Networking and Beyond: The Impact of Professional Societies on Your Career
When embarking on your career, it’s not just about the skills you have or the knowledge you’ve acquired. It’s also about the relationships you forge, the connections you nurture, and the additional learning you undertake to stay on top of industry trends. This is where professional societies come in.
The Wonders of Professional Societies
Whether you’re in insolvency & restructuring or accountancy practice (audit, tax, accounts etc) professional societies relevant to your field can be game-changers. Let’s take for instance, the R3 and TMA societies within the insolvency sector, or the regional ICAEW student bodies in accountancy practice, such as MCCAS in Manchester, LCASA in Liverpool, or CASSL in London. These bodies provide a wealth of resources, from professional information events and technical teachings to social gatherings. All these designed to keep you in the loop of the latest industry trends.
The Professional Society Search
Before diving into the benefits, it’s crucial to understand how to find these societies. If you’re new to the industry or just starting to broaden your professional network, you may not know where to start. The first step is to do some research. Look for professional societies relevant to your field of interest. This can be done via a simple online search or by asking your mentors, colleagues, or even the HR department of your company.
It’s also a good idea to ask your seniors or directors about their memberships. They may recommend societies that they found beneficial in their career progression. Their experiences and insights can guide you in making the right choices and save you from a trial-and-error approach.
The Benefits of Joining Professional Societies
Expanding Your Professional Network
One of the primary benefits of joining professional societies is the opportunity to broaden your professional network. It’s a chance to meet individuals from different firms, giving you an insight into their work culture and benefits.
Cultivating Lifelong Professional Relationships
The friendships and professional relationships you foster at society events often last throughout your career. As you progress, so will your peers, leading to a network of industry professionals who’ve grown alongside you.
Connecting with Cross-Industry Professionals
Professional societies often attract a diverse range of professionals. For instance, insolvency societies bring together insolvency practitioners, solicitors, lenders, and others involved in the insolvency industry. These cross-industry connections can be invaluable for career growth and knowledge sharing.
Opportunities for Continued Learning
Professional societies are a fantastic resource for continued learning. They offer various events, workshops, and seminars to keep members abreast of industry trends and best practices. This constant learning and professional development can enhance your competency and versatility in your field.
Showcasing Your Expertise
Being part of a professional society provides a platform to showcase your skills, knowledge, and contributions to your industry. You may have opportunities to present at events, contribute articles, or even take up leadership roles in the society.
Building Your Personal Brand
Active involvement in professional societies contributes significantly to your personal brand. It signals that you’re not just a participant in your field, but a committed, proactive professional, always striving to learn and grow. This can greatly enhance your credibility in the eyes of potential employers or clients.
In conclusion, joining a professional society or attending their events might seem like an additional commitment, but its benefits can significantly outweigh the effort.
The contacts made early on can bear fruit later when you’re looking to generate new work opportunities. Joining a professional society is a straightforward investment in your future. You’ll gain practical knowledge, develop a valuable network, and build a personal brand that truly shines.
So, as you embark on your professional journey, don’t hesitate to explore these societies and attend their events. It might just be the best career decision you’ll make.
My views are based on my 15 years+ of recruiting for Accountancy Practice and Insolvency professionals.
For advice about your career options, speak to Scott Lowes at Levitate Recruitment, specialists in placing practice-trained accountants and insolvency professionals across the UK, and find the right role to suit your ambitions.