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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Housing was 'a calling' for Ruth


It's day 2 of National Careers Week 2020, and our morning blog comes from CIH Housing Futures Cymru's Ruth Davies, who works as wellbeing manager at Pobl Group.

How did I get into housing?

Most people say that they ‘fell into’ housing. For me I think it was a calling. When I finished university I was looking for a chance to get a job to pay my loans back! I knew I didn’t want to be stuck at a desk 9 to 5, and while a lot of my friends were becoming teachers, I knew I could help people in other ways. Serendipity kicked in and a position with the local council opened up for a ‘housing student’. I had no idea what that meant but they would pay for me to do a Masters degree in housing as well as on-the-job learning. I didn’t get the job. It was a surprise to me how disappointed I was about it. I did a bit of digging, spoke to people working in the sector, read more around the subject and discovered that I’d been naïve as to what the job actually meant. A month later the same authority advertised for a trainee housing manager. Perfect. I got the job and the rest, as they say, is history!

Why did I choose housing?

Both my parents worked in social services, and I’d done some support work for children with learning difficulties. But I was more inspired by my older sisters who had gone one to work in the private sector. It was only when I was honest with myself and reflected on my own personal aims that I realised I needed to help people rather that climb a corporate ladder. Housing is a fundamental part of people’s lives and the security a home can give someone is so important. I got into housing to help people get their own security and build their lives in safe and secure communities.

What does my career in housing look like?

Housing is an incredibly rewarding, varied and challenging sector to work. I’ve worked in the sector for 14 years and can honestly say no one day has been the same. You meet some really inspiring colleagues and know that you are making a change to people’s lives. I’ve worked in letting homes and helping people sustain their tenancies and pay their rent. I’ve carried out repairs inspections, worked on improving policies - but my favourite part of the work is meeting people and playing that tiny part in improving their lives.

What does working in housing mean to me?

It means giving a home to a family who has been living in subpar private rented accommodation. It’s helping a vulnerable tenant attend a training course. It’s putting in a level-access shower to make sure someone can remain living in their home. It’s treating people as individuals while creating communities that are happy and thriving places to live.

Why housing can be an amazing career choice

Housing people care. They care about their customers and each other. There are so many avenues you can take in you career in housing, and the support that the sector gives each other is immense. I’m never bored, I’m always supported - and there’s always cake!

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