Your reputation is built on a never-ending series of choices that you make every day. And in today’s transparent and frenetic organizations, your choices are seen by more of your colleagues, and faster than ever before.
The work that I do with my leadership coaching clients often focuses on the power of choice. My clients like talking about the concept of choice as they aspire to be more focused in what they choose to do and how they choose to do it. Often, however, in situations where my clients do have a choice, they erroneously believe they have no choice.
You’ve decided you need to get more involved in associations in your industry, but you don’t have tons of time to commit. There are many different ways to get involved without being committed on a regular basis. Presenting at an association meeting or participating on a panel may be a good way to go. Your local groups always need speakers, and they love speakers from within the industry.
Industry association memberships are work-related
An important mindset for you, your boss, and your organization is that your association membership is work-related. This is not an extracurricular activity. The benefits to you and your organization are compelling and numerous (see previous posts).
Balancing work and industry events
Balancing work and industry events in your busy organization is not easy. Engaging with industry associations can become harder if your boss doesn’t 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, or she may think that any industry-related activities should be done “off-the-clock.”
What If My Boss Thinks I’m Looking for a Job?
When you work to raise your visibility in your industry, many of you may feel you’re at risk of creating an impression with your boss that you’re looking for a new job opportunity. Many industry events are advertised as networking events where you meet colleagues from within your industry. Your boss may feel that you’ll meet a new colleague who will lure you away to a new opportunity with promises of wealth and fame.
Your professional success rests with the degree to which you raise your visibility in your organization AND your industry.
You could spend all of your time being visible within your organization at the expense of industry visibility. However, when you’re only visible in your organization, you miss opportunities for professional development and opportunities to build richer relationships with industry colleagues.