By: Monica Peña (@MUNDUmedia)
The new year is usually when we ponder on which groups or associations to join or renew. Before signing up to a multitude of places, take a few items into consideration to make sure that membership is right for you:
Know your goals. Depending on what you are looking to achieve, there are a few things you may contemplate; such as if the organization offers ongoing information to further your career through professional developments, will there be enough opportunities to make the right connections via mixers, or are there ways to give back to local communities as a group.
The track record is key. Do the research on whether the group has a good reputation, missions, and accomplishments. Pay attention to if members are like-minded in goals or individuals that you want to be associated with. If it’s a new group, check if the leadership has good character.
Visit before joining. If it is a new group, attend a few meetings before joining to ensure it is one you will be comfortable with the interaction, agenda, and atmosphere.
Check the schedule and locations of meetings. Make sure location and times work with your schedule. If not, is there enough on–line interaction to meet your needs?
Once the best association(s) have been selected for your needs, stand out by being an active participant.
Know your benefits. Create the most of your memberships by simply checking privileges and asking questions.
Attend meetings. Be visible and allow other members to know you.
Volunteer. Best way to demonstrate skills is to get involved in committees and the leadership.
Stay connected on-line. Interact on the group’s social media sites via LinkedIn, Facebook fan page and/or group, Google Plus, etc. Virtual communication allows for the opportunity to be visible beyond the physical meetings.