Tricks Of The Trade: Transitioning To Facility Management

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the March 2014 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I have been in the construction industry for over 15 years and have worked the last eight years as a construction site superintendent. Over the years, I have worked with many facility managers, and I am thinking that a career change to facility management may be in my near future. I have an associate degree in Construction Management and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Management. I think that this, coupled with my construction experience, would be a good background for a move into facility management. What advice would you have regarding how to begin the transition?

Name withheld upon request
Construction Site Superintendent
Columbus, OH

All questions to Folsom have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” link.

A Good choice! You have a good start for getting into facility management. However, you will find this world to be very different politically, financially, and routinely. You’ll need to ensure you’re thickening up your skin right now and learning how to tap into an organization’s mission and willing to go in deep to support it. I made the switch from construction to facility management 25 years ago and would never go back. I love it!

The number one skill set/behavioral attribute you will need to master is “Servant Leadership,” meaning there is nothing that you’re not willing to do that you ask your staff to do. You’ll find that your department actually sets a tempo by which the entire institution will notice and follow. So it is a very important and big job.

You may find my answer to a similar question interesting. Find it here.