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Read Later
written by: Jim Hornor

Whether it's access to the private lounge at the airport, a VIP section at a sporting event or gym membership, if we entertain the idea of a membership, we all want to know what we're getting out of the deal to make it attractive and worth our money and experience. I've had the opportunity to experience a few of these places as a guest and it feels right....expensive, but right ;)  

When it comes to membership as a working design professional, it's good to understand what an IIDA membership gets me. While professional memberships don't really pack the frills that private clubs offer, here are a few perks from being a member of IIDA NE that are good reminders for those who are IIDA NE members and might help clear the air for others who are interested in joining!
G R O W   Y O U R   N E T W O R K

In my last year at school, I was networking heavily to build contacts and relationships - my boss would joke with me saying, "oh Jim, you would attend the opening of an envelope, if you could." It's important when you're new in the industry to get yourself out into the design community - building relationships with potential employers, coworkers, various vendors and contractors.
P R A C T I C E   L E A D E R S H I P   S K I L L S

When we're off duty from work, it's often a great time to practice what we preach. I remember going to school at night and then the next morning having parallels at work that, while I was still "green" in the industry, I could contribute to the conversation. Volunteering at events thru IIDA gives you the platform to practice social skills, leadership skills and collaboration skills that are a direct support for the work environment.
B U I L D I N G   R E L A T I O N S H I P S

IIDA has a variety of committees that members can be a part of that help IIDA NE become everything we know and enjoy it to be. When building relationships with people in our industry, you create your own network of invaluable resources that kind of feels like tapping into the Tree of Souls from the movie Avatar...not really, but you get the idea. We all have a common goal we're working towards together. Whether it's the Fashion Show, Croquet, BLB Breakfast or Design Awards show, these events happen because of the people behind the scenes to give back to their community. Other Committees to get involved with are: From these built relationships in the members circle of IIDA NE, we have access connecting with other designers to study for the NCIDQ exam or become involved with programs like the Emerging Leader Program  that can help you better your career!

Those 5 little letters behind your name pack a big punch in our industry. NCIDQ Certification is the industry's recognized indicator of proficiency in interior design principles and a designer's commitment to the profession. The exam takes months to study and prepare for in addition to having a supervisor sign for tracked hours required to even sit for the exam. Passing the series of exams is a huge accomplishment in and of itself, but once certified, it differentiates yourself from being a "decorator" - which we all LOVE explaining to people (haha).  On a national level, design firms associate this certification with seniority or a promotion.

The long and short of it is, there are many ways to make the most out of a professional membership, but it's like a family, what you put into it that will dictate the benefit you'll get in return :)  Have a Happy + Safe 4th of July!
W E   W A N T   T O   H E A R   F R O M   Y O U

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