How To Make The Best Use Of CompTIA Communities
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When you were younger, why did you look forward to returning to school: was it because of the learning, or because of the people you would meet?
You do not have to answer because the question is wrong in itself.
Why? because you can not separate between meeting people of like-minds and learning.
For many of us, the most important things we learnt in school, especially college, were not taught in classrooms, they were gained from interacting with old friends, making new ones, creating connection, volunteering. These are what built our characters.
Studying all on your own is enough to be good, but you need more than that to be special.
One of the perks of registering for CompTIA memberships is the member communities: when you constantly follow discussions on study groups, you meet people who have had experience in various other fields, you meet people who will go on to create opportunities in the future, you meet people who have the same aim as you and some might be luckier than you after getting the certification; you need to stay connected to them.
You will meet with people who have already gone through some things you plan to do in the future, ask them how it went. You will meet others who have learnt some technology you have not – these things are what broaden your horizon and make you irreplaceable in the workplace.
Among peers, sharing best practices and firsthand experiences and trading tips and tricks of the trade can have a major and immediate impact on your business. As a matter of fact, you might get more from the study groups than you would ever from the certification itself.
How To Choose and Join The Right Communities
From the my.CompTIA.org dashboard, select “group management” on the left side of your personalized dashboard and “join” the communities you wish to be a part of.
In order to make the best use of your community membership, you should select the communities you join based on two criteria: region and interest.
Regional Communities: One of the biggest reasons to join CompTIA communities is to know what you are worth, to know what salary range is practicable for someone with your level of skill, and to know what skills are particularly sought out for in the job industries.
All of these vary from place to place, and the best thing is to join regional communities and look for communities that are close to your hometown so that you can meet with people who have had first-hand experience doing business in your hometown, connect with them, and learn from them.
Topic-focused Communities: Topic-focused communities are a way to connect with people who nurse the same interests and ambition as you: they can give you a roadmap to success in your particular field and guide you through the steps they took.
Confusion is quite common in the IT world; you would know what you want to do but not how you should go about it, but with topic-focused communities, you can, for example, join a community of cyber security specialists and connect with people who are interested in, or are already cyber security experts, and you will learn from their experiences and best practices.
What are the Goals of The Communities?
According to CompTIA, “While the topics our member groups cover are vast, community initiatives roll up to one major goal—to advance the technology industry. And while that sounds like a big undertaking, our communities break it down to ensure progress.”
CompTIA communities are not all about taking, they’re also about you giving back: if everyone were there to take, then no one would give you what you wanted. But this fact is actually good for you, not bad.
CompTIA communities come together to make researches, analyze problems and create solutions to problems.
For example, the Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community works together to develop the tools needed to fill the talent pipeline, and the resources necessary to help organizations develop sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies.
The most recent result of their work is 5 Tips for Hiring Without Unconscious Bias, How to Foster Diversity, Inclusion & Retention and the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Plan for Technology.
The whole idea is to be a source for people who work in the technology industry to engage, learn and connect.
The main requirement for any CompTIA Community is to show up; attending meetings and being open to sharing your insight and ideas with the group is how it all works.
Whether you want it or not, you will learn teamwork, you will learn discipline and you will learn to communicate and give back to others and maybe even learn how to manage projects. These are all invaluable skills which you gain from the community when you give back also.
How Does Community Membership Benefit You?
The IT world is a very broad and fast changing one, in order to stay atop of the game , learning from different people, in different roles, at different organizations is key.
Being in CompTIA communities is like being in a room full of brilliant minds who have the attitude of a servant. You will see different approaches to problem solving, different communication styles and a wonderful example of teamwork: and you can be able to apply that to your business immediately.
There are vendors, distributors and MSPs you can have very open communication with and learn from all of these great individuals.
If you are looking for deeper input and involvement, you should explore community leadership opportunities: these give you the chance to bolster your leadership skills as well as adds some gloss to your CV.
And one certain thing is that your work won’t go unnoticed; according to CompTIA, “Not only does CompTIA rely on its members to pave the way, we take pride in recognizing what you do and the incredible contribution you make to the technology industry.”
Whether you’re running a business, starting a new business, or forging your own path to the C-suite, access to so many other perspectives is invaluable. When you join a CompTIA Community, you’ll find just that—a diverse group that you can contribute to and learn from.
Some Tips To Make Best Use Of The Communities
Don’t Focus On Taking Only, focus on Giving Too
The best way to learn from CompTIA communities is to give! period.
When you have plans to give back to others and teach them, you are fostering the spirit within the group and you will learn to make more research and perfect your own trade before teaching the people about it. Also, you will gain invaluable skills like communication skills leadership skills and also teamwork values.
You also make yourself amiable to those in the community and make it easier for them to help you when you need help.
By constantly giving also you are developing a characteristic that would make you a happier, more fulfilled and indispensable person to whatever circle you belong to.
Ask a Lot of Questions
When you focus on giving, you tend to become popular and respected, one big mistake is to allow your ego some space and not seek for help when you need: remember you are there for help not to look infallible.
Nurture Individual Connections
Apart from what happens on the groups, try to nurture personal connections with individuals who look smart and bright on the groups: ask them, learn from them, talk to them, and if possible, meetup with them.
You get to learn more from them that way and develop your communication skills as well as get a chance to be remembered should any opportunity come their way.