A letter from your IIDA Carolinas Chapter VP of Membership
The other day I was having a great chat with some design professionals about IIDA. One of them, a non-member, lobbed a question over the bough that really made me think. Now I know how the beauty contestants feel when they are asked provocative questions. Since the answer to his question wasn’t “World Peace”, I really had to think about my response. His question was, “Why should I join IIDA?” My first response to a difficult question is always, “I’m so glad you asked that question!” This is a stall tactic that gives me time to think. Actually, thinking back, I really AM glad that he asked me this, because it really caused me to stop and think about it and put into words what I think, believe and feel about belonging to IIDA. There are both implicit and explicit reasons to belong to IIDA. Falling into the explicit category are things like using the IIDA appellation after your name, learning opportunities, publications, professional discounts, a career center, events, design competitions, and many more. These are all things that you can see and touch. All of them are very important and add value to our lives and our careers. Using the IIDA appellation, for example, is an outward statement to the world that you are a bona fide professional, having met all of the requirements to use the appellation that sets yourself apart from those who haven’t. That’s a pretty big deal! Design Competitions give you a forum to promote yourself and your firm to local celebrity status and perhaps beyond by entering and winning local and international competitions. That’s a pretty big deal, too. Each one of these benefits of membership adds credibility to you personally and to your chosen career in general. Those, in and of themselves, in my opinion are worth the cost of the annual dues.
But- what about the implicit benefits? Those are the things that are more implied or inherent and often times are felt and sensed, not touched and seen. One example of an implicit benefit is the discovery of leadership abilities. Belonging to IIDA and then getting involved in it at the local or national level can allow you to discover leadership abilities that maybe you never realized you had, or, perhaps you realized them but you have never had a vehicle to use them before. Perhaps you are a visionary and you are able to see things the way they “could be” instead of the way they “are”. Belonging to IIDA can provide many opportunities for you to grow these skills and uncover new ones. All you have to do is raise your hand!
Another implicit benefit is that through IIDA membership, you have a voice for the profession that you chose and love. You have a venue or a vehicle for furthering our cause through Advocacy. Do you support licensing for interior designers? You have a way to get your voice heard through IIDA. Do you see a need for change? You have a voice through IIDA. Together, as a unified organization of professionals with like minds, we have a stronger voice for advocacy and change than the single efforts of individuals. Do you care about the future of your chosen profession? If you care- you will want to be a part of it- not a bystander. You will want to have a way to, along with others, chart the course for the future of interior design. The old adage “You get out of it what you put into it.” is so true with regard to being a member of IIDA. If you join, you get all the explicit membership benefits…but if you get involved and give of your valuable time and talents….you get so much more. If you are not a member, join today. If you are a member and you want to get involved, raise your hand. You won’t regret it.
This is a link to an IIDA Publication entitled, “The Value Manifesto”. It explores in greater detail the benefits of being an IIDA member. Take a moment to check it out! If you want membership info…please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Anita Holland, IIDA
VP of Membership