Make an investment in career development and success
Professional Investments in Success
by Christine Stephens
If you had only two hours a month to spend on career development, what would be your best choice to further your career?
- Spending more time in the office
- Lunching with the management
- Attending a professional organization in your field
- Reading up on your field online
The answer should be attending a professional organization in your field.
While these organizations have varied membership fees, usually especially low fees for students or new graduates, you will find the whole "professional association" experience to be worth the price.
While being aware of the no-compete clause and confidentiality rules you must maintain for your employer, professional organizations are a wonderful place to hear new ideas. This is especially true in creative fields.
You get to meet the local movers and shakers in the field. You have the opportunity to hear about new software, publications, and laws just as they hit the shelf or newsstand. Job openings are always mentioned at these meetings too, usually well before the advertisement hits the Internet or newspaper ads.
These memberships bring with them discounts. These include software and computer services, professional services, and training materials. Sometimes, you also have the ability to haggle for discounts from other members of the group who you might wish to hire.
These meetings usually include an informative presentation. The content runs the gamut from personal success stories to presentation of new software to talks about literary works all focusing on this specific field.
For students, these organizations are a gold mine. Many offer scholarships with very few other applicants. Sometimes the rules for the scholarships are flexible. You get the opportunity to meet influential people in the field and solicit internship possibilities. The discounts can be helpful purchasing software and training materials. The presentations can give you some direction as to which reading materials and publications would be helpful. You also have many opportunities to find a mentor in that field with assurance as to the success of the person instead of relying upon a personal synopsis only.
Hands down, the two hours you spend monthly in a professional organization is the best investment you can make in your career development and success.
Christine Stephens is a single, frugal woman living in the Midwest. She graduated from the Elliott School of Communication with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Print Journalism. She has been a devoted Dollar Stretcher reader for eight years.
Take the Next Step:
- For more on career development and success, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Library .
- Great things are happening on The Dollar Stretcher Pinterest boards! Visit our "Job Wanted!" board today!
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- How to become a millionaire in 7 easy (hah!) steps
- 5 poor ways to save (and how to do better)
- 10 places to look for $500 in savings
Here are 10 ways to save $500 for when you drive, eat or travel.
- 9 savvy strategies to save for a rainy-day fund
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- Helping elderly parents organize must-have financial paperwork and information Expert Interview
- How a single mom can create multiple income streams
- Turning your hobby into extra income
- Basic finance management for teens
- Positioning yourself for career advancement
- Reduce your debt with this free debt course by The Dollar Stretcher
- Reduce your debt payoff time
- Find a better credit card rate
- Get better savings & MMA rates