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SOAPBOX


With February being the month of Valentine’s Day, what was it that made you fall in love with the cleaning industry? And has your relationship always been a happy one?


“Your work is going to fi ll a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfi ed is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to


love what you do.” Steve Jobs


The inspirational quote above from Apple founder Steve Jobs is all well and good, but for many people ‘loving what they do’ isn’t an option. Millions of people are stuck in jobs they hate simply to pay the bills. And when people do become unhappy or bored at work, no one wins.


If you don’t love your present job, then you’re not alone. Recent research by Gallup found that just 13% of employees across the globe are ‘engaged’ in their jobs, or emotionally invested in their work and focused on helping their companies improve.


The privilege of expecting work to be fulfi lling and fi nancially rewarding is a relatively recent phenomenon. Our


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ancestors worked to sustain themselves and simply survive, and it’s only quite recently that we want to actually get something more from our work.


And, it’s a very fl uid situation with so many jobs and careers becoming obsolete as the digital revolution thunders on – who can predict what the in-demand industries will be in even a decade’s time?


That’s why I believe the cleaning industry could be tempting for young people looking for a long term career path, as well as a job that can fulfi l them. Although there will be many unforeseen changes, I think it’s safe to say the cleaning industry will still be here in 10, 20 or even 50 years’ time. It’s our job to make the case for our sector and let them know the benefi ts, training and career progression that’s available to them.


There are so many different roles that need fi lling in the cleaning industry, and many of them will undoubtedly provide a fulfi lling career for some. But of course it’s also important to inject


a bit of realism into today’s young. So many of them are brought up on a diet of banal, trivial, soap and reality TV shows, that the world of work must seem unrelentingly dim compared to the tacky glamour they see on screen.


We have to drum into them that no job brings instant sunshine, or even 100% joy, but that through good judgement and hard work, job satisfaction can be achieved.


Since working for the BCC I’ve met many people in the cleaning industry, and most seem to love the jobs they do enormously. They are extremely passionate about their work and the industry in general. We now need to take that passion and try to enthuse a new generation about the opportunities we have available.


Lee Baker, Media and Policy Manager, British Cleaning Council


www.britishcleaningcouncil.org


This month we ask...


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


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