Facilities management career

Everything you need to know about a career in facilities management

Facilities management is at the heart of the success of any business. This role is gaining growing recognition as workplace design becomes more critical to productivity, health and wellbeing, especially in the way of the pandemic.

If you’re interested in a career in FM, here’s what you need to know about moving into this exciting career.

What is facilities management?

FM involves two different levels of operation:

1. Strategic and tactical work.

You’ll work with clients, customers and departments to help them understand the impact of their decisions on every part of the facility and how it's run.

2. Operational roles

Carrying out tasks with specific knowledge and highly trained skills that protect employees' health and wellbeing

FM is a combination of a number of disciplines covering people, place, technology and process. You’ll require skills and knowledge, including business management and administration, knowledge of economics and accounting, computer literacy and customer service skills.

What does a facilities manager do?

Facilities management is all about integrating processes that allow buildings to run as smoothly as possible. You’ll be in charge of managing essential services including maintenance, health and safety, procurement, security, communications and space management. By creating a productive work environment you’ll help and support employees to achieve business goals.

You’ll also be responsible for business relocation, working closely with property, IT and HR. You’ll also be expected to work closely with designers and builders and be responsible for developing strategies for building sustainability through energy and resource-saving.

What skills will I need?

You’ll need excellent people skills and have a keen interest in logistics. People from a military background often find FM is a good fit for their skillset.

You’ll need to be self-motivated and capable of solving problems and overcoming obstacles to keep processes running smoothly. You’ll be orderly and methodical in the way you achieve your objectives and you’ll be able to demonstrate impeccable organisational skills.

Most organisations are reliant on facilities managers, especially in a crisis. If you have leadership skills and great intuition then a career in FM could be right for you.

Routes into facilities management

- A foundation or university degree in facilities or building services management

- An advanced apprenticeship in FM usually takes between 18 to 24 months with on-the-job training and college tuition

- Working towards the role and gaining an on-the-job qualification like a Level 3 Diploma in facilities management

- Applying directly for jobs that fit your technical and management skills, or if you have a related qualification in engineering or surveying

Why you should consider a career in FM

This is a rapidly growing profession and businesses are increasingly aware of the critical role FM plays in the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

A job as a facilities manager means that no two days are ever the same. You’ll have a chance to make a real difference to the business and the people working in your building. The challenges and responsibilities you’ll face are always changing but your skills in problem-solving and staying calm in a crisis make this a rewarding career.

Job satisfaction, salary and benefits like overseas travel all make a career in FM varied and exciting. Contact us at Catch 22 to find out more.

Keep up to date with our latest jobs via our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Catch22FmJobs


skills for a successful facilities manager

Successful facilities managers have these skills

skills for a successful facilities manager

Interested in a career in facilities management? Then you’ll need a wide-ranging set of skills from operations and maintenance to project management. It’s even more true now that the pandemic has changed the face of the workplace.

But beyond the tick box lists, what are the skills that an FM needs to really stand out from the competition? Here are the top skills that successful facilities managers need to succeed.

Adaptability

Successful facilities managers share one common trait - they’re cool under pressure. Whatever challenges arise, a good FM will demonstrate the adaptability to navigate what’s next by being agile, resilient and fully prepared.

Adapting to the changes brought about by the pandemic requires facilities management to adapt to a much more people-centric style. Managers will be expected to create a safe and coherent working environment where everything works seamlessly, and the financial implications and the health and safety of workers is perfectly balanced.

Data-driven approach

An FM needs to be able to do more than ensure safety, comfort, functionality and efficiency in the built environment. If you want to succeed you need a data-driven mindset that lets you analyse the quality of service and facilities spend, with a view to proactively identifying cost outliers and savings, as well as other areas for improvement.

Having the capacity to use analytics to leverage data is a key skill for any FM who wants to stay on top of their game.

Tech creativity

Every facilities manager knows that they can expect to encounter daily challenges. But how you deal with them, and the creativity of your technology solutions will help you innovate in the workplace and push your skillset into new areas.

Technology has assumed an ever-growing role in facilities management, particularly during the pandemic where the ability to leverage tech solutions has made the difference when making business adaptable to Covid-19.

As a manager, you’ll need an open mind and the ability to stay on top of new opportunities in reporting, service management and delivery. An FM who stays on top of innovation is in demand.

As our reliance on technology intensifies, human traits are at a greater premium than ever before. Remember that facilities management is, above all, a people facing business requiring unique communication and management skills.

Ultimately, well tooled technological solutions will keep people and assets safe as we navigate out of lockdown. For example, tracking and vetting solutions for the individuals that access your facility as employees, contractors or visitors.

Compassion

One of your most critical tasks is creating a healthy and happy working environment. That means dealing with people effectively and with compassion.

Being able to understand people’s challenges and pain points will make you better at creating the workplace they need instead of one that works on paper. And in light of the pandemic and fears around returning to the workplace, understanding and compassion are absolutely essential.

