Becoming a member of a professional society is an important step in your career. It shows that your interests transcend the paycheck, that you care about your field, and that you want to be a part of something bigger than your J-O-B. By joining a society you become a member of a community dedicated to advancing the field through self-improvement, community activism and continuing education…just to name a few. If you’re not yet a member of a professional society, below I’ve given you 10 good reasons to join one today.
Reason #10: Make new friends and colleagues
Joining a professional society means that you belong to a group of people with whom you have something very important in common – a love for your work. Most societies have a membership directory with contact information for all the members. Looking for a mentor, an old friend, or maybe someone who works in an area where you would like to live. The directory makes it so easy for you to reach out to anyone in the field.
In addition to a membership directory, many large professional societies have local and international chapters. This means that you can network with people closer to home.
Reason #9: Follow current events
Professional societies tend to be a central source for news that is of interest and value to its members, the profession at large, and the general public. Membership means high level access to a society’s website, where you can get updates on professional standards and best practices. Don’t be the last to know!
Reason #8: Have your voice heard
Membership in a professional society means that you have a voice! Why not use it to make a difference. You can participate in committees that are of interest to you. Many societies have committees dedicated to Education, Research, Community Outreach, etc.
Maybe you join a professional society, but you don’t like how its run. You can make a change by voting for officers, or even running for office. Then you can help to make the decisions and guide the course of the society, or even the profession!
Reason #7: Legislative Watchdogs
Often there are matters that fall on the desk of politicians, matters that can affect your career, depending on how the politician votes. You need to know about these things so you can contact your representative and have your voice heard! I know, you work long hours and don’t have the time to follow politics. No problem! Professional societies can help. Most societies have people who follow legislation for the society, and they will let you know when something comes up that affects you. If a letter needs to be drafted to a representative, many societies will even draft it for you. They make it so easy for you to stay on top of politics.
Reason #6: Save Money
Joining a professional society means that you will play less money for things like journal subscriptions, meeting fees, and educational opportunities (like webinars). If you participate in any of these, but don’t belong to a professional society, you’re just throwing your money away.
Reason #5: Show that you care about your career
When prospective employers look at your resume or CV, one aspect of your character that they are trying to ascertain is how much you actually care about your career. Are you the kind of employee who is likely to stay for 10-20 years, or are you going to hang around for a few months before you take off to travel the world…? Being a member of a professional society, and listing it on your resume, shows that you care about your career, your profession, and that’s the level of commitment for which employers look.
Reason #4: Career opportunities
Many professional societies have a Career Center on their website. There you will find job postings, career advice, etc. In a niche field, job opportunities can be difficult to find. Being a member of a society that is focused on your field makes it super easy! I actually found my first job in IONM through the Society for Neuroscience career center, which is called NeuroJobs.
Reason #3: Free journal subscription
Most professional societies have an academic/scientific journal that is affiliated with the society. While you pay dues to be a member of the society, part of that usually goes to a journal subscription, and that saves you a lot of money. Here are a couple of journals to which I subscribe because I’m a member of the affiliated society:
- ACNS: Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology
- ASET: The Neurodiagnostic Journal
- ISIN: Clinical Neurophysiology
- SFN: Journal of Neuroscience
Reason #2: Attend annual conferences
Annual conferences are so much fun to attend. The conferences bring together thousands of people in your field from all-over the world. You can network, meet new people, participate in learning opportunities, see exhibitions and socialize. As a member you can attend with high-level access at reduced fees. Also, you get priority room selection for your hotel, which is bound to sell out.
Reason #1: Professional development
Because you care to much about your career, obviously you want to be the very best. Professional societies foster your development by providing your with tons of learning opportunities. Many host webinars, private courses and workshops. You can also receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that may be required in your field for certification and licensure.
Joining a professional society is easy, just click on the name of the society below:
- American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists
- American Clinical Neurophysiology Society
- American Neurological Association
- American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists
- American Society of Neurophysiological Monitoring
- Canadian Association of Neurophysiological Monitoring
- International Society of Intraoperative Neurophysiology
- Neuromonitoring UK
- North American Neuromodulation Society
- Society for Neuroscience
- Western Society of END Technologists