Job Search Power using Association Participation
Updated: Jun 20, 2020
By David Still - Being a member of an association or society can carry many job search benefits. One benefit is the ability to call on executives, representing the association, requesting their meeting attendance or requesting their participation as a dinner meeting speaker.
As the Student Chapter Chairman for the Association for IT Professionals (AITP), I instructed one of my AITP Student Chapters members to begin approaching IT directors to serve as a student chapter evening presenters.
Following my advise, the student contacted an IT Directors [Bill] at Coca-Cola asking for his help in presenting to her AITP Student Chapter. Bill agreed to present a computer related topic to the student group.
The next day, the student completed a follow up phone call to Bill thanking him for the chapter dinner presentation and that she will be pursuing employment with Coca-Cola upon her graduation.
To the student's surprise, Bill asked the student if she would consider joining Coca-Cola's IT department as a contractor, while still a student, and to later become a full-time employee after graduation. The student accepted the contractor opportunity.
Upon graduation, the student converted from contractor to employee at Coca-Cola.
There are many ways to benefit through associations:
1) become a member and simply enjoy the networking and socializing during regular dinner meeting. Collect business cards and follow up with Thank You card messages.
2) become a committee member, such as membership, planning or meeting greeter. This places you in an excellent position to meet people as part of your association committee role.
Becoming a committee member provides the ability to call on corporate managers regarding association membership, or special event invitation calls.
Here are committee participation benefits:
1) Membership Committee - you are provided with a call list of prior attendees and prominent executives and managers. You will be provided with their phone and/or email address from which to invite them to the next dinner meeting event. You may take special interest in calling on contacts working at employers you have career advancement interests.
2) Meeting Greeter - you are usually the first contact the meeting attendee encounters after leaving the check-in table. You may also volunteer for the check-in desk, meeting all meeting participants upon their arrival.
Companies you are quite serious in pursuing, not only can you invite the manager to the special dinner presentation regarding a topic he/she may enjoy, but can offer a complementary dinner, as your guest, if they elect to attend. This will be the best $20 to $40 investment in your career. Oh, by the way, since the manager is your guest, they will be sitting next to you at your table.