Belonging to a professional body can really help build your new career. Stephen Day, a former Army captain and now an Associate Director at WYG a professional services firm, shares how belonging to one can help.
Being a member of a professional body helps give you credibility when applying for jobs. They are independent organisations that usually have a minimum level of requirements you must fulfil before you can join. For example, before applying to the Association for Project Management (APM), I first completed the project management course PRINCE2 to prove I had the relevant skills.
Service leavers can often struggle to demonstrate to employers that they have the required expertise. Your professional membership can act as shorthand as to your suitability for a role to recruiting managers. In addition, it makes it clear to businesses how they can benefit from your skills and experiences, including those gained while serving.
Join a professional body that is relevant to the role you want, and it will give you the best chance to progress in that area. If there are several memberships to choose from, pick the one respected most within the industry. You can make a judgment based on the application criteria, and who is already a member, before joining.
My membership made me confident in the skills listed in my CV, and helped clarify to myself how I can be an asset within an organisation. I plan to become more involved with the APM, and take advantage of its networking and other career development opportunities. Another benefit I have found is that many employers are willing to pay for the annual membership.
Ask the Expert
You can read Stephen’s answer, as well as other industry leaders, in the latest issue of Pathfinder Magazine – the monthly magazine for Service leavers. The OA edits a regular article called ‘Ask the Expert’, where career questions are answered by a panel of experts. Read the full article.
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