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CIOB Career Development



Senior design manager, Kier Construction, and vice chair of CIOB London Branch


target its users’ working hours. Facebook at Work — or FB@Work as one insider dubbed it — is expected to look and function the same way as its parent network, but will separate work from personal life.


Facebook at Work will let users connect with their colleagues, chat and collaborate on documents. Unlike the 1.35 billion monthly active users’ network, the affi liated site will conceal private profi le updates from colleagues. Facebook at Work will look similar to the original Facebook and combine news feeds and groups. A signifi cant hurdle will be the issue of trust and the danger of users passing on information to rival businesses. Companies will have to sign up to the service before their employees use it.

Facebook is set to launch a new career platform this month to

Millions of offi ce workers use email, Skype and Google documents, as well as Microsoft Offi ce, to coordinate team work. But observers believe it is LinkedIn that Facebook is really targeting. LinkedIn is the most popular business-

oriented social networking service with more than 332 million members in over 200 countries and territories. According to the professional site, users sign up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second. Some development of Facebook at Work

has reportedly been taking place in London, and Facebook employees have been using a pilot scheme for some time. Facebook at Work is likely to remain free of charge and free from advertising, “at least initially”, according to the company. Many CIOB branches already use the

existing Facebook service to communicate news of events and share information.

Q Why did you choose a career in construction? I began a degree in mechanical engineering and quickly found out that my love of mathematics and physics waned in the progression from A-level to degree level. I enjoy project- based learning and the management aspect, so I switched to Project Management for Construction.

Q What would you have done if you hadn’t worked in construction? Tough question. I’m a little too forthright for a career as a politician or lawyer. I enjoy spotting the value in things and so commodity trade could have been an option for me. It would also be a career which involves using my transferable skills. I’m trilingual (four if you include cockney) and so I would probably be working internationally. Then again I like cooking and eating a lot, so hotelier or restaurateur maybe?

Q How do you relax after work? I have a wife who loves theatre, fi lm and cultural tourism, so we do a lot of that. We also have two young children who have an extremely busy schedule. Motorbikes allow me to occasionally escape from the above. We also have as many holidays as we can fi t in; enjoy socialising with friends/family and if there’s any time left, I’ll try and do some exercise.

Q What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Three main pieces of advice stick with me:

Facebook is set to launch Facebook At Work — a platform for use in the offi ce with colleagues 47

1. Never be afraid to seek help or assistance, or you make your journey 10 times more diffi cult. 2. Worry more about your own actions than people’s perceptions of your actions. 3. You can work all the hours possible, and amass all the material things you want, but if you don’t get your priorities right, all your hard work becomes an exercise in futility. So, get your priorities right. If I was forced to pick one it would be number three.

Q What’s your most embarrassing work moment? At a job interview in France, I made a huge faux pas in addressing my interviewer. Instead of saying “You must be really pleased”, I ended up saying “You must be really stupid”, when discussing how much it had cost him fi nancially to secure his child’s success at a top university. I managed to correct the mistake and apologise but I could tell the damage was done. Needless to say, I didn’t get called back for a second interview.

Q If you were starting your career again what would you do differently? I would probably have selected A-levels which refl ected my key successes at GCSE level which were in the languages and humanities subjects. I sometimes wonder how my

development would have differed if I had pursued employment with a PM consultancy. Ask me again in fi ve years and I may give you a different answer.

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