Editor's Letter

July 19, 2017

How Do FMs Get Ahead?

The topic of how to get ahead has spawned many proverbs, from Horace Greeley’s “Go West, young man!” and Mark Twain’s “The secret to getting ahead is getting started,” to W.C. Field’s less sober “There’s only two ways to get ahead today – sell liquor or drink it.” To those I’ll add a less catchy but newer one – it’s a good time to pursue education and credentials that advance your FM career.

The industry has long sought recognition as a profession rather than a group of practitioners, many of whom seemed to have “fallen” into it rather than having pursued a formal path. Professional recognition has been growing gradually, but three current trends are likely to speed its progress, making advancement an even better prospect for those who prepare.

One is the retirement of the baby boomer generation, and with it the opening of jobs that are likely to be filled by a group that is a generation younger, not a few years younger. Credentials are a way to distinguish yourself from peers and make owners more confident of your upside.

Another is ever-growing corporate sustainability and environmental missions. FMs are in an excellent place to acquire and apply skills in these areas. It is also an excellent place for FMs to demonstrate a strategic ability to create value and not merely cut costs.

A third is the rising cost of space and companies’ need to decrease it – as we see in the office densification trend – yet increase the productivity of occupants, who are also costly. Optimizing the use of space is another area where FMs can demonstrate their value creation chops.

If I have swayed you at all, you can find a discussion of FM skill sets and career advancement in our feature articles this month. 

Chris Olson
Chief Content Director

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