In my final week as President of the San Francisco chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) I’m reflecting on why this professional association is so near and dear to my heart. #whyIloveIABC
There are many reasons to love IABC. Where else can you find a global community that connects, develops and advances communications professionals representing the full spectrum of disciplines across the communications industry?
Macro-level benefits aside, my love for IABC is a bit more personal.
- I can be myself. Work is hard enough; networking shouldn’t feel like more work. With IABC, it doesn’t. We’re a community where everyone is welcome. We’re more focused on elevating each other rather than elevator pitches. We love personality and are magnetically drawn to people who aren’t shy to reveal who they really are. I especially found this to be true in recent years as I adjusted to some health-related changes and the use of a white cane given my visual disability. My SF IABC friends rallied around me to make sure I was always comfortable and taken care of in gatherings large and small. I found the same compassion and camaraderie with IABCers I met at regional and global conferences. If you ask me, the I in IABC can easily stand for inclusion – it’s not what we do, it’s who we are.
- I get smarter. Whether I’m hanging out with word nerds, digital divas or PR peeps – and IABC has them all – I get a little smarter with each interaction. The best way to keep up with best practices is talking shop with other comm pros, preferably over a beverage of some sort. And we love our beverages…
- I know people. Networking is synonymous with IABC, I’ve found that the quickest and easiest way to grow this network is by volunteering. My years on the board have resulted in meaningful relationships and genuine friendships with people I can’t imagine life without. When someone has an opening for a great job or is looking for a referral for a communications professional with a specific set of skills, I usually know just who to call!
There are lots of reasons #whyIloveIABC, but it’s not about me, it’s about we. We are a connected, compassionate, clever, creative and slightly crazy bunch. We are a community, and I feel privileged and proud to be a part of it.