business-strategy-success

Top tips for successful career planning

Career planning puts you in charge - it enables you to set your own goals and take steps to achieve them. What you want from your facilities management career will probably change radically over the course of your working life, so it’s a good idea to take some time once or twice a year, to review what you really want from your career, and start taking steps to achieve it.

Follow these five steps to make career planning a reality for you.

1. Give yourself some space and time
The best way to review what’s happened so far, and where you want to go now, is in peace and quiet, without distractions. That’s difficult if you have a noisy family or flatmates around - so maybe drive or walk to a quiet place with your notebook, and give yourself an hour or two of reflection time. Pay attention to how you feel about things, as well as what you think about them.

2. Reflection first
Look back at what has happened since the last time you did this - or since you entered the profession if this is the first time you’ve reviewed your career. Many people find it helpful to draw a diagram or a map to sum up what’s happened so far. Maybe a job that you wanted turned out to be a wrong turning. Or maybe a dreaded redundancy has turned into a great turning point. Write it all down.

3. Assess yourself
Write down what satisfies and what frustrates you about your current job. What do you like and dislike? What would you keep and what would you change? Try and separate needs from wants, so that you can look at each dispassionately. Are you doing things to please someone else? If you could please yourself, what would you do? What is your real motivation - be honest.

4. Set your goals
Remember, your goals don’t have to be more money, or promotion, or a better car, if that’s not what you really want. If you want a shorter commute, more time for your personal life, or to take a degree, these are also goals to concentrate on.

Then decide on any compromises you’re willing to make. If you want more money, are you prepared to travel further? If you want more time, are you prepared to earn less, or move sideways? Gradually, you’ll be drawing up a framework that you can use as a guide to achieving the career you want.

5. Write down the steps that will get you there
Do you need to explain it to your partner? Get a new qualification? Update your CV?

If you want to move into facilities management in a new sector, research this. Take a look at the jobs being advertised that you’d like to do, and figure out how to get the qualifications or experience they’re asking for. Getting your CV up to date is a great first start.

Unemployment in the UK is at an all-time low - so there couldn’t be a better time to change job or go for a promotion!


5 of the biggest FM technology developments to know

5 of the biggest FM technology developments to know

Facilities management is being transformed by technology, and that is both enhancing and disrupting the traditional business models that have dominated the industry until now. These are the five key technology trends that facilities management professionals must know about.

1. The Internet of Things (IoT)

One key development is the Internet of Things - the ability to add intelligence to physical items, to network them together and to have them communicate into central control points. This is revolutionising the way that buildings are managed. Physical information collected by thermostats, actuators or sensors can be pushed into a processing system which can then take decisions on how well the system is running, and what aspects of it need to be adjusted, in order to reach peak performance. The information collected can confirm humidity, temperature, light levels, sound, vibration, occupancy levels and all kinds of other data.

The facilities manager is able to view the building system as a whole and to manage it much more effectively.

2. Building Information Modelling (BIM)

When a building is being designed, architects need to be able to model the way that the finished construction will work when it is in use. Contractors and others need to use these models to estimate quantities and costs, and to draw up their own plans for how systems such as cabling, heating and so on will be installed.

BIM used to be a specialised tool, used primarily before the building was constructed. But the facilities management profession realised how useful these models would be in planning how buildings would work, and in modelling the building system as a whole. When linked to working documentation, such as floor plans, BIM can be a powerful management tool.

3. Developments in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

HVAC systems are some of the most expensive facilities to run, and this area has been the target both for cost reduction and for efforts to reduce the carbon output of buildings. New building automation systems can make these targets easier to achieve, through lower use of energy for heating and cooling the building.

Facilities managers can get advance warning of system elements that are about to fail, and can also pinpoint elements that are not working efficiently - for example, using more energy, or producing less output, than they should.

4. Maintenance streamlining through software

Managers are beginning to realise the benefits of adding maintenance schedules for systems or parts of systems, to an automated facility maintenance package. The software can create work orders and link them to the required documentation, in order to produce full instructions for contractors, and others working in the building. After the job is finished, the status can be updated in the software, and calendar reminders can be set for the next scheduled maintenance. This enables managers to plan workflow more evenly through the year.

5. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

That's the official name for drones. Until now, these have mainly been used for filming inaccessible parts of buildings. However, in the future, we can expect to see the development of drones that can carry out jobs such as redecoration and repair. It will be a while before scaffolding isn’t needed anymore - but the sight of drones buzzing about buildings is going to become a common one.