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Should I Join A Professional HR Association?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 9:54am
Joe Schembri, Villanova University

Joining a professional human resources association can provide  those who are working in the field with several benefits. Professional associations, organizations, and groups offer professional development, the potential for career growth, and networking opportunities at all levels and stages in a career. With most organizations, the advantages far outweigh the costs. In most cases, dues or fees are very reasonable and many organizations offer reduced rates for students as well.

Gain Professional Development

One of the primary benefits of joining a professional HR association is the opportunity for professional development. Many of these groups offer members-only access to professional conferences, seminars, and other educational and training events designed to keep members abreast of the newest developments in the field of HR. These events may also teach members how to apply current technologies and programs in their workplace as well as showcase new technologies and programs. Members may be able to satisfy continuing education requirements to earn or maintain professional certifications through these events.

Many professional associations also publish journals or newsletters with specialized information pertaining to human resources, as well as new trends and developments in the field. Association websites typically have members-only content in the form of articles and white papers and some host discussion forums and webinars.

Share Best Practices

HR associations can also provide members with examples of best practices in the industry. Most HR professionals are more than happy to share what they’ve learned, describe ways in which they have resolved problems, or share innovative policies and other HR functions that they have developed. By comparing notes with others, members have the opportunity to leverage the shared knowledge and experience of an entire body of human resources professionals. They can also learn about what does and doesn’t work without having to go through trial and error on their own. They can then take what they have learned and apply it to their own workplace.

Build a Professional Network

 As a working HR professional, having a network of HR connections can help you in numerous ways. They can introduce you to others who may have knowledge or experience that you can use, provide career opportunities for you, and introduce you to influential members in the profession. You may be in a position to do the same for other members, allowing you to help others as well as build your own level of influence. Participating in an HR association naturally results in a wider professional network, allowing members to meet new people and discover ways to help each other succeed.

Enhance Your Resume

By joining a professional association, you are showing that you are an active member in the human resources community and that you have dedicated your personal time and resources towards professional growth. By participating in association events, you are demonstrating your dedication to learning about new developments and applications. By contributing to association events, journals, and other member education opportunities, you may also be able to demonstrate leadership qualities and position yourself as an expert in the field.

 

This article was supplied by Joe Schembri with Villanova University’s online HR programs. Villanova offers a master in human resources degree online in addition to PHR certification courses. For more information please visit http://www.VillanovaU.com.

 

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