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Where is the “value add” of an industry membership? (Especially when you are unemployed)

By: Melissa Perry, CMP, CMM | Oct 1, 2020

Six months ago, I was working for an up and coming company with a fantastic “work culture.” We worked hard but we loved what we did. I was loving my work life…well life in general! Six months ago, seems like six years ago…. Can anyone relate?

Then BOOM — COVID-19 hit our country and our lives changed irrevocably. Within two weeks of COVID rearing its ugly head, I found myself on furlough. Ultimately within thirty days of the onset of COVID, I was unemployed. Does this sound vaguely familiar to anyone?

What I am happy to report is that I was gainfully employed to a fantastic organization within six weeks of my furloughed date. How do you ask? I attribute it to my IMPI membership.

Industry memberships such as IMPI are only as good as your engagement. Merely paying your membership is not enough. I have been a member of IMPI since 2008 (most years, I had to find ways for it to be paid, other than my employer), but most importantly I have been an engaged member. At times I have been more engaged than other times, depending on my availability. For the most part, though, I have been an active member. What does an engaged and active member mean? It means being involved, not just showing up. That is where the “value add” is found.

So why is being involved so important?

Relationship building is the key to success in life overall. No truer words, then when describing your professional life. Jobs and even careers come and go over time, but those connections that turn into relationships, now that is where the value is!

Connections are great but if that is all someone becomes to you, then it is likely that is all they ever will be — someone you know of. If you put work into converting connections into relationships, you now have a network. You have a professional network that is there for you when things are going well and when the chips are down.

Who are you going to recommend for an opening you know of? You must admit that if you hear of an opening at an organization it will not be a person that is a connection but a person you have a professional relationship with. It will be someone you know their work ethic; someone you have worked on a project or within a group/committee somewhere. You will recommend those that you have a professional relationship with and have knowledge of their experiences and firsthand knowledge of their work ethic; a mere connection cannot give you that.

IMPI’s robust engagement opportunities have given me the ability to make connections and convert them into meaningful professional relationships and in some cases, personal friends (bonus!). Because of these professional relationships, I was able to be at the forefront of a fellow “ette” 😉 IMPI member who was in the ‘know’ of the opening while I was unemployed, which is, now my current professional role (thanks Jodie!). She and I work on the Leadership Development Committee together (we still need volunteers to join us, interested? call me 😊). See how easy it is? As you can see, my membership here at IMPI has “Value Add” and it can for you too… you just must put the work in… like anything else in life.



Melissa Perry, CMP, CMM

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