|(Used with no permission but used |
In my blog post on SHRM I expressed a desire for them to be thought leaders in the field, to strive to transform the profession. Jason shot that down, and he is right. Professions do not get changed by associations. Associations follow the field and have to appeal to "early adopters" as well as the folks that resist change. It is practioners that lead change. Practioners enact change. Practioners provide examples of how to do things better.
SHRM is THE organization of the HR profession. There are others, but none with the membership numbers (one national organization boasts a membership that is half of the membership of SHRM-Atlanta) that SHRM has. So SHRM does represent the profession. So it behooves us to remain involved. It behooves us to try to enact change in the association from the inside. Much of the superstructure of SHRM, its chapters, are volunteer organizations. Many of these chapters have a great need for leadership. Taking a leadership role in a local organization is a great way for professionals to demonstrate new ways of doing HR and influence for change. If enough people are providing leadership on the grass roots level the association as a whole will have a greater capacity for change.
So to answer the question in the title, Should you belong to SHRM, my answer is yes. You should belong on both the national and local levels. And here are some other things you should do:
- Take a volunteer role or a leadership role
- Be active in your memberships (you only get out of an organization what you put in)
- Continue to be critical, but make it constructive criticism. Organizations won't change without feedback.
- Remember your profession is your responsibility.
BTW, for those of you who may be looking for an entry-level postion in HR, getting involved in a SHRM chapter and working hard and diligently as a volunteer will give you exposure to potential hiring managers who may overlook your lack of experience because of what they have seen you demonstrate as a volunteer. Think about it.