Ever considered FM? Why it's time to make a career pivot

Ever considered a career in facilities management? If you’ve already enjoyed one career and feel it’s time for a pivot, FM could offer you the challenge and flexibility you crave. So how do you cut through biases and make the change to this exciting new career?

Do your homework

Once you decide to target a new career in facilities management, you’ll need to get up to speed with areas where your new industry is different so that you can make a frictionless transition. Learn the new jargon and acquaint yourself with best practice in FM so you can interview with confidence. Don't be afraid to point out ways of doing things differently to demonstrate your abilities.

Getting through the door

The key is to interview well - a laundry list of your achievements won’t convey to an interviewer the essential skills and qualities that you have to offer.

Address the bias

Bias doesn’t only exist in interviewers. To get the most out of your job search, you’ll need to address your own issues so that fear and anxiety don’t put you off pursuing your career pivot. Making a conscious effort to strip out the negatives in your own thinking will help you to improve your own actions and focus them clearly on your career objectives.

Network for success

Do you know anyone who’s recently made a similar career move? Get in touch to congratulate them and start networking - you never know what tips you’ll pick up. If you don’t know anyone personally, search out stories of successful career pivots that inspire and motivate you or use social media to make valuable connections.

Make the most of your advantages

Never assume that you’re too old for a new career. Instead, be prepared to play up all the advantages that your skills and experiences can lend you. The chances are you’ve weathered a few economic storms and have a proven track record in finding success even when the climate is against you. Focus on your experience, your career progress and your consistency in achieving excellent results.

Overcome objections

For employers, hiring experienced professionals from outside of the FM industry has a downside as well as an upside so be prepared to overcome objections by being realistic in your expectations. You may need to check your salary and managerial level and be prepared to take a step down in terms of remuneration and responsibility.

Facilities management is a sector that’s embracing technology at breakneck speed so be prepared to find yourself working with younger people who may have less experience in terms of time served but more experience on the job in its current form than you can offer.

This is not a regular job search

Don’t approach a career pivot in the same fashion as a regular job search. You’re moving out of an industry where your skills and experience really count to one where you can be at a disadvantage, however transferable your skills. Help recruiters by having a coherent career story to tell and a clear path into your new career. You’ll need to be able to identify exactly why you want to make the move and take any assignments seriously. This is your opportunity to show exactly why your new employers should consider you.


These trends are boosting sustainable buildings

Sustainability has been shaping the way we build for over two decades. But today’s facilities managers need to be looking beyond the green building to other trends that are enhancing the sustainability of our buildings.

The business case for sustainable change

Ultimately, what drives sustainable building design is profitability. Energy-efficient solutions and recyclability lead to operational savings, while robust solutions for high-quality construction are reflected in higher rents.

Facilities management lies at the heart of sustainable development. By reporting back on both the social value and economic performance of a building, FM contributes to better performance and sustainability while adding value to any project. Regulatory incentives are also driving the case for sustainable change and enabling FM to oversee new levels of environmentally friendly development.

Health and wellness

A focus on health and wellness in sustainable design is nothing new. But for businesses that want to attract the best millennial talent, it’s a very contemporary concern. For example, Indoor Air Quality monitoring seeks to control high concentrations of CO2 in the workplace and improve cognitive function throughout the day.

For facilities management, the integration of health and wellbeing into a development opens the door to conversations about other aspects of sustainable construction. The use of IoT technology to monitor air quality and improve productivity, for example, is expected to become integral to smart facilities management.

Circular and modular construction

With American construction companies sending an estimated 160 million tons of waste to landfill, there’s a growing interest in methods of circular construction. In Europe, buildings are increasingly designed as resource banks of materials that can be reused in future constructions.

Prefabricated or modular construction is another older construction method that has been revived to cut costs and waste, delivering construction projects on time and to budget.

Smart building technology

In terms of sustainable performance, tools such as computational fluid dynamics and energy modelling allow designers to move beyond conventional design. By focusing on the integration of smart technology and Distributed Energy Systems at the heart of design, these projects enable FM to gather and analyse information on how a building behaves in use and make adjustments accordingly.

Smart energy generation and control overheating and cooling in a building’s DES offers facility management ways to improve the security and reliability of a building’s energy while reducing costs.

Facilities management is at the heart of sustainable construction

To transition to sustainable construction, more companies need to look to waste reduction, including effective recycling and reuse of materials, life cycle policies and sustainability baked in at design level. Critical to tying sustainable policies and practices together is the implementation of facilities management.

The trend for smart high-performance buildings may safeguard the health and wellbeing of occupants but only FM can deliver the economic and efficient operation of that building over the long term. The combination of sustainable high-performance buildings with facilities management is set to add economic value while delivering on commitments to the sustainability and social responsibility of any business.