Open-access content 27th September 2012
Liz Kentish, deputy chairman of the BIFM discusses the networking opportunities available at the BIFM.
28 September 2012
When I first joined BIFM, one of the things that attracted me most was the opportunity for networking, and it still remains a key benefit for many members.
It's all about building relationships and getting to know other people (their skills, attributes, interests and how you can help them) both within your field and outside it.
These days, in industries such as FM where there can be many stakeholders, 'knowing the right people' can be a huge advantage. If you have already built relationships with them through your networking activity, they are more likely to help and support you and your teams.
Whether you want to change jobs, start out in a new field or simply find ways to be even better at what you do now, then you need to be marketing your skills, knowledge and experience right now.
Networking doesn't need to be difficult; in fact many people find it fun and rewarding as part of their continued professional development. I bet you already belong to more networks than you realise. The BIFM is a great place to start.
People will be keener to network with you if they (and you) are clear about what you can offer them. Perhaps you can help in terms of mentoring, putting them in touch with reputable suppliers, working on community projects together, or sharing the latest ideas on hot topics such as sustainability.
It is well worth spending some time, once you have identified your target networks, to clarify what you want to offer and what you would like in return.
All this can be achieved through a BIFM membership. When you join you will be allocated a BIFM region that may be organising events close to your home or workplace. BIFM special interest groups (Sigs) organise many events across the country.
- Catering and hospitality
- Fellows forum
- Health and safety
- People management
- Rising FMs
- Risk and business continuity management
- Women in FM
Networking is no longer limited to face-to-face sessions - in this age of technology, there are myriad online forums, blogs and other groups where like-minded people can share their knowledge. As well as attending BIFM events you can also join the BIFM LinkedIn groups dedicated to facilities management, and / or follow @BIFM_UK on Twitter. You'll find a whole range of FM 'twitterati' to follow, whose news and views you'll find helpful and often entertaining.
If you are not currently a BIFM member and want to join the institute for the networking and other benefits, contact the membership team on 0845 058 1358, email [email protected] or visit www.bifm.org.uk/joinus
If you are already a BIFM member and want to join any Sigs log into the BIFM website and edit your preferences. There you will see all the groups available - through this feature you can also change your membership region.