Why Join?

The Value of Membership – It's Both Professional and Personal, By Robert L. Weigner, CLU, CFP, CFS, CIC, LUTCF
NAIFA Trustee 2007-2008

What is the value of membership? For me, the value has always been both professional and personal. As president of my local association in Pottstown, I took my young daughter to my first state meeting. When I chose to expand my career, I also took her to NAIFA conventions. Now as a young woman, she is a fully licensed agent, a member of NAIFA, and participating in the Young Advisors Team (YAT). As a member, she attends our state association functions and will attend her first NAIFA convention in San Francisco. She is the third generation, and the future of my agency.

I reflect on the significance of my NAIFA membership by imagining where my career would be without it. I have the opportunity to prove continuously the value of my investment in learning and belonging. My professionalism is expanded through ideas, concepts and best practices provided by fellow members. The best contacts I've made were over time, and it was really after we became friends and understood what the other was doing that we could help each other. Thinking creatively about your business options means learning from experience and learning from colleagues.

Recently, I had the chance to attend a luncheon meeting with my daughter where members described how they became members of NAIFA-PA. Several mentioned they were asked by a friend or colleague to join. The follow-up question needs to be: "But why do you belong?" We all have friends who have chosen to stay on the sidelines for a variety of reasons. Some may be stuck in their personal career rut and reluctant to stretch their comfort zone. Others may be uncomfortable meeting people for the first time. For experienced agents or new agents, the challenge question is the same. Is it worth investing your time and energy to avoid being stuck, to discover your hidden skills and talents, and wake up to opportunities provided to you by NAIFA members?

As we mature in our careers, the significance of learning and belonging becomes a greater part of us. NAIFA is full of successful people who are open to sharing ideas and genuinely concerned with getting to know and benefit others. This is what occurs when members, as friends, interact and meet face-to-face in a setting designed to promote our industry and professionalism at the local, state and national level. When was the last time you had Congress change an existing law or withdraw an appalling piece of legislation on your own?

Each of us has a different reflection on the first time "the light went on" and membership was no longer optional. It is up to each of us to tap into this wealth of helpful resources specific to our industry. This is the value of membership, and through my daughter, I receive a special "added-value." I am truly blessed. I get to see the rewards of membership every day!

To Join NAIFA, follow this link and click on Join at the top of the page:

http://www.naifa.org/