Mobile Electronics Magazine July 2021

Page 4

EDITOR’S FORUM

Before you consider joining, you should ask yourself a few questions, such as: What do you hope to get out of being a member? What are you able to contribute?

JOINING THE CLUB THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE INDUSTRY & NETWORK WITH FELLOW PROFESSIONALS. LET’S EXPLORE THEM. WHICH OPTION WORKS BEST FOR YOU? Clubs, groups and associations are either exclusive, inclusive or both. Before you consider joining, you should ask yourself a few questions, such as: What do you hope to get out of being a member? What are you able to contribute? Does the group conflict with other groups you’re involved in? Do the rules make sense and are you willing to abide by those rules? And lastly, why do you want to be part of the group? You’re probably seeking information, or even a sense of belonging. If you find value in it, then join and participate. Types of Organizations and How to Navigate Them Group leaders will state the purpose of the group and control the direction of the content. For example, a Facebook group will usually have a stated purpose and rules of engagement. Most groups allow for free exchange of information with little restrictions. Most will ask members to refrain from advertising or promoting themselves, as this does little to further the overall purpose. When groups allow this type of posting, the content often devolves and loses its intended purpose. One reason for the popularity of social media groups is the ease of engagement. Most only require you to meet certain qualifications. Once connected, you can share your thoughts, comment on posts and offer assistance to other members.

Vendor Groups and Industry Associations Vendor groups are usually private Facebook groups, but some vendors offer them with special login credentials on the company’s website. These groups are almost always exclusive to customers of the vendor, and meant to be used to obtain and share information and find technical support. This type of group can be very helpful. Beyond that, dealer-to-dealer communication can be very valuable as it relates to a specific product or installation technique. Trade associations in our industry provide a big tent environment allowing for many smaller groups to be formed. Some associations provide services to members in areas specific to their business interests. An association may also have several social groups allowing members to connect on specific topics. Associations tend to be inclusive because they allow for many people in various areas of the field to be represented. Guidelines are set for membership types, and usually the member must demonstrate affiliation to the trade. This generally includes a code of ethics required to maintain good standing within the association. Consider Exploring Cross-Industry Groups If you are looking for a way to connect with others, look for opportunities to become involved in cross-industry groups. These groups usually exist in associations and are made up of participants from various associations in related industries. Becoming involved in this type of group will expose you to other industries and experiences. If the opportunity arises, seize it. It should be considered high-value. [cont. in from the president, page 56.]

4  Mobile Electronics July 2021