There are many great reasons to pursue CPCU, and we have posted articles on how to survive CPCU and even on how to do it in a hurry. Once they get going, most people think taking the last exam and going to the CPCU Society Annual Meeting is the end of their journey. But while finishing #CPCU absolutely deserves a big celebration, it is only the beginning of the journey!
I know after all the effort it sounds like you’re done, and the hardest part is indeed complete. [tweet_dis]Now you get to enjoy the many benefits of being a #CPCU![/tweet_dis] You have studied like crazy to get admission to this selective group. Now that you are admitted, it’s time to begin making the most of it!
Here are our favorite ways to make the most of our CPCU Society membership:
1. Join your local chapter, and start going to their meetings:
You’ll make lots of great local connections who can help you get your next job or move up in your company. CPCU Society Chapters frequently host excellent speakers, networking events, and other ways to network and continue to grow.
2. Find a way to attend the Leadership Summit at least once:
Most new CPCUs go to the first Annual Meeting after completing their designation, but few ever make it to the Leadership Summit. The Leadership Summit is in the Spring, and it’s much smaller. It is also a completely different focus than the Annual Meeting. We’ve written about our experiences at it a couple times here; you can read our articles to get our thoughts on it. Locations in the last few years have bounced around between Phoenix, Miami and this last year San Antonio. Most people are there sponsored by their local chapters as President or Vice President of the chapter. A few diehards like Tony are there every year just because it’s a great meeting. Definitely try to get involved at the national level, and you’ll get even more benefit from your Society Membership.
3. Sign up for the free webinars:
The CPCU Society offers its members a couple dozen high quality technical webinars: per year on all sorts of great topics. Sign up for every webinar, and then just cancel out of the ones you can’t fit into your schedule, but put them on your calendar to give yourself the best chance of making at least a few. This is a great way to stay up-to-date without having to read more textbooks.
4. If you miss a webinar you really wanted to see they are recorded for you:
While it’s not as fun as participating in real time you can watch them here and still benefit from the top quality speakers and cutting edge material.
5. Join one of the interest groups:
It’s very hard at the beginning to figure out what exactly the interest groups do, it’s taken us four to five years to really get our heads around it. Here’s a simple explanation: The interest groups put you in a group of fellow CPCUs with similar technical interests and give you the chance of organizing sessions for the next Annual Meeting, putting together webinars, writing papers and articles, and a lot more. There is no better way to keep technically sharp and cutting edge than joining the interest group that attracts you the most.
6. Grow your network:
CPCUs are by definition ambitious technical experts who are committed to the industry, nobody would put themselves through the difficult effort of studying CPCU if they weren’t. Soak in every opportunity you get to network, connect, be mentored, and you simply can’t go wrong. Both Carly and Tony have found better jobs through CPCU connections, and during the last Leadership Summit, they asked around and found that many other people have done the same. Capitalizing on the doors CPCU opens for you can truly be a career maker.
7. Take advantage of the discounts:
CPCU Society members get a 25% discount on all Institutes study materials for future designations and 35% on all CE classes at CEU.
Taking into account that getting your CPCU only costs around $4,000 (which your employer will most likely happily pay for), and CPCU Society Membership only costs around $250 a year (and only $100 for new designees), it’s an incredible value. Some employers are moving away from paying for the annual membership – because of efforts to cut costs – but it’s still worth asking since most still pay for it. Given all the free tools you get to grow your career AND the great chance that when you are ready for your next challenge, your CPCU connections can help you find it, it’s more than worth paying even if you’re paying it out of pocket (it’s probably tax deductible too). If you ever find yourself wondering “Should I renew my CPCU Society Membership?” Come back and read this article and remind yourself, your next job can very easily come from a CPCU connection. It did for both Carly and Tony, and many other CPCUs we’ve met during out journey!
Getting your CPCU is truly only the beginning of the journey, you’ve already done the hard part. Don’t stop there!