any of these perspectives, his lack of support can be a significant hurdle to your efforts to engage with your industry.

In order to ensure that your boss’s mindset is a hurdle rather than a roadblock, follow these steps:

  • Be open with your boss.
  • Ask for support.
  • Plan for your absence.
  • Deliver on your plan.

Next week, we’ll take a more in depth look at how you can ensure that your boss’s mindset is a hurdle rather than a roadblock.