In this post new Member Mel Pay tells us why she joined…
In July last year I set myself a goal. “To learn, grow and connect”. I had been working in Marketing and Communications for around five years and during that time I feel I have achieved much. Yet I neglected an element that is of vital importance to the industry. Networking.
It started as a personal goal to expand my friendship groups and find kindred spirits in which I could share my journey with. Having no friends in the industry that really understood what I did, it was a void in my life that I needed to fill. Whenever I went to training courses or seminars I always hoped that I would hit it off with someone or find someone that I could learn something from. It didn’t always happen.
So I started blogging, tweeting and attending social groups to find friends. Once I started it just seemed so obvious. Why on earth hadn’t I been doing this before?! I was having a ball. Meeting fun, intelligent people that not only had interesting things to say, but could empathise with the challenges I faced at work. They understood my excitement over work achievements in a way my other friends never could.
In December last year, one of my new found communications friends wrote a guest post for IABC Vic, of which he is a member. I really enjoyed the post and retweeted it to my followers (being the Gen Y social media tragic that I am!). This simple act caught the attention of Jen Frahm, President of the IABC Victorian chapter. She invited me along to the Christmas dinner as an opportunity to meet some of the members and see for myself what the organisation was all about. Thrilled with the chance to meet more PR professionals, I jumped at the chance.
As you can probably tell from the fact that I am now writing a guest post for the IABC myself, the dinner was a success! After a few hours of socialising with some amazing people, I was convinced that this was something I wanted to be a part of. Everyone was so welcoming and I instantly felt a sense of belonging. My other attempts at networking had been successful, but I could see that the IABC was something much bigger. I had succeeded in my mission to connect, now it was time to learn and grow.
The IABC presents so much opportunity for its members. My mind boggles at the level of experience that exists in the room when we get together! With people working across so many industries, everyone has something different to contribute. It’s more than that though. This is an internationally recognised association that will connect me with comms professionals right across the globe. There are opportunities to contribute and learn new skills. I’ve already put my hand up to volunteer and will be starting my first project of helping to organise the gala dinner later in the year. This is something I’ve never done before and I’m excited about the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences.
So what’s my new goal for 2011? To contribute, share and be part of this great professional community.