How to Succeed at Your Job
by Paul Gruhn, P.E., C.F.S.E.
E.A. Filene (a banker and financier) said one hundred years ago, "When a man's education is finished, he is finished." It doesn't matter whether you're a doctor, lawyer, engineer or technician. With today's rapidly changing pace of technology, you need to understand the implications of what the latest technologies can offer to make you and your organization more competitive. Enter ISA Divisions!
George Santayana also said one hundred years ago, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." You need to learn what vendors don't publish and they may not want you to know. You need to learn from the mistakes of others. (After all, you don't want to make them all yourself, do you?) Your Division peers have this knowledge. Make yourself more valuable to your employer and help them lower their overall risk by taking advantage of this knowledge base. Enter ISA Divisions!
With companies losing more and more experienced people, those who are left need to be as knowledgeable and well-connected as they can. Enter ISA Divisions! There's an old phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." There's some truth to that. You can't know everything. Knowing where and who to turn to for help allows you to solve problems much more quickly than fumbling around on your own. Relying on the help of others at the right time simply makes you more efficient. There's also a phrase, "It's not who you know, but who finds you worth knowing." If people know you're a person who's well-connected, can solve problems, and are knowledgeable and efficient at what you do, you'll be a valued employee. And if you do happen to become an unfortunate victim of downsizing, you'll have a network of contacts already established who know you and can help you. Most jobs are gotten by word of mouth long before formal recruitment activities are made. It's in your best interest to stay well-connected. Enter ISA Divisions!
There are 17 technical and industry focused Divisions within ISA. Divisions maintain websites and publish newsletters (typically twice per year) including technical articles and industry updates. Most Divisions have e-mail list servers (broadcast systems) allowing their members to network with their peers worldwide. Divisions are actively involved in developing the technical programs of the society's yearly fall conference in their areas of specialization. Some Divisions even develop their own specialized symposia. Membership in a Division is an absolute bargain at only $9/year.
Key Benefits of Division Membership
- Gain knowledge and become more efficient at your job through newsletters, conferences and proceedings.
- Network with your peers face-to-face and electronically in order to solve problems.
- Work with a mentor to learn more about your industry and career advancement.
"As a Division member you can become acquainted with people who do what you do. Common interests and work experiences help facilitate activities like networking and mentoring. I've utilized my contacts to help me with work related problems." Jim Tatera, Tatera and Associates, Inc.
"Through membership you meet professionals from diverse sectors of our marketplace which helps strengthen your technical knowledge and broaden your experience base. Plus, the technical content provided through Division symposia and other ISA resources is unsurpassed." Ron Hicks, Chief Engineer, Black & Veatch.
"If you're wondering whether Division membership is worth it, let me tell you this. I became known as an industry expert by writing technical papers, teaching for ISA, writing a book, and was accepted as an ISA Fellow, all because of my involvement with ISA through Division activities. I wouldn't be who I am if it weren't for ISA. What do you want to do with your career?" Paul Gruhn, P.E., C.F.S.E., Safety Systems Specialist, ICS Triplex.