Why should I join my professional organization? (by Paul Desillier, PA-C)
Why Should I Join My Professional Organization?
Paul Desillier, PA-C, MPAS
“What can a professional organization do for me?” This thought has crossed our minds at least once during our careers and it is an excellent topic for reflection. Some feel we need to get something in return for everything we do. On the contrary you should remember the words of President Kennedy “Ask not, what your professional organization can do for you, but what you can do for your professional organization”. There are many things a professional organization can do for you without breaking the bank trying to attract membership. The professional organizations are usually managed by volunteers and they have a deep fondness for the organization. Many that are involved are responsible for the birth and growth of these organizations. The one thing you need to remember is that there are always opportunities to get involved.
There are many other reasons to join a professional organization. We will discuss some of the positive reasons to become an active member in YOUR organization. The most important reason is networking. This introduces you to the right connections and is critical for any professional. Joining a professional organization gives you countless opportunities to connect on a local and even global level. This leads to a sense of belonging and security. Members can support one another and help each other reach professional goals.
PAOS offers courses, webinars, conferences and short courses to help broaden your knowledge. This helps to keep you up to date on innovations, research and trends. Staying informed on your industry’s trends will only help you in the long run and will put you one step ahead of the competition. Membership in a professional organization allows you to take charge of your career. Take advantage of career resources such as job listings and salary profiles. These tools can allow you to negotiate a new job with confidence and knowledge.
Professional organizations are always looking for individuals with leadership skills or aspirations. They can develop your skills as a leader which is important for your personal growth and the growth of your practice. Many professional organizations offer mentorship programs. This allows you to train the next generation of providers and pass on your unique approach and observations. PAOS has a list of members interested in precepting students and will offer these names to universities requesting preceptors.
Membership in professional organizations grows friendship. Once we all graduate from school, we all know how hard it is to get out and meet new people and make new friends. Professional networking groups give you the opportunity to escape the norm and meet new people that may give you a reason to come out of your shell a bit and have fun. Many organizations coordinate socially conscious initiatives to support community efforts. Whether it is a nearby health organization or support of a local charity, there are sure to be plenty of options for you to choose if you are looking to give back to the community.
My favorite reason for professional membership is Strength in Numbers. Organizations are positioned to make change with numbers. The larger groups get heard. Not only are you able to help the organization be heard, these numbers can help you as well. We all have full time jobs and at times feel overwhelmed by the demands on our lives. Having a large organization gives you more opportunity to solicit help for personal projects and organizational projects. You essentially have an established support system of experienced and motivated individuals.
It is important to stay motivated and engaged with your professional organization. Sitting back and allowing others to determine your future without input is not a wise thing to do. Everyone must get involved and put their back into moving the organization forward. Once you get involved and determine the direction of the organization, it becomes addictive and you crave more. Please pass this on to your colleagues that may not be members and no access to these words of wisdom. Last but not least LET’S HAVE A LITTLE FUN!
Sam Dyer, PA-C, MHS