Facilities Management, UK
The secret of good facilities management (FM) for Julie is adopting a 'don't walk by' mentality. In her various roles for Macro, our FM business, she has put this into action continually improving the working environments of her clients.
- How did your career lead you to Macro?
I wanted to be a secretary when I left school and went to college to learn about it, but didn’t find it stimulating enough. You simply do something and give it back, you don’t get involved in the work and I like to be involved.
Because of this I asked to do more and started ordering the stationery. Gradually I took on more responsibility because I kept saying: ‘That’s not being done – can I do it?’ Then the company moved and I was asked to organise the move.
My career progressed, and I was working as a facilities manager at a global finance and consulting company when my role was outsourced and transferred over to Mace’s facilities management business, Macro. Three years later part of my role was moved back in house, but thankfully Macro offered me a role on FM24, its helpdesk service, where I managed the client contact and the 24/7 operators.
- How has your career progressed since joining Macro?
Macro is very good at moving people around. Because you know all the processes you can move around sites if you’re open to it. I’ve had six jobs in ten years.
After two years on FM24, I became account manager at a satellite information services company that we were providing FM services for.
I’m now at a law firm. It’s the first time they’ve outsourced FM and I’m a trusted adviser to their in house facilities team on site.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- 'Hard skills' like finance, understanding the purchase order process, budgeting and contracts. You also need a ‘don’t walk by’ attitude. If you see a piece of rubbish, don’t walk by, but don’t simply pick it up and put it in the bin either. Ask why the rubbish is there: is the bin in the wrong place, what can we do to improve the service?
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- For the hard services side of FM you need to understand the technical side of how a building operates - the mechanical and electrical services. Those people tend to come through college training and apprenticeships. For the soft services, people can come from all walks. The important thing is to have a passion to improve.
- What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?
- I want to work more on the design and construction of buildings to ensure FM is considered at the design stage. I came across one building where the goods lift was smaller than the passenger lift, which caused all manner of problems!
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
- I love to dance. Disco dancing, line dancing, Scottish country dancing, tap dancing, you name it. I may not be that good, but I love doing it.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
- Finance. The choice I had at school was working in an office or a shop. I did work experience in a shop and loved it, but I wasn't tall enough to reach the higher shelves, so I ended up in an office doing accounts payable.
“Macro is very good at moving people around. Because you know all the processes you can move around sites if you’re open to it.”