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Scottish Housing Day 2023

Housing as a Career!

We asked some of our staff to explain their housing journey to inspire others to come and work in the housing sector!  Read on and be inspired!

For more information on Scottish Housing Day 2023 visit http://www.scottishhousingday.co.uk/.

Fiona White, Finance & Corporate Services Manager

'I was 6 months out of school, working part-time in Trueform shoe shop (my Saturday job hours were extended after leaving school while looking for a full-time job).  I had no idea what I wanted to do but was applying for insurance companies and accountancy firms and had no luck so far.  My boss at Trueform spotted an advert in the Clydebank Post for a Clerkess/Trainee at Clydebank Housing Association and showed it to me (reluctantly, as she was trying to get me to take on a full-time job at the shop!).  In my head, the job was with the Council as I hadn’t heard of CHA but thankfully before my interview I noticed the office address was Hume St and not Roseberry Place.  I was successful and offered the job – I decided I was take the job and work there for 6 months while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life (haha).  CHA was very small at the time with only 3 other staff members.  In the first 5-6 years, I had the opportunity to work in many different areas of the organisation.  I was based at Reception but gained experience in instructing repairs, posting rents, pointing up housing application forms, accompanied house visits, cashbook postings and financial reconciliations.  I also took the Minutes of every Management Committee and Sub-Committee meeting, so I was lucky enough to experience a wide view of everything taking place in the organisation.  CHA supported me through external training and in-house mentoring which allowed me the chance to expand my experience and to progress in the organisation.  It’s now 30 years later, I am the Finance & Corporate Services Manager, and I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of my time here.'

Sinéad Farrell, Customer & Corporate Services Manager

'My journey started after applying to be an ‘office assistant’ for a housing association in Drumchapel (what’s a housing association??) following leaving school and scouring the Clydebank Post job adverts in 1997!  Little did I know I’d be exactly where I wanted to be, in the same sector 26 years later, 21 with Clydebank Housing Association.  I gained the qualifications I needed along the way.  The Association’s commitment to staff training and development is a stand out point for me…. as is the great annual leave, flexibility and staff wellbeing benefits.'

Joe Farrell, Head of Housing Services

‘In 1994, having left further education, I didn’t have a clue what I actually wanted to do.  Childhood dreams of being a pilot were scuppered by a chronic fear of heights, and the qualifications to be a rocket scientist were alas out of my reach.  One day I saw an advert in the local paper for a trainee job housing with the Council and decided I would apply with a hope of getting some money in my pocket while I decided what I actually wanted to do.  At the time, the only ‘tenants’ I knew about were the lager variety, and the pay at a mighty £7,000 per year, even back then was paltry.  Long story short, almost thirty years later, here I am, having inadvertently forged a career path in a sector that I initially knew nothing about at all, but grew to love.'

Kirsty Woods, Maintenance Officer

'I started with Knowes HA in 2008 as Corporate Services Assistant, while doing this job I studied my level 4 Diploma in housing. I then moved department into the maintenance side of housing in 2014, where I worked as a Maintenance Assistant. When working in this department I learned many skills before deciding to further my studies and attending Glasgow College on day release. I attended college for 2 years and secured my HNC construction management qualification. In October 2022 I started with CHA as Maintenance Assistant, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Recently I was asked to assist with taking up the role of Maintenance Officer on a temporary basis which I am thriving in every day and feel very appreciative to have been given this opportunity.'