The value of being an active member in a professional organization such as ISACA cannot be overstated. ISACA’s global reach, diverse membership base, and thought leadership facilitate career growth and new opportunities for anyone interested in becoming engaged with the organization – and can be especially helpful for young professionals.
ISACA has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide and offices in the United States and China. This extensive network provides incredible opportunities for young professionals and those new to the cybersecurity, IT audit, governance and risk management fields.
ISACA volunteers are afforded the ability to take on leadership roles at a much earlier point in their career than may be available to them in their regular day job. Young professionals get the chance to prove themselves immediately and develop new skills in a low-risk environment. In turn, this can result in accelerating their career growth at work.
A common misconception with volunteering is that you need to have extensive experience or free time, but that is not the case. ISACA offers many ways for young professionals to get involved and enhance their resume without any prior experience.
Local chapter engagement provides many volunteer roles for young professionals to step right in and make a difference. Board of director or chapter officer roles are great ways for someone early in their career to gain first-hand management skills while giving back to community. Local chapters often have a volunteer progression model to continually cultivate volunteers for greater responsibility and leadership. Many people who enjoy volunteering in a regional capacity often get involved supporting international initiatives as well.
ISACA HQ runs many working groups and initiatives that need professionals from diverse regions and experience backgrounds. These are excellent opportunities for young professionals to make a global impact and help shape the ISACA organization while building their personal brand and knowledge. Many young professionals have used these working groups as a launching point to bigger career opportunities or prominent leadership roles in ISACA.
ISACA facilitates short-term, ad-hoc volunteering such as blogging, translation of existing materials, content development, or other support that can be performed remotely when most convenient for the volunteer. This is great for those looking to get started and need to have schedule flexibility for when they can provide contributions.
As someone who has been a volunteer for ISACA since 2011, I can personally attest to the great value it has brought me on a personal and professional level. Through ISACA I’ve honed leadership skills, gained a greater global perspective, built my professional network, and made lasting friendships along the way.
I look forward to continuing my volunteer efforts with ISACA, and I hope you consider getting involved early in your career as well. It can make such a difference.
Editor’s note: For more resources on this topic, visit www.isaca.org/young-professionals.