If engaging with an industry association in such a way that requires a high level of commitment is not for you, here are a few roles that can require a lower level of commitment:
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.
There are a number of reasons to attend industry association events
And identifying talent is just one of them, as Chief Executive Officer of the Northeast Human Resources Association, Tracy Burns, knows firsthand.
“It is very clear to me that the key differentiator for professional success today is building relationships with colleagues you meet through industry associations,” says Tracy. “I have seen dozens of highly-qualified human resources professionals who don’t know what is going on in the industry, don’t stay current on best practices, and, quite frankly, don’t know their colleagues.