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24 January 2019
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BE A FIVE-STAR FM 

To be more employable, FMs need to focus on a few core developmental areas to help them become an A-star FM, explains Jane Wiggins. 

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08 October 2018 | Steven Moore


1. Attitude

This refers to a way of thinking, including being:

  1.  Customer-focused;
  2.  Assertive yet courteous; 
  3.  Patient yet persistent in adversity; 
  4.  Tenacious; and 
  5.  Confident.   

 

Also critical is acting with integrity, which is a key aspect of FM behaviour and one of four behavioural competencies in the BIFM/IWFM professional standards handbook.   


The right attitude will help you to overcome setbacks.


2. Aptitude

This refers to natural ability – mostly focused on your managerial abilities. Do you take charge, plan, control, delegate, coordinate and motivate? 

Along with the above, your facilitation skills are essential. FMs need to collaborate, communicate and mediate to get along with all stakeholders.


3. Achievements

Demonstrate your achievements with robust evidence and this will enhance your employability. Show how you’ve saved money, negotiated contracts, met KPIs, retained staff, and managed successful projects and won accolades and awards.


List your achievements in your CV, but also use social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as the FM press and industry awards and qualifications to demonstrate your achievements. The most essential qualifications include: 


  • Health & safety (IOSH Managing Safely) or 
  • NEBOSH General Certificate; 
  • APM qualifications in project management; 
  • IEMA qualifications in environmental management; and
  • FM qualifications awarded by IFMA; BIFM/IWFM; RICS and other awarding authorities.  
  • You could also consider technical qualifications in a range of built environment technologies, such as 
  • BIM; 
  • M&E; 
  • Surveying; and 
  • Property management.  

  

Qualifications offered in the associated industries of catering, cleaning and security might also give a broad appreciation of the range of services that FM needs to coordinate and oversee.  


In addition, as technology and use of data drives a smarter approach to FM, don’t forget the value of being tech-savvy, developing your skills in CAFM, and document and data management software.

  

Many FMs will also need to present information to others, either verbally or in management reports. Many qualifications focus on writing and presenting skills to help your share knowledge and experience with others.  


Qualifications can be challenging, with trying to find funds, time and a good provider. So seize the opportunity when you’re young and whenever an employer is supportive. 

You may choose courses that confirm what you already know – or you may choose a qualification more challenging to increase your knowledge and understanding of business. The broader the range of qualifications at Level 3 and above, the more confident and employable you will be.


4. Add value 

Your contribution, over and above what is expected, enhances your profile and makes you stand out. When you show genuine interest in your client, colleagues and team, you will demonstrate your real effort to add value and enable purpose of FM.  


Going the extra mile, for example, attending extracurricular activities such as FM industry events or mentoring, coaching and volunteering allows you to see the bigger picture and engage with others. It will also make you a positive role model as an excellent FM and community member. 


Networking in the FM community will show to others who you are, and how and where you operate. Use these opportunities wisely to connect and share as this could lead to many opportunities in your career.



5. Ability

Think about your overall ability as a FM and how this might act as a summary of what you can offer to an employer or client.  


Work on being flexible in your approach to FM, considering all angles and aspects. Show how attentive and astute you are and that you have an opinion on the latest issues in the business and FM press. Being able and prepared to discuss the important and topical issues is useful to engage with senior management as you progress in your career.  



6. Aspiration

Consider what you want from your career. Determine your priorities and create a plan to get there. Taking charge of your own career and journey in FM is critical and this shows the most essential attractive features of a FM: lots of practical common sense, with a touch of humility and humour. 


Jane Wiggins, MBA FBIFM, is owner/director at FM Tutor & Associates Ltd