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3 Ways an ISAE Shared Interest Group Can Grow Your Career

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Feb 27, 2014 11:58:00 AM

Show of hands: When you were little, did you want to be an association professional when you grew up? In college, did you choose to major in association management?

For most of us in the association management field, the answer to both of those questions is no. Most association professionals say they “fell into” association management and never looked back. And while there are certainly skills from other fields that translate well into this profession, we all know that this line of work comes with its own unique challenges. The member-based organization dynamic, board governance, membership growth and retention, providing education, volunteer management,  developing new products and services, serving as the voice of an industry… the list goes on and on, and association professionals are charged with doing it all (and more) with very limited resources.

That’s where ISAE can help.

New in 2014, ISAE launched the Shared Interest Group (SIG) program. The concept is simple: Association professionals who have similar interests and/or responsibilities can come together to focus on what matters most to them. A full list of SIGs can be found here: http://www.isae.org/learn/shared-interest-groups/

Here are three ways an ISAE Shared Interest Group can grow your career:

  1.  Shared resources. Many association professionals do not have the luxury of working in large departments with multiple staff members tasked for the same goals. Most likely, you’re a membership department of one; an event planning department of one; a communication department of one. Joining a Shared Interest Group gives you access to a network of other professionals who do exactly what you do day in and day out. Want to grow membership? Join the Membership SIG and you’ll likely find someone who is willing to share what their association did, provide samples and help you evaluate your own membership plan.
  2. Sense of community. It’s easy to think that your association is too unique, or the challenges too rare, to ever be able to find someone outside your organization who would understand. By joining a SIG, you’ll find that all association professionals tend to face similar situations—and want to help each other succeed. This outside perspective can help provide clarity to your organization’s issues while giving you the support system you need to tackle these challenges.
  3. Learn something new. Even the most seasoned association management professionals can benefit from a SIG. The peer-to-peer networking provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from each other’s successes and failures. Any association that refuses to adapt to current changes will not grow. The same can be said for the association professional leading that organization.

The SIG program is truly one of the most beneficial programs ISAE offers association professionals—but you’ll only get what you give. By joining a SIG, you’ll be able to reaffirm what your organization is doing right, learn what you can do to improve, and have a support network to guide you along the way.

Join a SIG now: http://www.isae.org/learn/shared-interest-groups/ 

Author: Shelly Pfenninger, Vacation Rental Managers Association

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).

About Shelly Pfenninger

Director of Communication, Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA)
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Topics: Carreer, Networking

The Gridlock in Washington: Looking for a Brighter Tomorrow

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Jan 22, 2014 7:18:00 AM

If you’re not frustrated with gridlock in Washington, raise your hand. OK, that didn’t generate much arm movement. But how much is the lack of activity in our nation’s capital costing Americans? The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank tries to provide some answers.

 It estimates an unemployment rate 1.3% lower at the end of 2012 if federal fiscal, regulatory and health care policies were more clear. That would translate to about two million more people earning a paycheck. The lower unemployment rate (6.1%) would be just slightly higher than the 20-year average before the Great Recession.

 In addition, many current part-time positions would likely be full-time jobs. In July 2013, 8.2 million people were employed part time, nearly twice as many as a decade ago.

 Immediate prospects don’t look much brighter. Spending authority to keep government operating runs out at the end of the month and the legal limit on borrowing will be hit in mid-October. More short-term deals instead of long-term solutions are expected.

 The bottom line from Kiplinger: “The economy will suffer until Washington sends much clearer signals. Growth will continue to pick up, but only slowly. And businesses won’t invest big in new hires or new plants and equipment until they can see a brighter tomorrow.”

Author: Tom Schuman, Indiana Chamber of Commerce

Interested in the local issues that may affect your association this year? ISAE’s upcoming legislative briefing and networking lunch is the perfect opportunity to hear from legislators on the current issues that may affect various groups at the local level. Find out mere here.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).

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Topics: Association, Carreer

Miss Manners Says Put Your Device Away at Work

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Dec 26, 2013 7:10:00 AM

Emily Post, the famed 20th Century etiquette guru once said, “Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.”

While Post might not have seen cellphones, tablets or laptops coming, these handy-dandy technologies can pose etiquette problems in the workplace (and at lunch with friends and at home with your families – but we’re just going to focus on the workplace for now).

A survey from Robert Half Technology of over 2,300 chief information officers (CIOs) around the country found that 64% of CIOs said the increased use of mobile devices has led to more workplace rudeness over the last three years. That percentage has grown from 51% in 2010.

These technologies can help with productivity, but also serve as major distractions in meetings and face-to-face conversations.

Robert Half Technology offers four suggestions to avoid breaching etiquette at work:

Don’t surf while talking. It’s just rude to check your email or be on the Internet while in the midst of a conversation with someone.

Keep voicemails concise. Get to the point, already.

Make smart communication choices. Use the available technology to your advantage: Need a quick answer on something? Try an email, text or instant message. Just make sure to pick up the phone or walk down the hallway if you’ve got a long request or need to have a difficult conversation.

Avoid intense multitasking. Be present wherever you are. Tablets and laptops can make meetings more effective and efficient, but surfing the web or Tweeting during meetings is just a distraction for you and everyone else involved.

One more thing: the Emily Post Institute has a whole section on business etiquette, as well as a guide, “Manners in a Digital World, Living Well Online.” Check them out when you’ve got some free time at http://www.emilypost.com/.

Author: Charlee Beasor, Indiana Chamber of Commerce

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).


About Charlee Beasor

Charlee Beasor is the communication/PR specialist at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. She is a mom, journalist, casual golfer, singer (in cars and showers), optimist, grammar nerd, country girl and lover of coffee, chocolate and wine.
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Topics: Mobile, Carreer

Reinvigorate Your Career Passion at the July 2013 ISAE Convention

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Jun 26, 2013 11:33:00 AM

Have you ever felt the  Sunday Night Blues when you just didn’t feel  enthusiastic about going to work on Monday morning? It happens to everybody – even if you are seemingly content in your career. It’s easy to lose the career spark and get swept away with the momentum of the day-to-day minutiae. At the  Indiana Society of Association Executives Convention in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana on July 18 th you will learn how to reignite your career passion so you can thrive. Satisfaction doesn’t happen automatically and you must cultivate your career engagement so it doesn’t happen by default. Career management is leadership behavior and you alone have the power to be the CEO of your own career.


After interviewing 375+ individuals around the world for my best-selling book:  This Is Not The Career I Ordered, I have compiled valuable professional lessons applicable to everyone from entry-level to the C-Suite. Learn the importance of playing to your strengths and honoring your career passions as well as effective strategies to ramp up your professional presence, communication skills, and self-confidence. My high-energy keynote will be chock-full of valuable take-aways and easy to use action steps to help you make the most out of your career. You will learn how to navigate the realities of work/integration, ask for what you want with confidence, and assemble your personal Board of Directors to help you move forward.
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Topics: Conferences, Carreer

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