The Benefits of AITP Networking
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Posted by: Kevin Shen
What's In It for Me to Join the AITP?
In today's economic and business climate, advancing one's career or business seems to be harder than ever, sometimes to the point of being discouraging. What used to get results does not seem to work today. Simply having good educational credentials, work experience, and valuable skills (for the IT professional) or having good product or services offerings (for the business owner or IT sales / marketing professional) does not seem to be enough to get ahead these days. Does this scenario sound familiar to you or to some one whom you know?
The old cliché, it's not what you know, but who you know applies more than ever before. In the face of reduced corporate IT spending and large corporate downsizings, jobs and business opportunities are much scarcer today than just a few years ago during the dot-com craze of the late 1990's. Therefore, it is more important than ever to find new ways to advance one's career or business. What can an IT professional do, in order to accomplish this? The answer is by networking with other fellow IT professionals in organizations like the AITP- St. Louis Chapter.
Whether you are a business owner seeking new business opportunities, an IT professional seeking a better career opportunity, or an IT professional between opportunities, networking is perhaps the best way to find these opportunities. For the business owner or the sales / marketing professional, the best, largest, and most loyal clients are usually developed from these networking contacts. People naturally like to do business with people who they know, trust, and have a relationship with. Networking is perhaps the best and easiest way of cultivating these business relationships in order to tap into new business opportunities.
For the IT professional, the best and most rewarding career opportunities and jobs are usually found from these networking contacts. Statistics repeatedly show that most job openings are not advertised and are only found through word of mouth and personal / networking contacts. Thus, only a relatively small percentage of jobs are advertised in local newspapers, such as The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch or on Internet job search sites like monster.com. Networking is perhaps the easiest and best way for the job seeker to tap into this hidden job market, where most of these jobs are.
The AITP is an excellent organization for all IT professionals to meet other fellow IT professionals, to make new contacts, and to develop business relationships that eventually turn into new business opportunities or new jobs. It is comprised of a wide variety of career-minded IT professionals who are seeking to expand their opportunities, whether they are employers, employees, job seekers, managers, entrepreneurs, educators, or students. Because of this, the contacts one establishes from AITP are likely to be qualified and focused contacts, those that are productive and relate to one's networking objective(s).
No matter who you are, there is something for everyone involved with AITP. It is a good place for recruiters to meet potential employees and for job seekers to meet recruiters looking to hire new people. It is a good place for business people to develop business relationships with other fellow business people. It is also a good place for college students majoring in computer science (CS), management information systems (MIS), computer information systems (CIS), computer engineering (CE), or other related IT fields to learn about and gain new insights about the IT profession, make new contacts in the IT community, and become more marketable after graduation.
The AITP- Saint Louis Chapter meets 10 times per year, every month, except for June or July at 5:30 PM, usually on the 4th Thursday of the Month at the Holiday Inn Westport. The meetings feature a social hour for networking with other IT professionals, dinner, and a presentation from a distinguished guest speaker about a current IT topic or issue. Previous guest speakers have been from leading IT companies such as J.D. Edwards, Novell, Citrix, and Cognos. All IT professionals, business people, students, educators, and interested individuals are welcome to attend our meetings. Please come to the AITP- Saint Louis Chapter meetings and get involved with the AITP to enjoy the power and benefits of networking. For more information and details about upcoming meetings, please visit our web site at: http://www.aitpstlouis.org/.