Why should you invest in yourself by joining a professional organization?
Some organizations invest in their staff and allow for professional development and education opportunities, while some organizations don’t have the budget or resources for it. Some organizations allow you to attend one per year, while others make you pay out of pocket.
I elected to join a professional organization for several reasons. If you decide to go forward, you need to determine which is the right one. Start by asking these questions:
- What’s important to you and your profession?
- What’s expected at work? The culture of the organization you belong to might prefer certain organizations over others, so you may need to consider that.
- What can you get out of the membership – more importantly, what can you give to the profession through membership?
- What do want out of the membership? Are you looking for professional guidance or coaching? Are you looking for advocacy? There are a lot of orgs that have representatives that go to congress or state legislators.
- Are you looking for training opportunities or networking? That’s the foundation of a lot of professional organizations – knowing folks in your field. There are other opportunities like publishing or presenting or just learning more about your profession by being part of these organizations.
- Are you willing to be involved in your profession? Are you willing to motivate professionals to be members of the org?
- Are you willing to mentor new members or students?
For me, joining a professional organization isn’t just about networking. It’s also the continued education. It’s also a service to the profession. I believe it health IT; I want to serve it and be part of it. I also like the ability to have input on the future growth and development of the health IT arena.
Once you decide on these answers, join an organization and be an active part of it. It’s important to invest in yourself, but even more, it’s important to invest in the profession that you chose. This has helped me throughout my career, and I hope it helps you as well.