Many association and group memberships come up for renewal this time of year. Which ones are worth renewing or joining? Use these 4 questions to help guide your decision.
Every year around this time, as I'm planning my goals and Success Calendar for the coming year, I take a good look at the associations, groups, and organizations in which I'm involved. (If you don't currently do this, you may wish to start — you'll likely find it easier to review them as a whole rather than individually as each renewal comes due.) As with your goals and calendar, you want to be intentional with the groups to which you dedicate time, money, and energy as well.
With your list of memberships handy, assess each organization by asking yourself the following four questions:
1. What am I gaining from this group? You should experience an identifiable benefit, whether it's new clients, peer support, personal or professional development, or a stellar annual conference that reinvigorates you each year.
2. How am I contributing? You want to be more than simply a name on a roster. Do you attend meetings? Actively participate in events? Hold a leadership position that matches your strengths with the organization's needs? The old adage holds: You'll get out of it what you put into it.
3. Is this membership worth renewing? As one of MAP Professional Development's ASPIRE member recently told me, "I leave each ASPIRE meeting feeling energized and educated — the two things I most need each month!" With your goals for the next year handy, determine how/if each group will support you in reaching those goals. If "yes," then...
4. How can I enhance my membership experience in the next year? In addition to your own brainstorming, look to your responses to #2 above for further ideas. Keeping those goals handy, also consider what other groups — ones in which you're not currently involved — might help you reach them. While you don't want to spread yourself too thin, growing your business or career really does require involvement with energizing peers, high-quality resources, and continuing growth opportunities. Choose wisely and with intention, and you will reap the benefits for the entire year!
- Christi Hegstad, Ph.D., MAP Professional Development, who just renewed her NAWBO-CI membership.