Presence is the tangible ways in which you connect with others. This is the place where activities and behaviors that help you be seen in your organization and industry exist. When you work to build your presence, you are seeking physical ways to connect with others as well as contribute to your organization and industry. You cannot be visible if you are not seen by others!
Being visible is critical to your long-term success in your fast-moving, ever-changing organization. When you think about being visible, consider that there are three levels of visibility: low, medium, and high. The two levels that typically impact you are your personal visibility and the visibility of the work that you do.
Networking is, and will continue to be, an important professional activity for business professionals. I previously stated that 60 – 70% of employed individuals located their most recent job opportunity through networking. These numbers were corroborated in a poll I conducted on LinkedIn. I found that 59% of 1,339 respondents chose the category “by networking with friends and colleagues” as the strategy that led them to their most recent job. Therefore, networking seems to be three times more effective than using an on-line job board and almost three times more effective than using a recruiter.
Are you not feeling that you have the support of your boss when it comes to joining an association? In a previous post we discussed the importance of balancing work and industry events and being open with your boss. Here are a few more tips for getting your boss’s support and for getting her behind your decision to join an association.
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.