, , , , ,

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was one the very worst factory incidents in recorded history. This taught us that we cannot rely solely on businesses to create their own standards of safety and responsibility. No, it is the job of executives to profit, and still today we have horrid catastrophes such as oil spills, faulty products, and explosions.

The internet connects us, and allows us to share our experiences with a certain company with the world. It is more important than ever to build a strong identity of credibility and ingenuity to keep up.

After such catastrophes in the early 20th century, the workers started to ban together in Unions to influence the employers and management. This idea of working together was also very effective since the beginning of civilization, when those of the same or similar trade would get together and speak on the specifics of their industry. From the farmers RoundTable to the FreeMasons, there have been innumerable groups of similar trade, working together.

Not only are such trade groups great for sharing industry knowledge, but nowadays, being a part of a trade group lends a great deal of credibility and reputation to your practice. It is within these groups that your business will be scrutinized by subject-matter experts, and in many of these groups – if you do not pass these tests. you are rejected.

You can further prove your worth to your peers by becoming certified or accredited within certain trade groups. These tests require financial and time investments, that I feel are very worth it in most cases. Not only are you a member of a group, but you have a certificate that authenticates you in this industry!

Not all tests and not all groups are created equal – I recommend that you do a great deal of research on the agendas  and credibility of any group before you align your reputation with them.

It is not enough to join, test, pass. Tap into these resources at their fullest. Network, and make it known that you are looking for a certain kind of lead. Pass leads frequently through the group. Serve your peers, and they will serve you back! It is a great power to be owed a favor.

Display your associations with pride in: your office, on your website, on your printed materials. and mention them in conversation and speeches. This is how you really work with these affiliations and use them to the advantage of your reputation. If no one knows, than it does not matter to them. You have to share with people why they should care about you.