Creating Professional Networks for Successful Career Enhancement

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 9:00 AM
204B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
T. Douglas Beard Jr. , National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA
Professional networks are a critical component of a successful career. Creation of a professional network is an important task for emerging fishery professionals to accomplish. Professional networks not only lead to possible career advancement, but create lifelong friendships that make working in the fisheries profession rewarding. I can point to multiple career opportunities (jobs, leadership in International Organizations, research projects and leading study abroad courses) that have been a result of growing a strong professional network. A key role for mentors is to help emerging professionals develop and nurture professional networks. One of the most rewarding approaches to ensuring a successful career, is to join and become involved in your professional society, by volunteering for work group activities, attending local, regional, and national meetings, developing and presenting symposia and papers, and serving as an elected official of various components of the society. Professional service has contributed greatly to my career success and many of my closest friends and colleagues have resulted from my volunteer contributions to the American Fisheries Society (AFS).  I will outline how to create professional networks through participation in society leadership and show examples of how these connections have benefitted my career.