How do I build a network as a maintenance professional?
The best way to build a network as a maintenance professional is to join a professional organization like the broad International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) or the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP). There are also targeted organizations such as the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA), which focuses on non-higher education buildings such as schools, libraries and museums.
Networking Through Associations
Industry groups such as the IFMA are great places to network because you'll maintenance professionals of all levels. Facility managers and employees participate in many of the organization’s educational opportunities. Professionals can meet others through continuing education and certification programs, at industry conferences, and by working on association initiatives.
These opportunities help you showcase your skills and expertise to others outside your company as well as pick up additional learning to apply in your current position or in a future one.
Networking Through Education
Continuing your education is another way to advance in your maintenance professional career. Participating in local technical college evening programs not only gives you the program's knowledge, but also connects you to another group of teachers, professionals, and students. Keeping in touch with these people over the years means an expanded network for you moving forward.
In addition, find ways to expand your knowledge and network of individuals in the area of technology. Keeping up to date with the rapidly changing facilities management technologies will help you make career jumps quickly.
Networking Through Social Media
Be sure to take advantage of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, which allow you to easily connect with other professionals in the industry. Not only can you find job opportunities on social media, but you can tap into the shared knowledge that’s often available through online industry conversations.
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