Wednesday 13 September is Scottish Housing Day and the theme this year is Housing as a Career.
We are excited to share some of our colleagues' stories about how they got into the housing industry and what they love about it!
Read these stories below or on our Facebook page, and if you fancy a career in Housing and want to find out more, feel free to get in touch or check out our current vacancies page.
"It seems I was meant to work in Housing… I got into the industry when my local authority interviewed a bank of young people for a range of apprenticeships in various sectors: early childcare, engineering, mechanics, etc.
In the process, the interviewers matched your character to the sector they felt most suited. The local authority was trialling Housing apprenticeships for the first time. After the interview, they put me forward for Housing on account of my 'people person' character – and my twin was put forward for Engineering. Today, I'm a Housing Manager and he's an Engineer – so those interviewers got us well assessed quickly!
I love working in Housing because it's so varied – no two tenants, two properties, two streets are the same. So there's a lot of problem-solving and so much opportunity to influence a person's circumstances positively."
Kath Menzies – Housing Manager
"When I left college (doing Beauty Therapy), I ended up in the career office and got a Skillseeker Job, working In Fife Council Local Offices. I was paid £55 a week! I loved it and worked in a few offices - Benarty, Abbeyview and Brunton House. I then went on to work at Ore Valley for three years before starting my journey at Fife Housing Group.
Here I have worked in various roles, including Admin Assistant and Housing Admin Officer. I am now an Operations Advisor but have just started a part-time secondment as an Income Maximisation Officer which I love.
I love helping people, providing affordable homes to people in need, and helping sustain tenancies. And now in my new role helping those in poverty. It is highly rewarding."
Gillian McHale – Operations Advisor/Income Maximisation Officer
"During my younger years, my family were homeless. I have vivid memories of attempting to make a life in temporary accommodation and the daily wait to see if my mum would ever be offered her permanent tenancy. From this, I have always wanted to influence change and embed a true customer-focused approach in Housing. This personal experience has always shaped how I think and feel and how I can make a difference to those facing similar challenges.
I chose a career in the housing sector because I feel part of something greater than myself. Alongside the day-to-day role of the housing professional, there are ample opportunities to grow personally and professionally and being at the cutting edge of any response to the world we now live in has never been more exciting. I love my job and I am proud of what I have achieved so far, and I am 100% committed to supporting others to achieve their own goals and ambitions."
Gavin Waddell – Housing Officer
"When I joined Fife Housing Group, my first job was as an Office Junior. I expected to gain work experience and move on after one year…24 years later, I'm still here, having been in various roles but ultimately in my current role as a Housing Officer.
Initially having little knowledge of Social Housing, this was a great apprenticeship-type role that allowed me to work within all departments of the Group, gaining a rounded knowledge of the sector whilst working alongside tenants and stakeholders.
In a similar vein, in today's world, I would advocate for more apprenticeship roles. Encouraging and supporting people who want to get into Social Housing is important. I'm happy to say that Fife Housing Group has recently, and successfully, done just that.
You do need to take the bad with the good, but I believe every effort is taken to make a difference in tenants' lives with varying degrees of involvement. Supporting individuals, families, and vulnerable people to sustain their tenancies and communities often through times of crisis. Being on the frontline, we see instant results and receive feedback from tenants daily. The appreciation from changing someone's circumstances for the better is so motivational."
Stephanie McCulloch – Housing Officer
“I got into Housing through the apprenticeship programme as a Painter and Decorator. Working in the sector has been really interesting for me, from working in fire-damaged properties - which have been completely ripped out to the shell of the house and turning it back into the home it once was for our tenants - to working on our program which upgrades hundreds of kitchens and bathrooms each year. Ultimately, everyone working at Fife Housing Group works in Housing to make a difference to our tenants and their homes.
I like working in Housing because I know the difference we can make to our tenants, from providing a better quality of living and the highest quality homes to running numerous community events. Helping people get together in the community, being able to help our tenants with the current cost of living crisis through these events and of course, the charity work we can do at Fife Housing Group and being able to help so many within our community is why we work in Housing.”
Owen Fernie – Apprentice Painter and Decorator