The following blog was contributed by Courtney Haindel, product marketing manager and FACTS^SPACE community manager at FACTS.
Whether through their personal lives or careers, most people eventually realize that things are easier if you’re not doing them alone. We see this every year at our annual user conference, FACTS Elevate, as attendees start organizing casual meetups months before the event, hoping to connect with others that work in similar schools or positions. Even with the world’s best coworkers, sometimes it’s nice to talk with someone that knows exactly what you’re going through, especially for individuals who may be the only person in their role. To put it simply: everyone needs a community.
Benefits of Finding Your Community
While one of the greatest draws of finding a community of professionals that do the same type of work is how easy conversation can be, there are many other benefits to finding your perfect crew. Here are some you may not have thought of:
- Learning New Skills and Ways of Thinking
Interacting with members of your professional community is a great opportunity to learn new ways to tackle problems. Chances are people with the same job role as you are dealing with the same challenges, but they may be approaching these challenges in totally different ways. You can use these new connections as a chance to troubleshoot. Your community may have tips and tricks they’ve picked up over the years or be able to look at your challenges from a new angle that can lead to a solution.
- Discovering New Tools and Staying on Top of Industry News
Every friend group always has a member that’s constantly “in the know” – and the same applies to professional friend groups! Maybe your new connections use different software than you do and can let you know whether it’s worth the switch. Members of a community that are relatively new to the industry may have learned how to do things with completely different tools that they can share with the group. Community members also get to pool their knowledge, meaning if someone has an inside scoop on something happening in the industry, you might find out faster than if you were on your own.
- Opening Up New Career Opportunities
While finding a community of individuals that work the same type of job as you can be a great networking opportunity, it can also benefit your career in other ways besides helping you land a new position. You’ll get the chance to learn more about how roles like yours function in other schools: what additional responsibilities people in that role have, the career path they’re on and how they’ve advanced. This can open your eyes to ways to shift your role toward your areas of interest. You may find ways in which the skills you’ve developed in your current role can translate to different positions within your school – or a new one.
FACTS^SPACE: A Digital Option
With all these benefits in mind, we created FACTS^SPACE, our new community platform. We know that educators are incredibly busy and finding time to connect with other industry professionals may be low on a very long to-do list – and might require quite a bit of travel. FACTS^SPACE hopes to solve this problem, bringing community to educators and giving them the option to connect on their schedule. With FACTS^SPACE, FACTS users from across the country can connect and collaborate with “crew members” just like them, with crews based on job title, type of school, FACTS products used, school location, and more.
FACTS^SPACE also serves as a powerful resource hub, giving users a space to ask questions and get answers from both their peers and members of the FACTS team. They can also access user guides and other resources to help with the FACTS platforms they use daily and give product feedback, so we continue improving our solutions.
To make it even more fun to engage on this new platform, users can also earn badges for their contributions. The more you add to the community, the more points you earn, climbing the ladder from Mission Specialist all the way to the coveted Captain position. We’re excited about how involved people have been since the platform’s launch a few months ago and can’t wait to see how many Captains we have by the end of the year.
Whether you’re able to get involved with a local professional community or take advantage of a digital platform like FACTS^SPACE, you’re sure to see positive impacts in your life. So go out and find your crew – we guarantee you’ll be glad you did!
Get started with FACTS^SPACE here.