Five Reasons To Join A Professional Association

Networking is an important tool that can benefit both businesses and individuals alike. Here at ISCG, it’s encouraged to find something that you’re passionate about, and/or want to get involved in. That’s why our list of affiliations/involvements is extensive and includes associations like IIDA, ASID, Detroit Economic Club, CREW Detroit, NAWBO, and WBENC. I personally hold a leadership position within the Michigan Chapter of ASID as the Professional Development Director. It’s extremely beneficial for young people to get out and get involved within an association that you’re passionate about. If you’ve been on the fence about joining, I’ve got five reasons for you to submit that application.

Mentorship

Professional associations provide the perfect place to find a mentor as you already know they are leaders in your chosen field. The right mentor can provide support, knowledge and is someone you can trust. They’ll be your cheerleader as you navigate the complexities of a professional career, help guide you, and give advice. Having a mentor will also help you learn how to become one in the future, and it allows them to reflect on past decisions and maybe even learn a new thing or two. 

Networking

A good association will have at least monthly networking opportunities. Expanding your network can have infinite benefits including allowing you to exchange fresh ideas, boost your self-esteem, and make new friends. Your networking group can become a soundboard before the boardroom, give you tips and tricks in your industry, and helps you get additional visibility.

Educational Opportunities

Being an Interior Designer requires constant education about the latest trends, products and techniques in the form of a Continuing Education Credit, or CEU. CEUs are also required across many other fields like healthcare, law, business professionals, and beauty professions just to name a few. Professional associations will often help arrange educational sessions for their members to achieve these CEU credits in their desired field.

Philanthropic Initiatives

It is said time and time again that millennials love to give back. It can be difficult to make a difference philanthropically when you’re just starting out in your career. Getting involved with associations allow you to have a greater impact than if you were to give and/or volunteer by yourself. For example, proceeds from recent ASID events have gone to support Grace Centers of Hope.

Career Development + Advances

Lastly, a huge benefit of associations is the opportunity for career advancement. All the above opportunities allow you to meet new people and get involved with your community, making you more visible to recruiters or senior level individuals within your industry. Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons, said this to NPR: “At least 70 percent, if not 80 percent, of jobs are not published," he says. "And yet most people — they are spending 70 or 80 percent of their time surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majority of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances”. Also, according to a recent LinkedIn survey, a whopping 70% of people were hired at a company where they had a connection.

What are you waiting for? Get out there, find something you’re passionate about, and get involved!