Maxwell Stephens

Don’t Climb the Career Ladder, Get on the Career Jungle Gym!

Career Jungle Gym

In the recruitment sector, we are reminded every day just how unpredictable life can be and the huge impact this can have on an individual’s career trajectory and their plans for the future. This is particularly true in the world of Facilities Management, and if there’s one thing that a FM needs to be it’s adaptable! When it comes to your career, many professionals seem to take the approach of having a plan in place and rigidly sticking to it, with the aim of “climbing the career ladder”. At Maxwell Stephens we think that in many cases taking this relatively blinkered view to career progression can severely limit your prospects and prevent you from fulfilling your potential. Instead of a linear, progressive ladder, it can often be more beneficial to think of your career path as a “Jungle Gym”.


The best laid plans…

Having a plan in mind can be a good thing, but one thing working in recruitment has shown us is that life does not care about plans. Even the most meticulous plan can be derailed by any one of an infinite number of challenges that life presents. Having a more flexible and open-minded approach to your career development is vital when needing to adapt to change in your professional life.


Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

One of the main drawbacks of the traditional “career ladder” model is that it is restrictive. Some of the best Facilities Management professionals we have met have developed themselves across a wide range of industries and roles, particularly when it comes to the senior end of the job market as breadth of experience is becoming increasingly sought-after by employers. You also need to be aware of how a narrow focus in your career can make you highly dependent upon a particular organisation/industry etc, and what if something happens? Economic instability, sociocultural trends, government legislation; these are just some factors that could knock you off your chosen career ladder.


How did I get here?

Our privileged position as facilities management recruiters has given us a keen insight into how careers develop over time and how the most successful professionals get to where they are. In our experience, individual’s who are more open-minded in their career plans and take a flexible approach in their job searches tend to be more successful. Opportunities can come from anywhere, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t let the best ones pass you by.


Hop that Job!

One of the main concerns we hear when it comes to career development is the idea that job-hopping is a bad idea and could show a lack of loyalty and staying power. Although we acknowledge that frequent, impulsive job changes can be detrimental to career progression, job-hopping is not always perceived negatively. Attitudes of employers does seem to have changes with recruitment trends, with job-hopping becoming commonplace the in the modern working environment. Basically, what we are saying is that you don’t need to worry about having a number of roles and organisations on your CV, as long as the moves are for a good reason!


Risk Failure

Depending on your individual situation, this one can be easier said than done. It is often the case that taking on a new opportunity means taking a chance. Taking on a new opportunity could be risky, it could mean reduced salary, leaving a safe permanent position, relocating etc. You can always come up with reasons not to do something, but as the saying goes, you only regret the chances you didn’t take!


If you need to discuss where next to go with your career, the friendly and experienced team at Maxwell Stephens are always on hand to help. You can give us a call on 0207 118 4848 or drop us an email at