The summer is officially over.
The temperature is dropping, the children are back at school, and it’s time for you to start thinking about your future.
If you’ve always dreamt of making a difference through the work you do, but your career isn’t following the roadmap you had planned out, now is the time to act.
After all, we spend too much of our lives at work to not love what we do. Help from a specialist recruitment company like membershipbespoke and the right plan may be all it takes to get you back on track by working with a membership organisation.
So, how do you take charge of your career and explore the many opportunities within professional bodies and trades associations?
Start with these four steps.
1. Decide What You Want
Are you a high potential employee?
The Harvard Business Review defines “high potential” candidates as people who devote themselves to constant development, embrace a growth mindset, and know when to take charge of their careers.
The first step in becoming one of these people is deciding:
What do you want to accomplish in your professional life?
Where do you see your career taking you in the next five years?
What kind of work do you want to be responsible for?
What type of membership body will allow you to realise your aspirations?
For instance, do you like your position as a PR officer, but you’d rather have more challenges in your work? With a marketing and PR background, maybe you want to build up to a job as a head of marketing instead? Visualising the future shows you the path between where you are now, and where you want to be.
2. Fill Your Skill Gaps
Once you’ve decided where you want your membership body career to take you, you need to create the kind of CV required for your ideal role. A mentor is particularly useful here.
Find someone who has the position that you want and ask them what you need to do to end up where they are. Listen to their advice and use it as a launching pad when planning your career path. You can also speak to a specialist recruitment company like membershipbespoke, for insights into the kind of skills and experience that employers are looking for in your area of expertise.
Once you know what will make you stand out in the job market, map out a development plan you can pursue. It may mean taking on challenging projects in your current position, volunteering for extra work, or continuing your education to gain additional certifications.
3. Take Advantage of Opportunities
When employers are looking for people to promote, or individuals to add to a high-performing team, they’re not just searching for the right technical talent. Although a good education and background will be necessary, it’s also worth noting that many membership bodies promote the employees that demonstrate proactivity, drive and passion.
A great way to demonstrate that you’re ready for new challenges in your existing organisation is to volunteer for challenging projects that might not be within your job description. Show that you’re willing to go above and beyond to gain new skills. Even better, how about taking the initiative and
implementing a small project alongside your role and presenting the findings and recommendations
to your manager. It could be as simple as evaluating how effective a process is and recommending changes.
Let your manager know what your career plan looks like and what roles you aspire to. If you can’t find opportunities to grow inside your current professional body, then you can begin to look for opportunities elsewhere.
4. Keep your CV Up to Date
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of a great CV when it comes to accelerating your career plan. The right CV makes a powerful first impression on any company you want to work with. To make sure your application stands out:
- Use the right words on your profile: If you want a managerial position, for instance, use words like “leadership” and “initiative.”
- Check your grammar, spelling, and formatting to show your professional and detail-oriented side.
- Create cover letters tailor-made for the job you’re interested in. Discuss how your personal goals align with the ambitions of the membership organisation, and what you think you can bring to that specific role.
- Stay current. The needs of professional bodies are continually changing. Stay up-to-date both in your technical area of expertise, whether that is finance, communications or membership services and with the growing use of technology. Check out the CV’s of other candidates you could be competing against and identify any gaps you can see in your CV, then take action to close them.
Remember, in today’s highly social world; it’s also worth expanding your CV with a social profile. A LinkedIn page can give extra depth to your application and show that you’re committed to building a consistent personal brand.
The membershipbespoke group remains the only specialist recruitment organisation in the UK, which offers a dedicated service tailored to the needs of Trade Associations, Unions, Professional and Regulatory Bodies.
We use our considerable expertise in successfully recruiting for positions across every department within a membership context. To find out more call us on 0203 4403653 or email us here.