Why does membership matter?
People like to be part of a group, to share experiences and get to know others in similar situations, perhaps even make new friends. In a professional context, how important is membership of a professional group? Should we seek out the organisations and associations that represent people like us?
As the Gestalt school of psychology would have it: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
OK, there’s a limit to what can be shared in industry forums and this will vary depending on how closely competitive the sector is. However, even in a very closely fought landscape like the grocery trade, I have seen very healthy groups formed to share knowledge and to benefit the sector as a whole. A close eye needs to be kept on avoiding cartel-type situations of course, and that’s where the neutral space of membership organisation comes into its own. For areas such as staff training, sustainability targets and supply chain, collaborating can be the key to success. The individuals and companies can all benefit from being part of a greater group.
If you have a specialist skill within your
It’s an increasingly online world, especially in the workplace, but nothing beats getting out from behind the keyboard for a face to face conversation. Often the very word ‘networking’ conjures up a daunting scenario, but it’s usually a warm and friendly
From briefing notes on the latest industry
As you build your career, getting involved in your membership body can be a fantastic way of raising your profile and underlining your professional credibility. Most organisations are hungry for volunteers, and in exchange for your time you can see a tangible reward (although not normally a fee). Find out what’s needed – it could be taking part in a working group, mentoring or writing articles or blogs – and offer to help out.