Do you have the time or the desire to make more of a commitment to membership in an association? If so, then the Board of Directors is the place for you. Being a board member in an association requires the highest degree of commitment, and represents the highest degree of complexity. Board roles typically include President, President-Elect, and Vice-President. Being on a board can be very rewarding, as it provides you the greatest opportunity to impact member experience.
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.
So after all the discussion about belonging to an association and the benefits involved, are you still not convinced that it’s a good idea? Before you click away and go back to your busy work or home life, try a few of these suggestions to make absolutely sure joining an association isn’t right for you.
As you’ve seen, there are so many reasons to get involved with an organization in your industry. Once you convince your boss of the importance, and get her buy in, the benefits are many for both you and the company. Often times your boss will even see the benefit, so much so that she is willing to pay the membership fee, if there is one. Once a member, you need to decide what role you’d like to play – some requiring more of a commitment than others.
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.