Seven Reasons to Join a Professional Network
It’s hard enough to get ahead professionally, so why go it alone? Thanks to the Internet, you can instantly connect with likeminded professionals around the globe, and benefit from the support of a vast network.
There are many reasons a professional network should be part of your career development plans. From giving you a chance to speak with other women who are facing or have faced the same challenges as you, to providing ongoing development resources to help you prepare for your next role or a pending career change—a strong network can help.
A professional network is more than just a soapbox where you can vent your frustrations with colleagues—it’s a resource through which you can tap into expert advice, meet leaders in your industry, get access to new career opportunities, and pad your resume with new skills. Here are just some of the reasons you should consider joining a professional network to support your career.
Professional development and career support
A strong professional network offers career development and education opportunities that will help you prepare for your next role or career change. Most women change jobs every two or three years, and the average professional changes careers between three and five times in their life. During a career transition, you need the support of experts in the career development and job search fields to help you prepare for your next challenge. IAW’s career support and professional development resources include professional development courses, job opportunities and alerts, and career center resources.
Improving your resume
Your resume is the most important document in your search for the next great milestone in your career. A professional network provides career resources to support resume writing, cover letter writing, and individuals with whom you can cultivate relationships as references.
The opportunity to become a leader in your field
Your expertise is an important resource, and one you can leverage to build a profile as a thought leader in a professional network. As a mentor, speaker, featured member, or leader in your local chapter, you can grow your network while building the skills you need to become a future leader on your career path.
While it’s wonderful to have the chance to do in-person networking, through local chapters, regional and national events, and global conferences, not everyone can make it to live events when they are scheduled. That’s why virtual networking opportunities are so important for the modern professional. IAW offers several opportunities for virtual networking, including career and life coaching presentations, webinars, social networking, and virtual summits.
Additional perks of a professional network
A strong professional network is large enough that it provides additional, ongoing perks to members. These include business services like loans for entrepreneurs starting new businesses, technology discounts, and member exclusive perks. IAW’s network benefits include Kabbage, Newtek, Geico, Laurel Road, and more.
Stay motivated and keep moving
A professional network connects you with likeminded professionals who have goals similar to your own. This helps you to coordinate with others to give back to your community and support causes that align with your values, stay motivated on a daily basis to reach out for new opportunities, and keep moving forward in your career as new opportunities present themselves. Merely being part of an organization of other professionals provides a source of motivation you might not otherwise get on a daily basis.
Taking the next step with the right network
A good professional network provides the insights, ongoing support, and resources needed to continuously move forward in your career. Whether you’re preparing for a major transition or want to learn new skills to increase the viability of your resume in a new field—IAW’s professional network offers dozens of resources and tools to help you grow.