So, you’re a young professional or recent grad who wants to network more. You have big hopes, big dreams and an even bigger passion for your field, but you’re looking for the right way to get keyed in. Whether you’re on the hunt for your dream job or want to become more involved, professional organizations are a great way to expand your horizons as you grow within the industry.
Within the agency world, two organizations are highly frequented by my co-workers and me – The AAF Birmingham and AL PRSA. I’ve been involved with PRSA since college, and still use it as a way to grow within my field today. Whether I was seeking mentors that are now professional friends or meeting Bill Todd and learning about an opening at o2, professional organizations have played an integral role in my growth within the industry and proved their worth in these five ways:
You can never know too many people within your field. It still amazes me how I can call upon an old contact and pick up where we last left off. In PR alone, it’s important to attend these events and make connections within the city where you live and work, because you never know where one handshake could lead.
Truth be told, you aren’t the only newbie in the city, and professionals within the organizations have been in your shoes before. It’s important to make connections and grab coffee or lunch with someone who is seasoned in order to gain the ins and outs of the industry.
So, you want a chance to share your ideas and bring something new to the table, or simply give back to the community. Organizations allow you to use your talents in a vast array of areas and grow not only in your job role, but in a community-focused role as well.
4. Potential Job Leads
As someone who found out about my last two positions through PRSA, I am a firm believer in using organizations to find out about openings that may not be posted to the public. If you’re in the job market, meetings and networking events give you the chance to meet a potential employer face to face and potentially gain access to the position of your dreams.
5. Industry Insight
In the field of PR and advertising, trends and information mediums are constantly changing, and it’s important not to get left behind. Going to events and listening to key speakers who are trained on these topics will help grow your knowledge of what’s to come, allowing you to take it back to the office and bring something new to the table.