It's always a good idea to join professional associations related to your career, as this move opens up more opportunities for you and lets you in on trade secrets that you wouldn't have to find out yourself the hard way. If your current career is related to business technology systems or is in anyway involved with trading and selling business equipment, you may want to consider joining business technology associations. Here are some pointers to help you out:
Know what business technology is all about. First of all, it's a good idea to find out if your particular career can be categorized under business technology. In simplest terms, business technology refers to how computers and other modern technology are utilized and integrated into business processes to support systems, administration and processes. Business technology could deal with hardware, software, and the Internet, among others.
Know what qualifications you'd like your trade association to have. It's good to start with a list of considerations about the association that you would like to be part of. Would you rather join a big, international community, or a small association composed of members mostly within your locale? Would you like an association that's more general for business technology, or something that caters to your specific profession? Use these considerations as a guide when choosing among your list of trade associations to join.
Find listings of business technology associations. One of the best sources of association listings is the Internet. Check out sites such as inc.com and bta.org. Also, take the time to inquire at your local chamber of commerce if they have listings of business technology associations along with their contact numbers.
Attend trade seminars. By constantly being present at seminars and conferences about business technology, you'd get to meet more people within your business circles. Keep in contact with them, and ask them if they could give recommendations on which trade associations are best. If they're already a member of one, you could ask them to put in a good word for you: having an insider reference could give you better chances - and less red tape - in joining the group.
Do your research. Once you have a shortlist of associations you'd like to be part of, make sure that you take time to research on the following points: the benefits they offer to their members; the prestige or level of accomplishment of its members; what activities or projects it has undertaken the past three years; and how professional circles regard this association.
Find out the requirements. Most trade associations only require their new members to pay a certain fee, to fill out the application form, and to contact their group for further interviews. The specific requirements depend on the particular trade association you're interested in joining, so you should include this in your research as well.
There you have it! These are just some of the guidelines to remember when you're looking to join a business technology association. Remember that the key here is to know whether an association could help you improve your business, and that you should be motivated to remain committed to your association at least for the duration of your membership. Good luck!