A combination of these essential skills will see you shine in your career. As the workplace changes, there are important challenges ahead and as a facilities manager, you’re ideally placed to meet them. Want to know more about an exciting career in facilities management? At Catch 22 we’re the specialist recruitment agency you can trust, so get in touch today to find out more.

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Is it time for a career pivot?

Have you hit a plateau in your career? Then you could be due a career pivot. If you’re ready to take a risk then why not make a confident and intentional career change that takes you in a new but related direction.

Do I need a career pivot?

Feeling that you’re due a career change can be as simple as not wanting to get up and do your job in the morning. If that sounds like you, then be on the lookout for a lack of engagement with your work or feeling low in energy and enthusiasm. If you’re staying on your present career path simply because of the money and the job title, it could be time to pivot.

Inventory your strengths and skills

Before you start seriously pursuing new career goals, it’s time to take an inventory. What are the transferable strengths and skills and the value-adds you bring to your current position? What are the skills you’ll need for your pivot in facilities management? Where are the gaps in your knowledge?

You’ll need to complete this process before moving on to the next step.

Work on filling the gaps

If you’re looking to pivot within facilities management, you need to sharpen up your skillset. You may need to take a related qualification or hone your communication skills. If you work as an FM, you’re in the right place to start your own skills bootcamp by asking the right questions and meeting the right people. If you want to get into facilities management, start working on your knowledge gap by reading websites and trade publications.

Formulate your pivot plan

Creating a plan with measurable milestones will help you to pinpoint the right time to pivot. Consider the following metrics:

- Financial goals: set goals for savings or money earned before you commit to the pivot
- Progress checkpoints: set goals for your accomplishments as you move towards your pivot point - the number of clients you’ve accrued or the projects you’d like to accomplish
- Data based planning: set a target date for acquiring new skills and exploring what’s involved in your career pivot
- Gut instincts: If you feel that you’re ready to move or you can’t stay in the same career any longer, you’re ready to make the pivot

Take time to update

Now you’re ready to update, set aside the time to do the following:

- Revise your CV to take in new skills, experience and qualifications
- Maximise your LinkedIn profile
- Order new business cards
- Continue to familiarise yourself with your new dream job title and industry
- Review and revisit your elevator pitch to include your new skillset

Take the leap

Letting go of your safety net will never be completely risk-free, however well prepared you are. But it’s worth remembering how you felt when you got into your career in the first place and were hungry to establish yourself. Use that energy and enthusiasm to say yes to everything, no matter how small.

Your career pivot can take time and will require reserves of resilience. But once you make the move you’ll find yourself taking chances and by moving out of your comfort zone, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to let your skills and strengths do the talking.


Young woman holding clock

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.


Checklist

Tips on switching careers into FM

ChecklistIf you're thinking about switching to a career in facilities management, try the self-assessment questions below, to give yourself the best chance of success. 

1. What interests you, what can you do, and what do you value? 
Try to answer these questions as honestly as you can, because they are key to building insight into what motivates you and makes you tick. You can also try the questions in reverse - what bores you, what are you bad at, and what do you think is not worthwhile? But focus more strongly on the positive versions because you’ll need to keep positive for your job search and career change. 

2. Why are you dissatisfied with your current job?
Again, you’re developing insights which will help you to decide on your future direction. It can help to keep a work diary (not on a work PC!). Use the diary entries to figure out whether it's the company’s culture, your particular role, or the people you work with that are making you want to seek new opportunities. 

3. Which FM job would be right for you?
Facilities management covers a range of activities, in a very diverse set of environments and companies. Try looking at a recruitment site, and checking the job descriptions for FM jobs, noting down the kind of role that appeals to you. 

4. Start building your network
Try and make contact with people in your chosen slice of facilities management. Read the trade press, go to trade shows, or respond to blogs written by specialists in the industry. 

5. You probably have access to an FM professional already
You could start by talking to the facilities people in the building you currently work in. It’s amazing how much useful business intelligence on opportunities and companies you can gather through casual conversations. 

6. Explore online 
Use job networking sites such as LinkedIn, and social media such as Instagram and Facebook, to identify anyone working in the industry that you may be able to contact discreetly. Don’t say that you’re looking to change career unless you are ready to move job, because your current employer may see the post. 

7. Start thinking about your CV
When you read online job descriptions, start thinking about aspects of your experience that would be relevant, even though you’ve been in a different industry. For example, team leading, working with people and planning are widely applicable.

8. Get qualified
At the very least, find out what qualifications you would need. Many employers will send staff on courses - take a look at the qualifications most often requested in job ads that interest you and gain any pre-entry certificates that you need.

9. Start to move in the new direction
If you’re offered training in your current job, try and make it something that would be relevant to your potential FM career - a project management qualification is always a good option. 

10. If necessary, use a stepping stone
You may not be able to get to the job you want in one step. You may need to move sideways or to take a role in FM that will give you the experience you need to qualify for the job you really want.


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!