I have a “lecture” that I give to about half of my clients – get your head up off your desk and transform yourself from a company to an industry player. By becoming active in professional organizations, you have an opportunity to meet and build relationships with people outside your company. These relationships establish the connections you need not only to advance your career but also for something as basic as getting information – will anyone take your phone call and answer a question?
Recently I was reflecting on my path to finding the right organizations for me. It wasn’t easy. I’ve ended up belonging to a couple because I needed certain services they provide but didn’t end up providing much value to my business. I also belong to a couple just because in my field I need to for credibility. And then I found one that has proved to be a strategic match.
For the past few years, I’ve been part of an interesting and growing organization, Career Thought Leaders (CTL), which defines itself as a “global think tank of career industry thought leaders” – and it is starting to act like one – this year’s annual Spring conference is focused on “Framing the Future” and each Fall hosts a “Global Career Brainstorming Day” simultaneously in major cities in the U.S., Canada, and the UK – with the results consolidated and published a few months later. In addition the organization hosts a number of virtual events, provides resources through its newsletter and blog, creates a meaningful forum for networking, and has become a clearinghouse of opportunities for its members. For example, this Spring CTL was approached to provide the content for an issue of a scholarly journal – which it did, soliciting articles from its members. When it is published, I will be one of the contributors.
I invite all my readers to consider where there might be an affiliation that would add value for them professionally – and then to get involved.