Many challenges present themselves when you are in a new environment, especially as an immigrant. These include searching for a job, having no professional networks, or no local work experience. Realizing this, many resources have been made available to those immigrating to Canada. To access those resources, you must look forward to joining a professional organization such as an association. 

Why join a Professional Association.

Here is how a professional association can benefit you in multiple ways. 

  • A professional association will help you find opportunities by meeting professionals from your field and thus begin a network.
  • Professional Associations also offer career development and professional growth courses and program workshops. These workshops will help you demonstrate your work experience.
  • Being with a professional association will also give you many opportunities to engage and volunteer using your work experience and knowledge.

The Purpose of a Professional Association

The goal of a professional association is the promotion and support of the interests of its members and their profession. Professional associations serve as an organization that professionals can go to when they are looking for resources to enter a field. They provide their members with training and updates related to their fields as well.

They also offer professional courses, host events, and provide opportunities. An association at a professional level can help you connect to other professionals in your domain. They offer insights into what your next steps can be based on their professional experience. You can even include your experience in an association in your resume and CV. This helps reflect your investment in your professional field. 

Services offered by a professional association include the following. 

  • They will keep you updated on the current trends and events involving your profession. 
  • They will help you in developing professionally.
  • They host a variety of networking events.
  • They have job boards to help you.
  • You can access any local resources and tools as a member of an association.
  • They even provide mentorship to their mentors. 

Types of Professional Associations

4 types of Professional Associations are there in Canada. They differ in terms of their events organised, activities and services offered. 

1. Professional Regulatory Associations.

These associations impose standards of the professional level to help in protecting the general public from any form of unethical practices of the profession. Even to gain a license, those practicing must have a membership in a professional association of their field. An example of a regulatory body is the Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. 

2. Certifying Association. 

This association is for awarding credentials to those professionals who meet the specifications required for the profession. An example of this type of association is the Project Management Professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute. 

3, Member Benefits Professional Association. 

This association provides resources to there members. Access to these resources helps them advance in their specific career. Canadian Marketing Association is helping marketers in expanding their knowledge of the industry. 

4. Designation Granting Association.

This association grants its members a chance to demonstrate their professional status. For example, Human Resources Professionals Association grants the Human Resources Professional certification to help those practicing HR a way in which they can demonstrate their expertise. 

How to choose the right association 

We have compiled a list of things you must research and consider while choosing an association. 

  • You must check the membership fee and any additional fee based on the type of association, you will be needed to pay. 
  • You must know if your profession does or does not need you to be a part of an association.
  • You must be well aware of the types of activities and/or events that are hosted and conducted by the association.
  • You should be well-known about the prestige of the association. 
  • You must research what opportunities will be made available to you. 

Doing thorough research while finding your association will help you find an association that is in best alignment with your interests and professional development. It is also suggested to find other professionals in your field of interest on LinkedIn and find out what associations they are a part of. This will help you understand the popularity and relevance of an association. 

Maximizing Your Membership

Joining a professional association is not enough. To derive the full benefit of the association, you must be an active member of it. Attend all the networking events, devote your time, connect with a mentor and grab the professional development opportunities made available to you through the association. You can even market your membership and add your leadership skills-related activities on your resume to show employers that you are an engaged member of your profession in Canada. 

Professional Immigrant Networks

PIN or Professional Immigrant Network is many professional associations involved in a professional network. They make partnerships with organizations that help support and develop the professions and careers of immigrants in Canada. The PINs are encouraged to collaborate and conduct events. 

Many associations in the networks are led by immigrants themselves. They serve a wide variety of communities and professions. Partnerships are made with different employers, agencies serving immigrants, community groups, local and Federal Governments, and others who are stakeholders in the Greater Toronto Area. All of these have committed to help their members in achieving their employment and professional goals. 

You must find a PIN that will help you best. Directories are available online where you can search for PINs based on professional as well as a cultural identity.