What is a professional association? Every profession has one or more. A professional association is an organization that unites and informs people who work in the same occupation. In my field, for example, these include the National Career Development Association, the Alumni Career Services Network, and Delaware Valley Career Planners, to name a few.
Many professional associations have both a national presence and regional, state, or local chapters. They offer professional development opportunities through local meetings, conferences, webinars, certification programs, etc. They also are a great way to connect and form professional relationships with others in your field. At a national conference I just attended, I met people from 33 states and two countries from schools large and small.
Being active in the local, national, and international associations in your field keeps you current on key trends and best practices in your field or industry, and facilitates making those all-important connections that may lead to your next job. Notice I say “being active.” This goes beyond attending meetings or watching webinars. Join a committee, become an officer, start an initiative. Make your mark on your profession.
If you’d like to discuss how to identify the professional associations in your field, how to get the most from that first live meeting, or anything else related to developing your career, contact Debra Franke at 215.991.3582 or email@example.com.