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Thriving in Association Careers: 

Insights and Strategies

Not many of us dreamed about a career in associations when we were little. However, once we step into this profession, we often find ourselves staying for many years. Join us as we delve into essential career topics, from understanding the association landscape to mastering networking strategies and gaining valuable insights from industry experts. 

4 Essential Tips for Starting a Successful Career in Associations

Understand the Landscape

As an association professional, you often find yourself working across different industries, but you bring a unique set of skills in association management and member engagement. As Joanne Phillips mentioned in her interview, "Every association will passionately defend what makes them special, but the common thread is the passion within the community."

Expand Your Network

Connecting with professionals in the association world is crucial. Attend industry events, conferences, and networking mixers. Build relationships with key players, seek informational interviews, and look for mentorship opportunities. Donna South highlighted, "A member's a member, and at the core of a member usually is a person. It’s about building relationships."

 Invest in Professional Development

Continuously enhance your expertise by attending workshops, webinars, and training programs tailored to association professionals. Pursue certifications relevant to your desired role, such as Certified Association Executive (CAE) or Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). In her interview, Joanne Phillips discussed the importance of CAE certification.

Gain Diverse Experience

Seek out opportunities that allow you to develop essential skills such as event planning, member engagement, advocacy, or project management. This variety of experiences will make you more adaptable and valuable. As Donna South shared, "The skills you need to be successful in an association role are transferable and can come from any job you’ve had before".​

Latest Episodes on Association Careers

🎧 Is a Career in Associations Even a Thing? with Joanne Phillips #33

Joanne shares her unique journey, discussing the essential skills and experiences that have shaped her successful career in association.


🎧   Accidental Association Professional with Donna South #32

Discover how Donna's journey into association professionalism unfolded by chance, offering a wealth of relatable stories, tips on leadership, and insights into the importance of adopting a growth mindset.


🎧   Tapping Into Association Talent with Louise Roper, Revise Recruitment #13

In this conversation, Louise talks about the tricky balance of finding people who know the industry and those with member engagement and association management skills.


Stay tuned for upcoming episodes where we continue to explore new topics and bring you the latest insights from the world of associations!

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