A question we get a lot in our networking or referral training courses or after a presentation is: “Which network or professional organisations do you recommend to become member of?”
Unfortunately I have to tell them that I can’t answer that question. Why? Because it’s different for every person.
However I can help people when they can answer me these questions:
– Which are the goals of the organisation you work for?
– What is your role in achieving those goals?
– Who do you think are the people in the best position to help you reach those goals?
– Where do you think you can find these people?
These are questions you can ask yourself as well. When you have an answer it becomes more clear which organisations are the right ones for you. And also which organisations are no longer of interest to you.
Since I know these questions need some time I give most of the time a general answer that already helps people. These are types of organisations that might help you in your professional career:
– Trade organisations of your industry (and when you’re in sales: of the industry of your customers)
– Professional organisations which bring together with the same function, like marketeers or human resource managers
– Local professional organisations like Chambers of Commerce or Unizo (in Belgium)
– Network clubs
– Clubs on Online Business Networks like LinkedIn, Ecademy, Xing or Ryze.
– Alumni organisations from the university you went to or from a company you worked for
– If you are in sales: a local chapter of a referral club like BNI, BRE, Flevum, Netpluswork,…
Whatever choice you make, always think about how it fits into your professional and personal goals. This might already avoid lots of frustration.
Have a great networking day !