November 9, 2009

Advice for People Looking to Get into Association Management

This week, the national unemployment rate went over 10%, just another example of how the economy is still in its recovery phase. It's tough for people out there, and it just seems like it's hitting every aspect of the job market, including associations.

However, in taking a quick look at the job board on ASAE's web site, and on the Association Forum of Chicagoland's web site, there are over 200 open positions looking for qualified people to fill them. The job market in associations is certainly not as barren as some areas.

So, as I was thinking about the job market and the association world, I thought about the career advice that I have received in the past. As I've come up, I have received a lot of great career advice, and have tried my best to provide some good advice to current students who are trying to find jobs as they are entering the workforce.

So, my question to you is: what's the best career advice you've ever received, whether it's specific to association management or your chosen niche within the field? If someone asked you today what are the three biggest qualities that they need to be successful in finding a job with an association, what would you tell them?

Looking forward to your comments.

November 5, 2009

Quoted on - A great piece, but context is needed

So a few weeks back I was contacted by a writer from who had seen an old post on this blog about Defriending and whether it was generational. She was doing a piece on defriending using social media and the different ways people reacted to it, and wanted to know about my experiences with it.

The story can be found by clicking here. I think it is a good piece that definitely gives a well rounded view of how a number of different people handle defriending on social media sites, how people feel, and it even has some science included in it with the research that was done.

As you scroll about 3/4 of the way down the piece, you see a few quotes from me, and I wanted to talk about the context in which they were made. (One of the positives of having a blog, right? The ability to give context to things you've said!)

Throughout my conversation with the writer, who as I said did a great job with the finished piece, I talked about value. The fact is, I want to receive (and provide) value in my interactions within the social web. I don't necessarily think the quotes that were used reflect that fact, so here's my context.

My first quote, which talks about the people whom I defriend, was in the context of me not necessarily receiving the value I had expected from my connections with those specific people. There are many, many people I do find value from, but my litmus test is whether someone is providing me value. That is how I have made my decisions on the people I have defriended (which is a pretty small number honestly).

Moving onto my second quote about ending online relationships, I think it comes back to value. What I said is the way I feel - if someone decides to no longer follow or connect with me on the social web, they obviously weren't getting the value that they thought they were going to. That's OK with me... I don't want someone hanging on just because they don't want to hurt my feelings, and I would expect that would be how most people would feel.

This experience being interviewed was an interesting one... I was torn on whether I wanted to participate, and after deciding I wanted to and seeing the story, I think it was a worthwhile experience.

Oh, and by the way, my fellow ASAE Communications Section Council Member, Cecilia Sepp, was also quoted and did a nice job of getting her position across. While she and I differ in how we use our social networks, I think we both agree that this experience was a fun one!

November 3, 2009

The Rise of Webinars - Too Many, Too Fast?

Ok, I get it... Webinars are the new fad in education, both within specific associations and across industries. They seem to be a cost effective alternative to in person meetings, and provide an opportunity for more regular and frequent education for people who are often spread across many different time zones and areas of the country/world. They are really a positive when done correctly, but I have a question for all you association folks out there...

Are you getting a little webinared-out (i.e. worn out by webinars)?

In watching Twitter regularly and seeing the promotions, it seems as though if I really wanted to, I could sit in on an hour webinar each hour during an eight hour day about say, social media...

Some of these webinars might be from people who legitimately can do a great job in educating people about certain things in the industry - industry experts so to speak. However, I often see promotion for webinars that are nothing more than veiled sales pitches for a specific company trying to get into the association space, thus just causing cyber noise for me.

Am I the only one who is seeing this trend, and beginning to get a little tired of all of the webinars? How do you make your decisions about which webinars you sit in on? Have you personally sat in on any really bad webinars? If so, tell us about it...

Again, I'm not against webinars per se if they're done correctly by a respected professional, but this incessant rise in the frequency of webinars seems to be getting under my skin for some reason...