Getting involved in trade organizations can often prove to be an invaluable career-building tool with both anticipated and unanticipated benefits, yet I see far too many young AEC professionals failing to take advantage. So, without further ado, here are the top five reasons those starting out in the AEC or really any industry should strongly consider joining their respective trade organizations.

1. Leadership Opportunities

Young employees don’t often get chances to take on leadership opportunities at their full-time jobs, because they are new in their careers and there are already people in those positions. Industry organizations, however, are volunteer-based and often in need of people to take on various roles.  Volunteering when you are new in your career will enable you to hone core leadership skills in a fairly low-risk environment.

2. Exposure to New Perspectives

It is all too easy for young professionals to get caught up in their own bubble and their own company’s ways of doing and looking at things. Becoming active in industry organizations immediately opens your mind and exposes you to new ideas and perspectives from not just other companies, but from people in other industry roles as well. Oftentimes, you can then take what you’ve learned and apply it in your everyday thinking to add value and help you do your job more effectively.

It is all too easy for young professionals to get caught up in their own bubble and their own company’s ways of doing and looking at things.

3. Public Speaking Opportunities

While often dreaded, particularly by those just starting out in their careers, public speaking is an incredibly important skill that can have an enormous impact on your degree of success in any industry. Mastering it requires a level of confidence that can only come from a lot of practice, and industry organizations and their many speaking engagements certainly provide those opportunities.

4. Grow Your Network

It is impossible to overstate the importance of beginning to build a network early. The connections and relationships you establish now can pay dividends for the rest of your career. Many of the people you interact with in industry organizations are, or will become, highly influential decision makers who can become lifelong advocates for your career.

5. Mentorship

While a lot of companies offer mentorship programs to help young employees become acclimated to their roles, industry organizations provide a different, often more informal type of mentor/mentee relationship that can last a lifetime. Again, with these organizations being volunteer-based, you’re afforded the opportunity to learn from others in similar or related roles in a comparatively low-risk environment. I was fortunate enough to experience that type of guidance early in my career and am now honored to be providing it to others entering our industry today.

In closing, while the reasons to become involved in industry organizations should now seem obvious, it’s important to note that you won’t necessarily see all the benefits overnight. However, if you approach your involvement with the right mindset and handle your assigned responsibilities well, you will reap the rewards now and well into the future.


  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

From CityBuild Academy to Southland Industries

The journey, which landed me where I am today, began about two and a ...

Built to Lead

In 2013, I embarked on a ten-month leadership and self-development journey within Southland Industries, ...

Achieving Safety Milestones: 2,000 Days Without Injury

For Southland’s Southern California Fabrication Shop, April 4th, 2014 marked 2,000 days and approximately ...

Raising Awareness: How to Support the AAPI Community in AEC

AAPI Heritage Month presents an opportunity to bring awareness to societal issues affecting individuals ...

The Moustached Month of Movember

Talking about one’s health can be an intimidating subject. In a society where vitality ...