Overcoming the No's to Joining IEEE

Answers to six common reasons people give for not joining

6 April 2009

Ever try to persuade friends or colleagues to join IEEE but just couldn’t get past their objections? To help you get around them, the IEEE Membership Recruitment and Recovery Committee has come up with responses to six common reasons people give to explain why they don’t want to join.

No. 1: I’ve recently become unemployed and can’t afford the dues.

That’s not the problem you might think. IEEE has a reduced-dues program for unemployed members. It cuts dues in half. As a member, you’ll be able to access all IEEE’s services, including those that might help you find a new job. That includes networking events at section and chapter meetings, the IEEE Job Site, and continuing-education programs that feature workshops, webinars, tutorials, and certification exams.

No. 2: My employer will not pay for my dues.

We realize that employers are tightening their belts, and we are grateful for those that still pay IEEE dues. But membership is about individuals who take ownership of their careers, regardless of an employer‘s willingness to reimburse them for dues.

No. 3: Membership is too expensive.

When you think about it, membership dues are reasonable based on the quantity and quality of benefits offered. Membership offers a good return on investment. It often pays for itself through discounts on IEEE products and conference registrations.

Members are also eligible to participate in IEEE’s Member-Get-a-Member program, which earns you US $15 for each new member you recruit. That money can be used toward IEEE dues, society fees, or products and services.

No. 4: I have no time to read the publications.

It’s a constant challenge to find the time to stay informed so that you don’t one day discover that you‘re no longer technically current. IEEE publications rank with the world’s best technical information sources. Taking the time to read them keeps you up to date on current trends. Investing even 30 minutes with one journal could spare you 40 hours of research. After all, no one has the time to reinvent the wheel or worry about the integrity of information found through basic search engines.

No. 5: I can get all the information through my employer, so why should I belong?

Organizations worldwide rely upon IEEE’s information to be technically current and competitive—it speaks to IEEE’s quality. But what happens if you lose your job and can no longer access that material? Or if your new employer doesn’t subscribe to the IEEE Xplore digital library? With your own membership, you’ll always have access.

No. 6: I can get all the technical information I need from search engines, so what’s the value of membership?

Search engines are certainly great for finding lots of information. But IEEE publications aren’t available for free through them. Moreover, the quality of technical information found via search engines is random and does not adhere to consistent standards of technical excellence, as do IEEE’s peer-reviewed publications.

Besides, IEEE membership is much more than having access to information. It’s about professional development, networking with your peers, and taking personal responsibility for your career. Membership is also about meeting new people from around the world and forming friendships that can last a lifetime.

And what’s more, as a member you could influence the direction of the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology. (Search engine users can’t vote in IEEE elections.) And among other things, you could help the public understand technology issues, foster technological innovation, and work to encourage young people to choose technical careers.

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