Building a professional career in facility or property management means more than simply doing a good job for your employer. It also means getting involved in associations that represent your industry to expand your knowledge and learn from others. And, it doesn’t help to network with other professionals and service providers.
If you look at what you do as a profession, not just a job, you will benefit from involvement in a Facility or Property management based association.
Associations can bring a great deal of value to your FM career and your job, ultimately benefiting your employer at the same time.
Since most associations exist to further the industry and benefit their members, they usually have resources to expand your knowledge in the field beyond the scope and experiences of your current role. This not only benefits you as a member, it also benefits your employer as you apply things you learn from the industry to your current job.
The resources available to you as a member include books, research reports, local seminars, industry councils, annual conferences and association publications such as newsletters and magazines. In addition, the association gives you the opportunity to network with other professionals and solution providers within your industry. These resources give you a wider perspective on the issues and solutions that impact your profession.
Deciding which association is the best fit for your current role and your career aspirations is important. There are a variety of associations that cater to similar professions. Each one of has a particular emphasis or focus. Often, membership in more than one association is ideal, since you are exposed to a broader range of fellow professionals, resources, industry experts and experiences. Don’t limit yourself to an association that focuses solely on your type of facility – sometimes broader associations can provide you with insight and information from other facility types that you can benefit from. Some associations also have industry-recognized certifications or designations that help demonstrate your base of knowledge to current and future employers.
To get the most value out of your association, you can’t just sign up. You need to be an active member by becoming involved in the association by attending functions and volunteering in some capacity.
Being involved in the association itself can be quite rewarding, whether you hold a formal position or become part of a committee. Committees usually cover a wide range of functions, provide lots of opportunities and certainly welcome volunteers. By volunteering for a committee, you will get exposure to the association, increases your networking opportunities and give something back to the association. By getting involved, you can then decide whether you want to pursue a formal position in the association.
I’ve included a long list of associations from around the world in my book “Managing Facilities & Real Estate“, but some of the broader associations include:
- The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA)
- British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFMA)
- Facility Management Association of Australia (FMA)
- CoreNet Global, Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA)
- Association des Responsable Services Generaux (ARSEG)
- Facility Management Nederland (FMN)
- German Facility Management Association (GEFMA)
- Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management (HKIFM)
- Japan Facility Management Promotion Association (JFMA)
- Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA)
- South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA)
Many of them have online content, magazines and conferences.