Then came my incredible year of participation in LDP. I suppose I grew up, finally, whew! This shouldn't come as a surprise, it isn't a huge revelation, but if everyone says, "What have they done for me," then NOTHING will get done! Really? An organization is the sum of its parts, it can only be effective with effective participation. We know this, yet still only a handful of people step up to the plate and plod ahead trying to do much with little. So, I rejoined the ranks of NHSLHA and accepted a position on the executive board. Public relations...AAAAAAGGGGGHHHH!! An area I know virtually nothing about. What I do know is I am willing to learn. I know I must stop expecting others to do the work alone. I know ASHA has staff that are ready and willing to help me and our state association experience a renaissance and become an active and proud representative of our profession.
Why should you join the ranks of your state speech and language association?
- Networking: Your state association can connect you with professionals who share your passion. Those professionals possess a collective brainpower that can support you in a wealth of ways including, mentorship, problem solving, research, access to leadership in the profession, advocacy and general support.
- Conferences: State associations provide continuing education opportunities that are often reasonably priced. Additionally, registration costs are often reduced for members, another boon!
- Employment resources: Many state associations list job opportunities on their website. Some can even assist in resume or cover letter writing, interview skills, or job search strategies.
- Advocacy: Your state association is hard at work behind the scenes advocating for the needs of our profession. Representatives from associations tirelessly advocate on your behalf on the issues that impact us daily. Through their efforts hot button issues like caseload size, insurance caps, paperwork burdens and licensure are brought to the attention of our legislators. They also keep membership abreast of federal and state legislative developments that impact us as a profession.
- Professional Clout: Being a card carrying member of a professional organization provides members with some professional influence and who doesn't want a little street cred?
- Publications: Many associations provide their membership with access to newsletters and/or journals.