I’m always hearing about presentations, conferences, and networking sessions sponsored by professional organizations. And that reminds me that I should perhaps think about joining one.
I know that there are quite a few groups related to my academic background and current work, such as the Materials Research Society or the American Ceramic Society. Then there are also groups like the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) that are geared toward women in particular. And there are plenty of benefits to joining groups like this. I can keep up on the latest news/research in my field, network/meet new people, and otherwise utilize the group for both intellectual/career benefits and social/personal benefits.
I’m already a member of the alumni association from my college. And I’ve gotten involved in activities geared toward recent alums like myself. So I’ve done some networking and met some new people. But I think I’d like to learn more about the latest research, and be able to meet new people in my field.
The membership fees for most of these groups aren’t too bad. In fact, many professional organizations are providing membership discounts for unemployed individuals (so they can get back into the field). So which groups do I join? I’m thinking I should ask around at work to find out what groups are beneficial.
Are you a member of a professional society? Which ones? What do you gain from your membership? Or if you’re not a member, why not?