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There are many ways to connect with professional peer groups these days, but joining a professional association may be a way to give you an edge on your resume, as well as in your day-to-day performance.  Professional associations offer local and national networking opportunities on-line and in-person.  Many conduct breakfasts or lunches with guest speakers on pertinent topics in your field.  They can also offer national conferences with training opportunities that provide an edge through official Certification programs.

 

Employers may see your membership as a clear indication of dedication to your job.  You may even meet potential new employers at networking conferences.  Most professional associations offer newsletters and websites featuring up to date innovations and concepts in your field.  They inform you of specialized training and often have job opportunity message boards.

 

Although there are fees for membership, the opportunities for sharing best practices with your peers, possibly finding a mentor, and being on top of the latest news in your field, can out way the intimidation of the membership fee.  It is worth asking your employer to pay the membership fee as well, even if they don’t offer this perk, you are sending a message that you are proactively looking to grow in your career.  Most associations offer discounts for college students that can be a great way to get noticed before entering the job market.

 

You can check out our comprehensive list of Professional Associations right here on ManagingAmericans.com.  Click here to see what is available to you. 

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