Weekend Poll Results: The Significance of Your Professional Networks and Associations

With thanks to all who are participating, here are the results of this past weekend’s poll, which I’ve now closed. Our focus this weekend:

Do you belong to a professional association or network?

The results: In less than four days, respondents identified more than 36 different associations and networks across a number of countries. A number of you tap in to two or more such organisations, and a strong majority believe that such memberships have enhanced their careers.

If you’re currently employed, you know your employer and the extent of its support for your organisation development. What do you think, though, about how companies across the spectrum are contributing to your peers’ membership in these organisations? Read on to see what your peers have to say.

A high percentage of respondents belong to professional associations/networks

  • 89% do belong to professional associations/networks
  • 11% of respondents don’t belong to professional associations/networks

76% of respondents belong to two or more professional associations/networks

  • one association/network: 21% of respondents
  • two associations/networks: 33% of respondents
  • three associations/networks: 23% of respondents
  • four associations/networks: 10% of respondents
  • five associations/networks: 10% of respondents
  • “none” or “none at the moment”: 3% of respondents

79% of respondents identified membership in more than three dozen associations and networks, as follows  (I’ve tried to capture and include web addresses; if I’ve misidentified any URLs, please let me know and I’ll correct)

  1. AAA – Association of Administrative Assistants Canada
  2. AAPNZ – Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand
  3. Aberdeen PA
  4. AEAP – The Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals
  5. AGB – Association of Governing Boards
  6. APAI
  7. ASAP – American Society of Administrative Professionals
  8. AUA – Association of University Administrators
  9. BCCEA – BC Colleges Executive Assistants
  10. Bristol PA Network
  11. bsb – Bur Bundesverband Sekretariat und Büromanagement e. V.
  12. BTUA – Be The Ultimate Assistant
  13. CICan-GPOP – Colleges and Institutes Canada: Governance and President’s Office Professionals
  14. EAO – Executive Assistants Organization
  15. EPAA – Executive & Personal Assistants Association
  16. EUMA – European Management Assistants
  17. EUMA UK – European Management Assistants UK
  18. Event Planning
  19. EWI
  20. Exeter PA Network
  21. Global PA Association
  22. IAAP – International Association of Administrative Professionals
  23. IAM – Institute of Administrative Management
  24. ICD – Institute of Corporate Directors
  25. ICF Greek Chapter
  26. ICSA Canada
  27. Instam
  28. Manchester PA Network
  29. NAFE – National Association for Female Executives
  30. NAPAHE – National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education
  31. NAPW – National Association of Professional Women
  32. OPSA
  33. PAFSA – Professional Association for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
  34. Peterborough PA Network
  35. SEiEM – Servicios Educativos Integrados al Estado de México
  36. Society of Virtual Assistants
  37. The Charity PA Network
  38. Virtual Assistants
  39. Other: “Local PA network & national PA Forum”
  40. Other: “None at the moment”

Admin Professionals Day Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Membership is on the rise; while 5.5% of respondents have participated in professional associations or networks for 15 years or longer, 48% have tapped into such associations within just the last five years.

Is this a reflection of growth or new membership within the profession, increased determination to build professional networks and skills, professional pride, or a combination of factors? What do you think?

  • participation of 1 – 2 years: 18%
  • participation of 3 – 5 years: 30%
  • participation of 5 – 8 years: 25%
  • participation of 8 – 10 years: 12%
  • participation of 10 – 15 years: 7%
  • participation of 15 – 20 years: 2.5%
  • participation of 20+ years: 3%
  • “Other” – 2.5%; responses included, “Prior to 2011, 8 years”; “not applicable”

A majority of respondents reported that membership has enhanced their careers

  • 86% of respondents reported that membership in such associations/networks has enhanced their careers
  • 12% of respondents reported that membership in such associations/networks has not enhanced their careers
  • 2% of respondents selected, “Other”; one respondent wrote, “Not applicable”

IAAP trade show Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

What do you think respondents identified as the single most significant factor such associations/networks have on their careers?

  • 34%: professional pride
  • 22%: expansion of social circle/friendships
  • 20%: self confidence
  • 10%: attainment of credential(s) or certification(s)
  • 6%: soft skills
  • 4%: technical skills
  • 4% selected selected, “Other”; respondents’ notes included, “Developing professional contacts, learning and networking”, “All of the above” and “Not applicable”

 

Such associations have had a positive impact on the majority of respondents’ social lives

  • 87% of respondents reported that membership in such associations has enhanced their social life
  • 11% of respondents  reported that membership in such associations has not enhanced their social life
  • 2% of respondents selected, “Other”; one wrote, “Not applicable”

Many respondents have already held leadership positions within such associations/networks. If you’ve not yet done so, could 2016 or 2017 be your year?

  • 70% of respondents have held leadership positions within such associations/networks
  • 28% of respondents have not held leadership positions within such associations/networks
  • 2% of respondents selected, “Other”; one wrote, “Not applicable”

Almost six out of every 10 respondents reported that their employers sponsor internal/corporate peer/development associations for roles such as theirs. Pretty impressive, yes? Now: how do we elevate that percentage?

  • 59.5% of respondents reported that their employers sponsor internal/corporate peer/development associations for roles such as the ones they hold
  • 38.5% of respondents reported that their employers do not sponsor internal/corporate peer/development associations for roles such as the ones they hold
  • 2% of respondents selected, “Other”; one wrote, “not employed”

Who funds all these association/network fees and costs?

  • 49% of respondents reported that they fund such fees and costs personally
  • 25% of respondents report that their employers fund such costs
  • 20% of respondents report that there’s joint funding such costs; the employers pay some costs, and respondents pay others
  • 5% of respondents selected, “n/a – no fees or costs involved in this particular association”
  • 1% of respondents selected, “Other”; one wrote, “Not applicable”

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