Maxwell Stephens

Reflecting on Your Career as 2016 Draws to a Close - Are you a Risk Taker or Avoider?

It’s coming close to the end of 2016 and, as many of us do, you’re taking stock of your career, what you are right now and how where you are compares to where you want to be.


As a registered candidate here at Maxwell Stephens, you’re part of the UK’s largest database of facilities management professionals. In the last week or so, many of you have been getting in touch with us to find out what’s out there and to update your CVs and skills.


Compared with when we launched in 2006, the length of time spent by FM professionals in one job has decreased substantially. FM people are changing roles far more than they ever did before. When we carried out our survey earlier this year (in which 1,250 of your fellow FM professionals took part), we found there were two main reasons for this – a) the sheer amount of work your current role requires of you and b) you’d like to get paid more.


There’s a big third factor in the mix too, though. The number of FM departments and service providers is going up every year, faster than the number of qualifying FM professionals. To borrow a term from the housing market (another subject entirely!), this is a bit of sellers’ market at the moment for FM job-hunters or would-be switchers.


When we’re helping many of you switch from one company to another, we’re on the journey with you. After our busiest ever year, we thought we’d share with you the reasons why many of you think you want to make a move, but, in the end, you decide not to.




The biggest factor is comfort. You’ve carved out a good niche for yourself in your current role. Whilst the job may not be your dream job, there are far more positives to it than negatives. You have niggles in your mind that you’d enjoy somewhere else and something else a little more. But, you don’t hate where you are now so there’s low motivation on your part. All completely understandable.


Financial Stability


Many of us have been through property booms and busts. FM departments are often one of the first places employers look for savings, whether the department is in-house or via a service provider. Financial stability of the employer plays a lot on our candidates’ minds. Interplaying into this feeling are worries that a move could adversely affect your family if things go pear-shaped financially with a new boss.




Co-workers are a big pull for many who decide to stay. Even though the pressure can sometimes seem unbearable in FM roles, you always get through it because you trust the team you work with. You have standing in their eyes – they like and respect you. What’s more, you’ve earned being liked and respected by them. Swapping that for people you don’t know and in an organisation where, for the first few weeks, everyone knows more than you often makes would-be switchers feel nervous.


Self Doubt


The last big one, believe it or not, is self-doubt. You might have been in your current position for a few years and been on the end of one or two promotions. While the work is still occasionally very challenging, you’ve delegated so well that, on most days, work is pretty relaxed for you. That breeds a little bit of complacency.


The closest analogy we can think of is someone in telesales who does very well, learns alongside a team and is then promoted to manager. Over time, that manager gets to know the product being sold and the people selling it very well. How easy would it be to transfer that success onto a team and product brand new to that manager?


What the telesales manager has forgotten, and what many FM professionals forget, is that they have achieved everything themselves. While luck always plays a small role in life and work (good and bad), they have taken on the challenges the job presented and overcome them. Our message to you is that “you are that good!”


We’re all human. It’s fine to be anxious about change. Change in your life, whether professional or personal, is the hardest time to go through. You always seem to come out the other end though, smelling of roses.


We’re your recruitment partner. We’re there to share the highs and lows with you of both being in work and looking for work. What we’ve found for the apparent “risk-averse” person is that detailed information and knowledge about a new role, a new employer and a new team converts many of you over to the “risk-taker” category. The more you know, the more comfort you feel.


If you want to talk about your career, we’d love to work with you, even if, after speaking with us, you decide to stay where you are. To start everything off, call us on 0207 118 48 48 or email us at

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