For younger automation professionals, ISA has resources to enable you to advance your career. For our more seasoned automation professionals, inviting a younger person to get involved in ISA can be a real spark in developing industry connections, gaining knowledge, and developing leadership skills.
Young Professionals: Your Network is Your Net Worth
My connections have been supremely valuable to my success and the fun I have had in my career. As you chart your own course, the people you meet will provide you with direct and indirect connections to jobs, projects, and expertise. I recommend reading, “Your Network is your Net Worth,” by Porter Gale as he provides a contemporary view of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in the digital age. As for ISA, get involved in your local section to meet local professional members or join one or many technical divisions to connect with others who share your specific industry or technical expertise.
ISA Resources to Help Boost Your Career
ISA holds tremendous value! Be sure you have identified as a young professional on your member profile! Here are just a few thoughts on the resources I hope and encourage you to take advantage of:
- Networking - join technical divisions and engage in Connect Live conversations about automation topics by up to 30-40 professionals (take THAT LinkedIn!). The Young Professionals Committee also hosts Connect Lives regularly, mainly on soft-skill topics. Check out the next one on 4 April to discuss how and why young professionals should get involved with standards development.
- ISA Connect– available on your mobile device, the power of the technical discussion forum is in the palm of your hand.
- Career Center – more than just a listing of automation jobs, check out the career planning and resume/cv advice.
- Credentials – through certificate programs, you gain both skills and recognition. The associate’s programs are available earlier in your career and provide credit toward certification requirements.
- Industry Information – a wealth of information and news shared with you through InTech, Automation.com, YouTube and the ISA Blog. ISA also has a plethora of books on a variety of subjects including flow, level, pressure, or temperature, and topics like process and safety control or IIoT and smart manufacturing.
- Events, webinars and training – information from experts delivered in-person, online, and on-demand. Check out the options to get your first module free.
Leadership and Management Experience
How can a young professional gain management experience at work or in their own startup if not given an opportunity? It's like the old chicken or the egg adage. Volunteering in ISA, perhaps for a local section or a division, is a great way to get started on a leadership journey. You can begin with a smaller role, but opportunities exist to get experience in project management, financials, and team leadership. And early information just for you, we are preparing to launch ISA Business Academy. Without giving away too many details, this 10-week mini-MBA program develops your skills in organizational leadership and financial management. Subscribe to Member Source to ensure you get the announcement about this opportunity as space in the program is limited.
And if that was not enough, we are also preparing to launch a new mentoring program. In its first year, this program developed by our Young Professional Committee will run July through December. Be sure you are designated as a young professional on your member profile so you get all of the notifications about this exciting new program.
Not So Young Professionals: Give and You Shall Receive
I’ve appreciated every person who provided advice early in my career. In turn, I’ve given that guidance back to help others succeed. I found time (despite a busy travel schedule and a family with four children) to help organizations such as ISA, IEEE, and local city volunteer organizations. Each of these experiences have been continuously rewarding.
Consider becoming a mentor – either on your own or through the program ISA will be launching in the coming months. As a mentor, you offer career guidance and professional development advice, as well as discussing technical requirements and project situations. Having a coffee for an hour every few months is not overly time-consuming but goes a long way to demystifying this complex industry. Most likely, you had a mentor at some point. I hope you will pay it forward.
No other association advances your automation career as well as ISA. Let’s share the wealth of ISA opportunities with young professionals and encourage them to get involved today.
Let’s create a better world through automation together!
Contact the President
I love to connect with members and listen to opinions about automation, what ISA is doing now, and what ISA should be doing. Please connect with me on ISA Connect, LinkedIn, or send an email to email@example.com.