Jesse H. Neal Award
Jesse H. Neal Award
2014, 2013, 2012,
2011, 2010, 2009
Best Publication and
Best How-to Article
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How Do FMs Get Ahead?
FROM the EDITOR
The topic of how to get ahead has spawned many
proverbs, from Horace Greeley’s “Go West, young
man!” and Mark Twain’s “The secret to getting
ahead is getting started,” to W.C. Field’s less sober
“There’s only two ways to get ahead today – sell liquor or drink
it.” To those I’ll add a less catchy but newer one – it’s a good
time to pursue education and credentials that advance your
The industry has long sought recognition as a profession rather than a group of practitioners, many of whom seemed to have “fallen” into it rather than having pursued a formal
path. Professional recognition has been growing gradually, but three current trends are
likely to speed its progress, making advancement an even better prospect for those who
One is the retirement of the baby boomer generation, and with it the opening of jobs
that are likely to be filled by a group that is a generation younger, not a few years younger.
Credentials are a way to distinguish yourself from peers and make owners more confident
of your upside.
Another is ever-growing corporate sustainability and environmental missions. FMs are in
an excellent place to acquire and apply skills in these areas. It is also an excellent place for
FMs to demonstrate a strategic ability to create value and not merely cut costs.
A third is the rising cost of space and companies’ need to decrease it – as we see in the
office densification trend – yet increase the productivity of occupants, who are also costly.
Optimizing the use of space is another area where FMs can demonstrate their value
If I have swayed you at all, you can find a discussion of FM skill sets and career advance-
ment in our feature articles this month on pages 20 and 26.
Chief Content Director