Professional Association Memberships – Worth the cost?

Almost all professions offer membership to their official organisations and associations, but, are the yearly fees worth it and what exactly do you get for your money?

While each and every organisation is different, the short answer is most often: yes. This is especially so if you’re young and just starting out in your career, as many professional organisations offer mentors for those in the interning or entry-level position. They can also offer insight into how the industry works and how to navigate it, as well as professional development courses.

Additionally, membership fees are often reduced for students or recently graduated/qualified members – and every penny counts in the early days of your career!

The five main benefits of joining a professional organisation are:

  • Jobs Many professional organisations help their members find jobs, or at the least, offer up job listings that other members may be offering.
  • Mentoring Mentoring is the cornerstone of many professional organisations when it comes to working with younger members. You may never get in the room with someone at the top of your field, for a very long time. But professional organisations have the ability to pare you with someone much more experienced.
  • Professional Development  Many organisations offer professional development via courses, workshops, publications, and information on their website shared only with members.They also keep members up to date on industry trends and how to deal withthe m. Some organisations offer news and print coverage of their annual conferences, run by students—which is an excellent opportunity to gain experience.
  • Networking Most organisations have an annual conference. This is an opportunity for you to mix and mingle with others in your field in both professional and leisure settings.
  • Scholarships and Bursaries – For the youngest of members (college and university students), scholarships  may be the primary reason to join a professional organisation. Many offer scholarships or bursaries to the new members studying to enter the field.
  • Affiliated Publications – the quarterly magazines which members are sent is often an excellent way to keep up to date with research, opinions, and developments within your field.

All in all, the benefits of being part of a professional organisation outweigh any financial costs incurred, although if you have another opinion, please do comment and let us know your experience.

Office Romances: Does Your Company Need a Romance Policy?

Now we’ve got Valentines Day out of the way, let’s address the serious issue as to if office romances should be tolerated, indulged or avoided at all costs?  Should you draw up an office romance policy to make sure there are clear guidelines and expectations, and to avoid problems such as misconduct and harassment issues in the workplace that may impede important progress and may have serious consequences for staff members as well as the company?


According to 40% of people have dated someone from their workplace, with 3 in 10 employees who had an office romance, ending up marrying their co worker!  While the majority of relationships developed between peers, 29% of workers who have dated someone at work, said they have dated someone above them in the company hierarchy, and 16% admitted to dating their boss. Women were more likely to date someone higher up in their organization – 38% compared to 21% of men.


With so much love in the air at work, some companies have had romance policies drawn up, but does this take the romance out of an office liaison?  The has listed 5 essential points laid out by Di Ann Sanchez for implementing a successful workplace romance policy – what do you think?


Why LinkedIn Will Never Replace Recruitment Professionals

Not so long ago, we were all hearing how job boards were finished with and even recruitment companies were going to take a massive hit from LinkedIn and with its ability for companies to recruit via this online business networking site.  Instead of being ‘just’ a tool to help recruiters to go about their business, LinkedIn was predicted to take over the recruitment sector, leaving recruitment companies gasping in its wake.  Professional, experienced recruiters were going to be defunct as HR professionals cut out the middle man and started using LinkedIn to recruit for themselves.


So, that was the prediction; but that’s not happened, and in our opinion, it’s simply not going to happen.


Firstly, we need to look at why these predictions came about.  Well, the reduced job market during the downturn in the economy and a focus on reducing recruitment costs, coupled with LinkedIn’s undeniable and certainly impressive growth, has, in many ways, made this prediction somewhat inevitable.  But, like many things in business, the reality is often a lot more complicated and time consuming than the theory.


And that’s exactly what people trying to recruit using LinkedIn alone, have found.  Recruiting this way in undeniably time consuming.  There is an awful lot of ‘reading between the lines,’ that needs to take place, and to someone unfamiliar with the recruitment process, this can lead to mistakes, which again, mean wasted time, money and resources.


It cannot be denied that that there has been a shift in behavioural patterns with regard to LinkedIn and to some extent it has and always will impact in certain ways on the recruitment industry.  However, LinkedIn needs recruitment in order to survive, but, Recruiters do not need LinkedIn to recruit successfully.


The idea that LinkedIn can replace professional recruiters grossly underestimates the skills, experience and ever evolving methods, established and respected Recruitment Consultant’s use.


Changing your career and moving to another company, are important decisions for most people, in fact, for many, one of the *the* most important decisions they will ever make.  A career move has so many factors to consider that effect the person’s life, so that unless the whole psychology of human beings changes significantly, the majority of job seekers are always going to want to interact with a professional during the process.  And that’s what Recruitment Consultants are.  Trained, experienced professionals, in the art of recruiting.  They dedicate their working day solely to matching the most suitable candidate to the best client.


LinkedIn will therefore only ever be an additional tool for the recruitment industry, and as we all know, it takes a trained professional to use these tools effectively.


Nicky Clarke-Bradford/Seaberry PR

Successful People Think Differently to Solve Problems

What makes an entrepreneur’s brain work differently in order to make a success of something others have not?

The clichéd image of entrepreneurs coming up with an idea, laboring feverishly to perfect it, and delivering their creation to the market fully-formed is not what usually happens.

The much more typical path is that they come up with an idea. They take a small step toward implementation to see if anyone is interested, and if it looks like some people are, they take another step forward.

If they don’t get the reaction they want, they regroup and then take another step in a different direction.

In other words, they:


Learn (from that action) and

Build (off that learning) and

Repeat, i.e. they act again.

That cycle continues repeats until the entrepreneur succeeds, knows she is not going to, or decides there is another, more appealing opportunity to pursue. As we said, the approach serial entrepreneurs use when faced with the unknown (starting a business) will work for you when you face the unknown of any kind.

Paul B. Brown discusses how succesful people actually think in a different way to solve problems, and how if others learnt to think in a different way to solve problems, it could herald more success in their professional lives.

Read the full article in