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3 Reasons to Get Involved in Professional Organizations

by AICPA | Feb 01, 2016   ()

Getting involved can benefit you in many ways—from networking, to the feel-good aspect of volunteering, to developing lasting personal and professional relationships. Yet, time is limited, and with a busy career and social life, you can’t possibly get involved with all the organizations in which you might be interested or with those who want you as a volunteer.

How do you decide which organizations are right for you? You have to think about your objectives in terms of how your service helps fulfill your own professional development goals, your employer’s desire to bring in and keep business, and the kind of service you want to give.

Reason #1: Professional Development 
Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you looking for professional contacts?
  • Do you need a mentor?
  • Are you looking for educational opportunities, certifications and seminars that will further your industry knowledge?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to join and get involved in a professional organization. Professional and trade organizations offer development and connections with others in your field and enhance your business profile. Having an industry association on your resume says you are very committed to your profession and actively participating in its advancement. Clients, customers, and employers like that.

Here’s a tip that you can use all your life: Don’t just show up; volunteer! Attending a monthly meeting is great for face time, but it may also mean that you’ll get a reputation as an observer instead of a participant. If you really want to get to know people and showcase your own abilities, get involved. Serve on a committee, volunteer for an event, and/or become a board member. These volunteer activities build long-lasting relationships and potential business opportunities.

Reason #2: Look for New Acquisitions
Who doesn’t want to help grow their firm, acquire new customers, and even find great staff for their company? While it’s great to be involved in an organization, if it is not meeting your objectives, you may need to broaden your perspective. To do this, you need to know who you want to acquire; in most cases, that’s a new client or customer.

Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. If they are involved in the local chamber of commerce, then that’s where you’ll want to be. Are they involved in their own industry group, such as manufacturing or technology? If so, find one that is targeted to their industry. Leverage your knowledge of that industry and ask your current clients where they are involved. Perhaps go with them to a meeting.

Keep in mind that “intent” is important. You can’t just show up at a meeting with the self-serving aim of getting clients. Go as a resource with the motive to learn the issues; after all, your goal is to help prospects find solutions. It is not about you; it is about them. And again, really commit to getting involved. Just showing up is never enough.

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Source: AICPA
Source: AICPA

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