Numbering over 92,000 and membership drawn from virtually every industry and profession, professional and trade associations are potent entities capable of influencing policies and shaping the career trajectory of individual members.
According to Robert Ivy, the American Institute of Architects’ CEO and executive vice president, professional associations come with numerous perks and opportunities that can propel industries and individual professionals to greater heights. He notes that these associations have a greater policy advocacy power through political lobbying and swaying the views of policymakers. However, he contends that its membership size determines the advocacy capability of any professional association. Robert Ivy also points out that joining such associations gives professionals the needed credibility when it comes to seeking new employment opportunities within or outside your current workstation. Robert Ivy, who was the 2018 Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, asserts that belonging to the associations is a sign of commitment to uphold ethical values, standards, and trends.
New Learning Ideas
For those seeking to learn new ideas, professional and trade associations have a considerable wealth of information that members can access in print and soft copies including webinars, journals, and websites. Members can also establish professional networks during conferences, workshops, and meetings organized by their associations. Such networks usually come in handy, especially when seeking a new employment opportunity.
Factors to Consider when Selecting an Association
For many professionals, joining a professional association comes with only two options either you’re in or out. Such individuals usually have one association to choose. However, other professions are spoiled for choices when it comes to joining an association. For such individuals, they can enjoy the perks of more than one association. According to Robert Ivy, a Tulane University alumnus where he studied his Master’s in Architecture degree, some professional associations such as AIA charge different membership fees depending on the membership level or chapter. While such fees, payable annually, can be paid the employers, other professionals pay them individually. In addition to his executive duties at AIA, is also an author. He previously served as the editor for Architectural Record. Under his leadership, the magazine won numerous awards.
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