I'm fond of sharing how I came to join ASTD-Orange County. That it was a chance encounter, on a commuter train, with an existing member who took the opportunity of a train stop to network. What I don't share very often is what happened next.
First, I did some research, the cursory type of research that a neophyte in the career would -- I checked the website, found out how much a membership cost. Then, I asked my boss if the company would dip into their professional development budget to pay for the membership.
My boss turned down my request.
From his point of view, ASTD-Orange County might be a fine group and all, but he wanted me to be sure that it wouldn't be a waste of money -- that I wouldn't be throwing more money after membership dues to reap any benefits. Two years passed before I joined the chapter. I'd gained a new boss, who had a different point of view on how the Chapter could support my development. Rather than pay for membership, she allocated departmental professional development funds to subsidize my enrollment in Total Trainer. From there, it made sense for me to be a part of a community in which I could learn and grow in ways that my new boss, supportive as she was, did not have the time or resources to do.
I share this now to add content to my questions.
I started small, managing the Chapter newsletter. But through the years my experiences with the chapter taught me more than T&D best practices -- they taught me organizational savvy, and gave me the confidence to do what I do now for a living.
Let us know how ASTD-Orange County works for you. Or, should your point of view match that of my first boss, let us know how ASTD-Orange County doesn't work for you.
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