September 17, 2014

Believe it or not, LinkedIn is not the only resource you can use to expand your professional network. Joining a professional development or networking group can actually work wonders for your career so we strongly suggest making time for it. Being an IT professional requires keeping up with trends, risk management knowledge and increasing your skillset to stay relevant in the field. If you are interested in enhancing your growth and education as an IT professional, then joining a professional association can be of value for you!

Benefits of Joining a Professional Association

Professional associations can provide you access to a forum of industry professionals in one community to share ideas, learn best practices for business solutions, continuing education, mentorship comradery and more. Not only can joining a professional association bring value to you personally, but through your involvement you can also provide value to others by sharing your knowledge and establish yourself as an expert.

Mentorship is another key program which a lot of associations offer to provide opportunities for support and guidance from other professionals in your community. For example, York’s association, Think IT, is one professional association in the IT community that offers a mentorship program in which all members can participate regardless of level.

Other benefits of IT associations include:

  • Collaboration – Sharing ideas, seeking advice and learning best practices for business solutions that you or your peers are facing.
  • Exploring Current Trends – Opportunity to learn and engage about current insights within your industry and explore situations that your peers are experiencing.
  • Professional Development – Being a part of a synergized group can help expand your wealth of knowledge for your professional skillset and can even lead to job opportunities through the connections that you make.
  • Better Job Performance –With support from the association and mentors, you can feel inspired and motivated; recharged in your focus at work.
  • Emerging Skillsets –There are four generations in the workforce today and professional associations are building future leaders by providing a community for engagement.

It’s not always what you know, but who you know and who knows you!  Check out Tech Republic’s of top networking organizations for IT professionals. Before considering joining a professional network, do some research or try to attend a free seminar to gather more insight.  Devoting the time to be a member of a professional association will certainly reap its benefits and you will be better IT professional because of it.  And remember, you get as much as you put into it!

Have you considered joining a professional association? How do you feel you may benefit from joining?

Also, do you want to learn more about Think IT? Check out the website for more information! 

Posted By: Anastasia Hoosman

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