Association memberships are essential for any administrative assistant who wants to achieve professional success. Joining these groups helps you build your network, develop your skills, and improve your business acumen. They expose you to new people, ideas, methods, resources, and experiences. And they can be a conduit to a whole new world of opportunities.
Yet you don’t have to confine your membership to admin-related associations.
While I strongly encourage you to join admin-related groups, it’s also important to think about professional association membership outside the admin profession. There are a lot of helpful and relevant associations out there that aren’t strictly for admins, but they still address various aspects of your career.
Take a look at interest or skill-specific organizations, such as project management, event, meeting, or travel planning associations. (The Project Management Institute and Event Planners Association are both worth checking out.) There are also numerous public speaking groups (such as Toastmasters International), networking groups, business organizations, women’s networks, entrepreneur associations, and local/regional groups that can do wonders for your admin career.
A lot of companies also belong to industry-specific organizations. So ask if your company is a member of any groups and then find out if you can log into the account to participate in webinars, and utilize the available resources and information.
Keep in mind, the associations you join don’t have to be a local. In this web 2.0 age, you don’t need to attend regular meetings to experience the benefits of association membership. An online group is just as valuable to your career and you can get all the same benefits – plus you can participate from your home or office. (The International Virtual Assistants Association is a great example here.) There are also some face-to-face component of virtual groups, such as meetings, conferences, and other events, that still gives you the option to connect in person if you want.
Don’t get stuck in an association rut and limit yourself to only admin-specific groups! Look around and find associations that appeal to you – whether they’re local or online. Then start expanding your memberships into other fields and industries. You’ll meet new people, learn new skills, discover new opportunities, and become a more innovative admin!
© 2015 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker, and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.