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World FM Day 2023 – Why Work in Facilities Management?

World FM Day 2023 – Why Work in Facilities Management?
09 May 2023

To celebrate World FM Day 2023, we’ve collated expert advice and guidance on why facilities management is such an exciting industry to work in, and how to start your career in FM.

This year’s theme “Making a real difference” marks an appreciation for the facilities manager's unique role in the safety and development of workplace strategies for all those who depend on the built environment. It’s also a nod to the hard work and dedication of facilities management teams in enabling us to emerge from the pandemic.

Across our Spotlight Interview series, “I just fell into it by accident” is a common answer for FM professionals when they are asked how they got into the sector. However, World FM Day is a chance to promote the industry as a career of choice for those wanting to work at the forefront of sustainability and technology.


Why Choose an FM Career?


Work on the Front Line of Net-Zero and Decarbonisation


David Stevens, Vice Chair of the CIBSE Facilities Management Group, and Director of Estates, Facilities & Capital Development at East London NHS Foundation Trust, spoke about the impact of facilities managers on sustainability in his Spotlight interview:

“Facilities managers have the biggest part to play in net-zero because they need to be engaged with the construction all the way through that process, so they have a real input into the designs and standards. FMs are not just involved at the end of the process and one of the things that I advocate for is that all construction trams should have facilities managers appointed to them.

“If that client doesn’t have an FM within their team, they should consider appointing one so you have that facilities and operational oversight in the entire design and construction process and that’s one of the ways we are going to get our buildings performing better from an engineering and soft FM perspective.


You’ll Make a Huge Impact as a Woman in FM


Joanna Harris, Senior Programme Manager and Hard FM Ambassador at Sodexo said in her Spotlight Interview: “FM is a great industry, you will never be out of work in FM and it’s a level playing field.

I had to be resilient as a girl in the FM industry, I was one of only three girls out of 100 on my college course on my apprenticeship, so you have to have something inside you to drive you to keep doing it. But we shouldn’t make it that hard. Girls can bring a different view on the world – if you had a building that was run by female engineers it would meet the needs of all occupiers, not just meet the minimum standard.”


You’ll Solve Complex Problems and be Challenged Every Day


Shumon Choudhury, Operations Manager at Cortland Europe promotes FM as a fun industry where you’ll get to use our skillset to the fullest: “Our industry is not limited, whatever your interest and ambitions are there’s likely to be a niche for you. For example, if you’re a sports fan, there may be an opportunity for you to manage the facilities at your childhood club.

“My advice for anyone looking to get into FM would be to be open to healthy debate, be comfortable expanding your thought processes and do all of your professional qualifications as they will soon become mandatory. So the sooner you can get your head around them, it’ll put you in a much better position.

Finally, enjoy it! We put ourselves under so much pressure to get our grades and to find a good job that we forget to enjoy the moment for what it is. Our careers run by so fast, we really forget the first couple of years when we are learning and we have the freedom to make mistakes.”


It’s a Perfect Career Change for Ex-Military Veterans


Garrath Williams, Director of Veteran Engagement & Development at JobOppO, works with veterans and the wider military community to provide support in finding purposeful employment after their service commitment has concluded, working closely with ThisWeekinFM and its partners. Part of his role is to promote certain industries to the ex-military community, facilities management being one. He said: “The sector offers a massive breadth and depth of roles. The military produces chefs, engineers, security consultants and all sorts of individuals that can really fit into an FM organisation.

“The biggest thing that people often find they miss and lose when they leave the military is that sense of purpose…they want to find a job in an organisation that gives them that sense of purpose again. I think that there are many FM organisations that recognise and want people like that.”


FM is a True Meritocracy


Tevin Tobun, CEO of Gate Ventures and former EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executive Role Model, feels that more young people can be attracted to FM through positive messaging.  Speaking to ThisWeekinFM in 2020, he said “Good FM goes far beyond managing and maintaining the buildings, people and assets of a business. Within its own sphere of activities, FM encompasses cost-effective working processes, improved efficiency, adhering to industry-sanctioned health and safety regulations and increasing the lifespan of a business’s assets. FM impacts everything.

“Few industries provide career progression that is as meritocratic as FM. Ours is a sector that thrives on and rewards the ambition, can-do attitudes and proactive contributions of its workforce.”

Picture: a graphic showing several cogs in various shades of blue. Within the cogs there are graphics of things like lightbulbs, a shop front, people, a clipboard and a bar chart, to represent all the facets that make up a business. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 09 May 2023


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