HVAC/R may not be the first place someone would look for a sense of community, am I right? However, one thing I've learned since entering this field, not only as a tech and engineer but also as an influencer, is that where help is needed, it can be found... online at least.
Ill tell you a story of my first week in my own truck as a lead tech...
I had a horrible day, boss was pissed that I missed a spot on an ice machine and completely overreacted, he had forgotten I'd never cleaned one before and again, only missed a small spot. I went home and beat the crap out of myself, researched on my own how to never let it happen again (lack of training is a bitch, thank god for SkillCat) and was just utterly destroyed. So I did what any rational, 30 something woman would do and I made a TikTok.
I said something like "Hey guys, I've had the worst day ever. Cheer me up by telling me something you screwed up your first week in HVAC". The post FLOODED with stories, and support and encouragement. So many people rushed to tell me that what I had done was not worth the attack I received and that it could always be worse and that I DO, in fact, belong here. I was SHOOK! I could not believe that of all places, an HVAC TikTok page was the place that I had found my tribe. This is not a one off moment, this has happened more times than I can count since then.
Now, every single day other techs reach out to me for help onsite, companies reach out to ask how to better train their guys after watching my videos and reading my blogs.. I talk to multiple other HVAC influencers and group admins with questions or partnerships or to bounce ideas off each other as to how to make this trade better. The online HVAC community is BOOMING!
If youre looking for genuine help, support, and a true HVAC family, head on over to the #HVACArmy Facebook group. Jarret, HVAC Teacher (Jimmy Hesbach), Tin Man, and the guys are all there to help create the worlds greatest techs. Whether its help with troubleshooting or just someone to slap you out of thinking you're not good enough this is the place to be! They even do giveaways to make new techs jobs easier. They're an incredible group of people. Make sure you join!
Now, if you're more into the dark side, you're going to be perfectly comfortable in the HVAC4Life Facebook group with Paul Burke, and the rest of the dope admins. This group is NOT safe for work, or for the light hearted. This group is the gritty, REAL, banter fueled hub for all things HVAC. Sometimes you just want to blow off some steam and troll fight with your HVAC brethren, at these times you belong in the underworld, HVAC4Life.
If your in HVAC sales, you belong in the Masters Of The Hustle sales groups. Jason Walker is doing HUGE things with sales trainings all over the west coast and those guys will turn you into a better salesman than you ever imagined. Plus, theyre fun.
TikTok is another place where I've found REAL compadres in the HVACR field, just the other day I told Justin @TitanComfortSolutions that my son was having heart surgery, and he and his wife not only cheered me up by duetting a video I'd been begging them to post, but also offered kind words and a check in the next day without ever meeting me in their lives. (I couldn't leave this post without shouting them out, go follow their TikTok guys)
Last but certainly not least, come on over to the SkillCat HVAC Tech Den group for training posts, Q and A, links to simulations and real advice for real techs.
The point of this blog post, and reason for caring so much about getting this info out there, is that HVAC is hard. I don't care what kind of tech you are, this job gets inside your head, takes all of your free time, and without a sense of belonging to it, most new techs don't last. This is our trade, and these are our people. Lets get through this summer season together guys. This is your sign to give a shit about the success of your fellow man, in case you needed one.