Kris Weeks of Grays Shopping Centre – his journey.
“The security industry led me to a job that would eventually become my last role within the security sector.”
In 2005 I was given the opportunity to work at my local shopping centre as a member of the security team. Being so close to home and having a young family I jumped at the chance, as this meant I would spend more time with my family and less traveling.
After working in this role for six years I knew the job inside out and was ready for the next step in my career so when the operation’s role at the shopping centre become available I applied for the job.
I knew that my role in security within the shopping centre had given me many of the tools to be able to do the job; I knew the site, I had a good relationship with the tenants, and I understood contractors and health and safety. I was appointed to the post after going through the interview process.
As the Operations Manager, I could expand on the skills I had developed.
One of the things I always enjoyed was the interaction with people; being able to understand, empathise and listen, I was able to talk to each of the tenants and build a good relationship. This also allowed me to deal with different organisations, contractors and staff members with ease.
During my role as an Operations Manager I completed my IOSH in managing safety course. This armed me with the knowledge to make some changes to the shopping centre’s processes.
I was also offered a chance to undertake the Revo Shopping Centre Management Diploma, by this time I was thirsty for education and knowledge so welcomed this gladly. The course was tough at times, having to juggle a full-time job, a young family and studying. However, my course tutors, managing agents Workman and asset managers Ellandi were all very supportive, I even interviewed Mark Robinson as part of my diploma.
In 2015, the Centre Manager’s position became unexpectedly available. I knew I was ready to take on this challenge so I applied for the post and Ellandi recognised all the hard work I’d put in, so I was appointed.
That was nearly three years ago now. As Centre Manager, I’m responsible for a whole host of aspects for the shopping centre from financial control and contractor management to being an ambassador for the shopping centre in local council and community focus groups to organising and hosting marketing events, plus anything in between.
What I love about my job is that it’s both hard and dynamic at the same time, no two days are the same. I also still get the interaction with people that I enjoyed whilst working in the security industry.
I never knew what I wanted to do for a living when I was growing up but I do know I’ve found something that I love to do. If I had any advice for someone wanting to join this industry it would have to be play to your own personal strengths, no two people are the same and the industry is as diversified as the world we live in.
First posted on Wednesday 11 October 2017