The Benefits of Society Membership as a Career Academic

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From early in our lives, we’re encouraged to join teams and clubs, learn the benefits of teamwork, and how there is no “I” in “team.” This principle doesn’t change when we get into higher education; it simply turns into organizations and society memberships instead. 

Professional organizations come with a network of other members and regular meetings to engage in networking discussions and information assimilation. Academic scholars are strongly encouraged to join these organizations, as it’s a regular part of scholarly life. Members are invited to conferences in locations around the world, where they can meet people with similar interests and skills. But not everyone sees the benefits of joining an organization when they’re a career academic, especially since each membership comes with a price tag. Consider these advantages to keeping at least one society membership after you graduate.

Advantages of Society Memberships in Your Career

You’ve already built a good network of colleagues, mentors, and previous professors by the time you graduate. So why would you need to continue joining an organization when you have your own “members” in your life? Here are some excellent reasons why the annual membership dues more than pay for themselves:

●      You get access to select resources. Many professional organizations choose journals and other publications to sponsor. You get access to these resources at free or reduced costs, and some of them aren’t available outside of the organization. Other resources include the ability to post your member profile on the website in a database available to reporters and researchers who are looking for experts, or those interested in hiring someone with particular expertise. If the organization you’ve joined is relevant to your industry, these publications come in handy as a method of keeping you up-to-date on the latest changes in your field.

●      You may learn new information or get new ideas. Even the brightest minds in academic fields remind us that as soon as we think we know it all, that’s when we don’t. No matter how long you’ve been in your field, there will always be something new to learn. Science never stops evolving. Joining with others in your professional organization could be a way to learn new things, get new ideas for your research, and get ahead of the trends in the field coming down the pipeline.

●      You’ll get to expand your network. No matter how many people are currently in your network, there’s always room for more. Networking is about the quality of the individuals you meet, not the quantity. Someone in your organization could have exactly what you need to change the career trajectory of your future, or you could connect them to someone you care about whom you know was looking for what that person was able to offer.

●      You may be eligible for awards. If you’re not ready to retire yet, it’s still important to be on the lookout for grants, scholarships, fellowships, and awards. You can advance your career with these types of funding and use the fact that you obtained them to enhance your CV. Winners of the awards are posted in the organization’s publications, so your name gets out to the network as an expert in your field, thus increasing your citation counts. It’s a winning situation all around, but one you can only access if you’re part of the organization.

●      You get leadership opportunities. So you’re already one of the top minds in your field. Why not share your knowledge with others who are just starting out? As a member of an organization, you’ll be asked to showcase your ideas and skills as a leader, mentoring others within the society.

Between all of these benefits and the extended advantages that each one provides, it’s easy to see how being part of academic societies is a wise career move.

Impactio: The One Network You Shouldn’t Skip

Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing a professional organization to join? You already have social media profiles, now it’s time to build an academic profile on Impactio’s platform.

Impactio is the one network every academic researcher should join. Members receive access to a network of like-minded professionals around the world, as well as tools to monitor research publications and the resultant analytics. With Impactio, the benefits of membership can propel your career to another level.

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