In 2016, you told us the main reason for joining the Royal Society of Chemistry was to support your career, but with only 15% of respondents using the careers management service, we needed to make sure it was appropriate and accessible for different career levels.
Now, career management services are tailored to membership category. For Associate Members, who are starting out in their career, we have introduced ‘Catalyst Consultations’, designed to help navigate the important choices recent graduates and postgraduates meet at this crossroad. Our Members and Fellows can receive ongoing one-to-one advice and guidance from our careers management team to support them through any challenge or opportunity. Our student members receive a wide range of information on the next steps available to continue their path into the chemical sciences and are signposted to appropriate support and resources to help them succeed.
‘(There is) no personalised support.’
With high awareness of the benefits available we were surprised to see certain areas with low usage of benefits. Improving the understanding of how to access benefits, particularly amongst those still studying and Fellows, became a key priority.
To ensure that Fellows receive the right information on products and services relevant to them, we have introduced a personalised contact at firstname.lastname@example.org. They provide advice about your membership, as well as how to access different aspects when you need them.
Increasing the frequency of newsletters to our Student and Affiliate members means timely and applicable information is delivered to their inbox. By highlighting the right webinars, events and resources, we can ensure they have what they need to boost their skills, knowledge and experience.
Our members come from a wide range of sectors, live all over the globe, and have different requirements of us as their professional body. In the 2016 survey however, the word “inclusive” was used by only 22% of participants to describe the society. These responses indicated a need for us to widen access to membership and the chemical sciences.
The Royal Society of Chemistry has championed the value of vocational learning, providing a clear route through membership for those coming from a work based education, with access to suitable benefits and professional qualifications as they move through their career.
We have provided clarity on the process of applying for each category of membership and their associated benefits. Fellows in particular have shared with us that the process was unclear, and with the support of our Admissions Committee, we are in the process of sharing resources and materials that will aid applicants when applying.
38% of you stated that you have never volunteered but would be interested in doing so in the future. With the support of our local sections and interest groups, we gathered further feedback at the General Assembly, identifying ways we can support you to participate in a range of volunteering activities. A surprising, yet positive, find was how many of our younger members in the early stages of their career were keen to support our activities. We have been developing the volunteer framework to provide a suite of opportunities, ranging from micro-volunteering, through to full commitments on boards and committees, allowing members to find their perfect fit.