Many people join an association without giving a second thought to how to make the most of the membership. Guilty as charged. Several years ago, I joined the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST; however, other than attending that year’s Forum, I didn’t get involved. I had let my membership wither on the vine and didn’t renew. When I rejoined the TRUST at the start of 2016, I joined a committee and immediately started shaping my TRUST experience. This time around I made more of my membership in three months than I had previously in one year.
So, how can you make the most of your TRUST membership? Here are five tips for fully realizing your membership experience.
#1 – Attend a New Member Breakfast. I made it a point to attend a New Member Breakfast right away when I rejoined the TRUST and I’m so glad I did. There I was able to not only meet other new members, but I had the opportunity to meet Carol Kraft, who was serving as TRUST president at the time. Meeting Carol opened up new opportunities, including service on the Forum committee. How often do you get to meet the president or other leaders of an organization in an informal, small group setting? It happens each month with the TRUST. Check the TRUST online calendar for upcoming New Member Breakfast dates.
#2 – Take advantage of professional development opportunities. Education is one of the four TRUST pillars and it is on ample display via year-round professional development opportunities. These seminars are focused on leadership development, career advancement, new trends and best practices. Keep an eye on the TRUST e-newsletters, social channels and online calendar for new sessions.
#3 – Join a committee. Why? Those who get involved on committees have the opportunity to enhance existing programs and create unique opportunities. I joined the TRUST Marketing & Communications committee and have helped enhance existing programs. It’s rewarding to give back to the organizations we are a part of.
#4 – Participate in the ACCELERATE! mentoring program. Mentoring programs are a meaningful way to truly learn from a peer in the industry who likely becomes a long-term trusted counselor. The program provides individual access to senior women leaders in health care so participants can build leadership presence, learn from experiences (both wins and mistakes) and have a personal sounding board to help cultivate a path forward. The TRUST’s ACCELERATE! mentoring program is available only for members and is a tremendous opportunity for reciprocal learning.
#5 – Network, network, network. From networking-only events such as the wine & networking event to the annual Forum conference, the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST provides numerous opportunities to meet other women with similar professional interests and goals. Don’t let networking feel like a chore. Fellow TRUST members are peers who can help you learn more about the health care industry, expand your network and perhaps make your next job search a bit easier.
Remember, membership is what you make of it and it doesn’t require a substantial time or financial commitment. Hopefully these tips gave you some inspiration to take charge of your TRUST membership and create an amazing long-term experience.
Candee serves on the TRUST committees for Marketing & Communications as well as the Forum and is a paid consultant for the TRUST’s social media. She has served as President of the Public Relations Society of America Minnesota chapter and is currently President-Elect of Minnesota Women in Marketing & Communications. Candee provides strategic communications planning and implementation for health care and senior care organizations.