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Joining an association as an employee: how to prepare?

Image de présentation de l'article Joining an association as an employee: how to prepare?

It's decided: you want to join an association as an employee and you want to invest your time and energy in a cause that is really close to your heart! Problem: it's the unknown for you because you've never worked in this type of structure...

That's why Meet My Job gives you tips to prepare for this life change, which will be as rewarding personally as it is professionally. 


Its non-profit nature

According to Article 1:2 of the Belgian law of 23 March 2019 introducing the Companies and Associations Code , an association is constituted by an agreement between two or more persons, called members. It pursues a disinterested aim in the exercise of one or more specific activities which constitute its object.

What differentiates an association from a company is therefore its non-profit nature. Indeed, in a company, employees produce goods and services to generate a profit in order to be economically viable. The objective pursued therefore differs between those two entities.


There's something for everyone!

There are associations of all sizes, from the communal association that intervenes against precariousness such as the Chôm'hier AID to the national or international association such as the Belgian Red Cross or Oxfam. The status differs depending on the association, it can be cultural, sporting or social. You're bound to find what you're looking for!


Engaging on a human and emotional level

Adherence to the values and principles of the association, motivation and a strong capacity for commitment are often part of the prerequisites. By moving towards the associative world, you will join a work environment where your colleagues have similar convictions to yours.

Whatever your position, your work is linked to the activity of the association, which makes you feel part of a whole. At your level, you are taking action to make our society more social and supportive. You value human relationships, you know who you are working for and how beneficial your work is.


A more flexible operation?

Differences in operation can be observed depending on the size of the structure.

In local or regional associations, which are in the majority, there are generally few employees, and hierarchical relationships are often flexible. Employers' associations have fewer resources and therefore recruit autonomous and versatile people. Employees are better able to work directly in the field.

On the other hand, in large national or international associations, the operation may be similar to large companies, the employer will delegate his function to a management and so on. It is possible to find this hierarchical relationship between the different members with department directors, department heads, managers and employees. Depending on your position, you won't necessarily be in contact with the field.

Generally speaking, the relationships between the different members are less formal and simpler. All of these people are working for a cause they cherish and therefore remain authentic. The fact that they are not subject to the profitability and competitiveness obligations imposed by a company means that they evolve in an environment that involves less pressure even though they have responsibilities.


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