How did you first hear about jobs in housing?
My dad worked in the Housing Executive for 30 years and advised me that there were opportunities within the organisation for young people who wanted to be successful and were interested in career development.
How did you find further information about a career in housing?
Apart from growing up in a household full of people who worked in housing, including my dad and sister, I also have friends and colleagues in the local golf club who recommended working in housing and gave me sound career advice.
Before attending my interview I researched the industry to see if it would suit me by looking at the website and reading information that my family gave me from the Chartered Institute of Housing.
What was it that appealed to you when you were thinking about a job in housing?
I was interested in the fact that the organisation encouraged and supported career and professional development.
I also liked the flexible working hours that would allow me to undertake further qualifications, (and play plenty of golf!).
How did you get your first job in housing?
When I joined in 2003 the NIHE were offering open recruitment for Temporary Clerical Officers so I applied. These jobs then became permanent after two years.
While I was working on a temporary contract I wasn't eligible for any Post Entry Training. This was only allowed once I my contract became permanent.
What personal skills and qualifications did you have that helped you secure your first job in housing?
I already had my BA Hons in Business Enterprise and Strategy Planning and my HND in Business and Finance before I joined.
I was also a keen golfer and represented the golf club in various team and individual competitions. This gave me confidence in myself and my abilities. It also taught me how to work successfully on my own and as part of a team. Playing golf has helped me develop my commitment for self improvement.
What skills & training have you gained since you have had your job in housing?
I have developed my ICT skills and am now an accomplished report writer for the Supporting People team.
I achieved my Institute of Accountant Technicians of Ireland in 2005 and my Chartered Management Accountant qualification in 2009 under the Post Entry Training Facility (PETF). The PETF meant that my studies were sponsored by the NIHE and I was allowed study leave and day release.
I have also completed courses in:
Describe a typical day?
I don't really have a typical day in here! The job is very varied and new challenges crop up all the time! This is one of the good parts of the job as it keeps things interesting and helps me learn new skills.
The main duties of my current role as the Senior Officer on the SP Finance team include monitoring the supporting people budget, carrying out Value for Money assessments and financial analysis. I also write ad hoc reports using Microsoft Access and other report writing tools.
What would you tell people who are interested in a housing career?
I would tell them to go for it! If they have an interest and commitment to do well in the industry they can achieve a lot.
I would also explain to them that a career in housing is very broad and there are opportunities available to suit all skills.