By Angela Anderson, 2017/2018 President, IABC/Calgary

Happy New Year to all my Calgary Communications friends and colleagues. It’s 2018, and the fresh new air means many of us, including myself, are now thinking about renewal, rejuvenation, and what will come next.

Whether you fervently set New Year’s resolutions or set SMART goals for yourself every year (who doesn’t?!), I hope you’ll think about whether a board position with IABC/Calgary is right for you. To help stir those thoughts, here are seven reasons you should consider joining the board this year.

  1. Connect with new and like-minded professionals. Hands down, the greatest thing about IABC in general – and which is amplified when you get so involved that you help lead the board – is the opportunity to make lifelong connections, in short, to find “your people.” There are countless opportunities for team building and working together on many levels – I promise you’ll make lifelong friends. And in addition, your career network will be strengthened significantly as you demonstrate the great work you can do.
  2. Keep on top of your field. Communications is a rapidly-changing profession, as we know. With 24/7 connectivity and seemingly daily technology and platforms to add to your communication mix, we need to keep on top of changes and ensure we are “on the ball.” Being on an IABC board is one great way to do that – you are close to the action. With a close connection to IABC on a regional and international level, as well as our own local professional development opportunities, you easily know what’s coming down the pipe in terms of professional development and can stay on top of trends. Trust me when I say if you don’t already live, eat and breathe communications, you will by becoming more involved.
  3. Learn new skills. With 11 portfolios and three executive positions, there are many opportunities to hone your skills in a number of exciting areas such as membership, student development, finance, events, marketing, and more. Further, as we participate in a formal strategic planning process that ensures we are doing things with purpose and to reach strategic goals, you’ll gain strategy skills through your work as well.
  4. Overcome your fear of numbers. Okay, not all of us have an innate fear of numbers, but let’s face it, many communicators got into our field because we thought we wouldn’t have to deal so much with math. This is a myth! As communicators, particularly as we move up in our careers into management positions, budgeting and measurement is absolutely necessary. As a director you have accountability for your portfolio budget and you must understand the finance procedures. Thankfully we have a Rockstar Finance Director whose responsibilities include ensuring our board members gain the confidence to understand and own their finances. You too can have this confidence.
  5. Enhance your leadership skills. We could not do the work we do without the dozens of active volunteers who help run all of the portfolio work. From event management to our membership survey, from finance management to social media marketing, behind every portfolio is a great team of volunteers, led by our directors. Gain leadership skills or just enhance your current ones by helping our programming provide value to members.
  6. Work with a high performing team. I’m not just saying this – there’s actual proof! In 2017 our board won Large Chapter of the Year and International Chapter of the Year at the Chapter Management Awards, which is a competition between IABC chapters from all over the world. Whenever we go to international conferences and events, other chapter leaders constantly draw on our knowledge as best practice. And our own board satisfaction survey is consistently positive with directors finding value, purpose and connection while involved at the board level.
  7. Last but certainly not least, give back to your profession. While we certainly have board roles for great people at all stages of their career, if you are a senior communicator looking to give back, this is the perfect opportunity. Mentor a team, lead a portfolio, and help influence your profession. And working at the chapter level can open doors to becoming involved at the regional and international level. Many of our board members have gone onto to work with IABC – Canada West and IABC international (in fact one of our past presidents is on the International Executive Board right now). Trust me, it’s 100% worth it.

I hope you’ll consider all of these reasons and more and consider joining us either this year, or sometime in the near future. And as always, I am available to chat, answer questions or just connect on social media. All the best in 2018!

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