Open-access content 16th September 2011
In the early part of my career, I prided myself on being the ‘go to’ person – the one in the office who knew where everything was, who knew how all the software worked and who knew how to get things done, writes BIFM deputy chair, Ismena Clout.
15 September 2011
In the early part of my career, I prided myself on being the ‘go to’ person – the one in the office who knew where everything was, who knew how all the software worked and who knew how to get things done. All key skills for an FM, it demonstrated I was someone with ambition and drive. In all of my jobs it made me stand out and be noticed, allowed me to upward network and gain respect.
Over time, though, these skills became less important as I learned new skills and had new knowledge that meant I could grow and develop as an FM. Being the ‘go to’ person wasn’t necessary any more.
After being absent from the workplace for the past six months and starting back at work a month ago, I realised that I didn’t have any ‘go to’ aptitude as I had forgotten everything. I was now old and the next generation was biting at my heels. I also realised that I worked with two super talented ‘go to’ people so I didn’t have to be that person. Sadly, one has already left for an amazing new job and the other is my invaluable resource as I acclimatise to the office again.
I see my role now as mentoring and supporting this person, teaching them new tricks and pointing them in the direction of great resources so they can do their job quicker and with more skill. This means she can support me better in my job and can then be promoted up the ladder herself.
Every office needs a ‘go to’ person: someone ambitious, eager to learn and skilled. The FM industry is facing a skills gap as highlighted in the Asset Skills report, Facilities Management Industry Sector Skills Assessment December 2010.
Rising FMs is running the first FM career fair at Westminster Kingsway College on the 30th September for students to learn more about this dynamic, exciting and vibrant industry. There is an afternoon of workshops planned with employers and recruitment consultants on hand (register at http://careersday.eventbrite.com).
There are more centres than ever offering the BIFM levels 4, 5 and 6 qualifications in Facilities Management and the ILM level 3 Facilities Management qualifications.
There are apprenticeship schemes available and a growing political pressure for the big contractors to increase the numbers of apprentices on their books, especially pertinent to all the FM providers receiving public work contracts.
There is also CPD (Continual Professional Development), which can be done online, at networking events, shows and conferences.
It’s vital that you not only look at your own career development path, but also that of your team. It’s time to give those ‘go to’ people a chance to shine!