By: Ianthe Zabel, IABC Board, Secretary

As a relative newcomer to Minnesota (four years and counting), I was at first surprised to learn about the mid-October break a mere month or so after the school year starts.

But just as I learned about ice dams, how to cross country ski, and that Minnesota summers are second to none, I quickly came to appreciate the annual MEA tradition that dates back more than 100 years. It apparently gives teaching professionals a chance to “make connections” and gives the rest of us a chance to reconnect at home or on the road.

So, I think it’s fitting that the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has deemed October as “member month” where you can join or renew your membership at a discount and get down to the business of making professional connections.

I relocated here from Washington, D.C. where people are always networking for two reasons: most are transplants to the city and job security and availability are often tied to elections which often means professional upheaval every two to four years. Networking is key to thriving there.

And, I think it’s key to thriving professionally here in the Twin Cities or any other city. The Department of Labor reported in 2018 that “the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.2 years.” The number drops to 2.8 years for workers aged 25-34.

Translation: you need to build a network. We are in the midst of an era of digital disruption that is impacting companies and communications careers and everything in between. Your network is invaluable in making sure you are professionally thriving, not just surviving.

As a transplant, introvert, and an earned media consultant who works from home, building a new communicators’ network in the Twin Cities quickly became one of my biggest professional goals. I’ve met that challenge year after year through membership in IABC and serving on the IABC MN board.

Membership month discounts are available until midnight on October 31. Use the code MEMBERSHIP during checkout when you join or renew, you’ll receive a 10% discount on international dues. You can save a little and enjoy the benefit of membership, including professional development, networking, and volunteering through our local Minnesota chapter events. And you get access to national tools like the The Job Centre and The Hub to connect with jobs and peers around the world.

Come build and expand your professional network through IABC MN. Your next job will probably depend on it.