ooking for a new job can be energy sapping, repetitive work and many a would-be job hunter knows that the time is right to kick start their career by changing role, organisation, industry or even location but just can’t quite drum up the energy or enthusiasm to do anything about it.
It’s no wonder then that many of us find ourselves locked in the same jobs for years or even decades, staying firmly within our comfort zone and avoiding the risks and challenges of putting ourselves on the line to look for something different.
And, of course, there are many benefits to staying within the same organisation for a number of years, particularly if you are a facilities professional. The varied nature of the role and all of the different activities that fall under the umbrella of facilities management can potentially keep even the most easily-bored Facilities Manager satisfied, particularly if you work for a business which regularly undergoes exciting new change programmes or new initiatives that you can get your teeth into, alongside the business-as-usual aspects of the role. Naturally, if you also work for a business which recognises and values the contribution that the facilities team makes to the overall success of the company and involves it in its strategic initiatives, you are more likely to be and feel invested in and have the opportunities to get involved in new and challenging areas.
But this isn’t always the case. Lots of organisations still fail to see the genuine and demonstrable value that facilities management can offer them in the pursuit of their long term goals, leaving facilities professionals feeling undervalued and bored. And if this sums up your current role, perhaps it’s time to make a change and jump into a role that can offer you a broader and more challenging version of your profession.
But of course, it’s rarely as easy as that! Many of us know that we should make the change but quite simply are at a loss about where to start on a successful job search, particularly if it has been some time since we were last in the job market. What’s more, writing convincing CVs and cover letters, preparing for competency or group interviews and preparing presentations are all skills which are learned not inherent and, in the fast paced, hands on world of facilities management, there is often a lack of focus on some of these softer skills of self-improvement, regrettable though this is.
So, what are we to do about these barriers that are, in some cases, getting in the way of many professionals in the facilities sector realising their true career potential? Here are our top tips for achieving greater success in your job search.
Take every opportunity to upskill yourself
We have already made the point that facilities is a broad and wide ranging area, covering many parts of a business. In your current role, if you aren’t already involved in everything that falls under the ever-changing banner of facilities management, push yourself to make your presence felt. Not only will this improve your reputation in your business, it will provide you with valuable experience that you can use on your CV and in interview questions to add weight and depth to your answers.
Paired with demonstrable on the job experience as above, taking steps towards accreditation or professional qualifications in facilities management looks great on your CV and also helps to give you a theoretical underpinning to many of the workplace practices that you already have experience of.
Use your contacts
Good Facilities Managers often naturally have lots of business contacts – from suppliers to contractors, employees from across the business to customers. This contact book can be useful for times when you are thinking of entering the job market so don’t be afraid to use it. People with whom you have a demonstrable track record, who know the quality of your work and your commitment to excellence can be great advocates and can often open doors to new opportunities that you would otherwise not be aware.
Polish your CV
CV and cover letter writing can be a tough business, so seek professional help and guidance if you need it – you will often find that it can be worth the investment. The purpose of your CV is to offer the recruiter a snapshot of your skills and experience, so you really have to make those two pages count. Consider expending less energy describing the day to day, business as usual aspects of your role (though mention does need to be made of them) as recruiters will often assume a certain level of responsibilities and duties from your job title. Instead, focus on areas where you have added value, led a project or implemented a new system or process to really give the reader a sense of your capabilities.