August 2014

As chief elected officer of the Society, ASSE's president promotes the advancement of the Society and the safety profession, and represents ASSE before members, other relevant professional societies and various governmental agencies. Professional Safety shares his latest thoughts on the Society, the profession and its practice.

Read past messages in the President's Message Archive.

President's Message - August 2005

By being actively involved and pursuing networking opportunities, you will build relationships that enrich your life, broaden your horizons and enhance your career.

2005-2006 ASSE President Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP

The Value of Networking

Over the years, I've heard a few people ask, "What do I get for my membership in ASSE?" I could go on for quite some time about the vast number of professional development opportunities, the representation we receive through government affairs and standards activities, and the technical publications—from books and study guides to Professional Safety and the practice specialty newsletters-available to us as ASSE members. But there's one benefit that I believe is often overlooked—networking.

Through networking, you can make new friends, develop your career, explore new career options, obtain referrals and broaden your professional horizons. As members of ASSE, we have a network of 30,000 SH&E professionals just a phone call or an e-mail away.

Your membership provides endless opportunities for networking. In the digital world, we have the Society's A-List listserv, through which you can ask for and share best practices. We can also contact other members through our online directory, or tap into our practice specialties using tools such as the Consultants Practice Specialty Directory or the Practice Specialty Knowledge Network.
When it comes to face-to-face networking, ASSE seminars, conferences and symposia are great options. Time spent talking to others during breaks, at lunch and after class is as valuable as what's being shared in the formal classroom setting.

Local ASSE chapter/section meetings are another important networking avenue. Even if the meeting topic isn't of particular interest, remember that there's always something new to learn. You may not be able to use the information immediately, but it may come in handy down the road. These meetings also offer a tremendous opportunity for regular contact with your "local" network.

Beyond ASSE, you can broaden your knowledge and network base by attending meetings of local safety councils, or your local AIHA, AAOHN or RIMS chapters/sections. You might also investigate seminars and similar events offered by industry-specific organizations.

Whatever the approach, the bottom line is that we all need to network. By doing so, you'll meet people and exchange information that will help you do your job more efficiently. By pursuing any of the many available options, you will build relationships that enrich your life, broaden your horizons and enhance your career. Use your membership in ASSE to your advantage. All you need to do is actively participate and the opportunities will materialize.

Next month, I'll share some thoughts about positive involvement and ways we can improve our knowledge while serving our fellow members and communities. Continue to have a safe and enjoyable summer. See you in September.

Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP