Day 306: Affinity…it builds kindreds.

I’ve spoken about my professional group before, but I’d like to talk about it again since it’s fresh on my mind. The group is called International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). My chapter is the Nashville region, though we have people come from about an hour-and-a-half away to attend once a month. In truth, I’ve not been able to attend much since the beginning of the year, due to travel schedules and other work obligations, but I really enjoy the company of these people who understand my job and my way of thinking about words, and who have similar creative interests as I do.

Today, my team attended an IABC luncheon to listen to a speaker talk about branding and how graphics can tie a message together. He had worked for some non-profits and some national accounts, and he teaches graphic arts at a local university. He’s also won many local and national awards.

His three points were understanding:

  1. Specificity (what’s the need of the customer),
  2. Continuity (pulling the branding through all the mediums used) and
  3. Fun (being playful and fresh).

He showed us before and afters of the work he had done at various budget levels. As I listened, I thought his work was very good, but felt my Senior Designer should have been up there showing off her work, too. She could have given him a bit of competition!

More than a yummy lunch, and a time of learning, I really enjoy networking with this group of professionals. I like knowing what they’re working on, and hearing about their job openings and their needs. They help me, and show me that we’re all in similar boats with work frustrations, and budget constraints. They are encouraging and so friendly, and I have lots more to learn from them. And I get to help them. Today, I met some college students who graduate in the spring. They are interning at a local company, so it was nice to be able to talk to them about their options. I also met a student coordinator from a graphic arts school. I may be able to use some of their students for project work, so I was thrilled to be able to meet her.

Many cool things happened today, but IABC was the highlight. It’s time to renew my membership, and I’ll be sure to do just that!

DAY 306 HOMEWORK: Some of you may not have jobs, so homework won’t necessarily be about joining a professional group. But is there some type of affinity group in your area you can join? Do you like flowers? Find a gardening club. Like ceramics? Join a pottery group. Like reading? How about a book club? If you can’t find one, what about starting one? Take some action today!

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