Q&A with CIH chartered member John O’Connor
We caught up with Housing Agency chief executive officer John O’Connor and chatted about his executive route to CIH chartered membership.
So John, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you began your career in housing?
I started my career as structural engineer with a design and build contractor. I was involved in a variety of roles in the construction and local government sectors before taking up a position in charge of a project management team for building projects. My career in housing started when I took up a senior management position in the housing & community of Dublin City Council. From there I moved to chief executive of a government agency the Affordable Homes Partnership and then in 2010 took up the position of chief executive of the Housing & Sustainable Communities Agency.
As a CIH member since 2008 what appealed to you about becoming a chartered housing professional?
I think it is critically important for professional development of any sector that there is a professional institute for members to provide support; and to develop their skills and knowledge. By sharing information, discussing issues, developing together and setting standards all members can enhance their ability to provide housing and services for society.
Having taken the executive route to CIH chartered membership, how does becoming a chartered CIH member reflect/enhance your career to date?
It is always important in your career to strive to improve and develop. Achieving chartered membership of CIH shows your commitment to the housing profession and your desire to deliver a high quality service. It enhances your career by clearly demonstrating a level of achievement and skills to others.
What would be your three top tips for someone starting out on their journey as a housing professional?
Firstly, consider and appreciate that housing is a long-term career option and that it is a profession that requires knowledge, skills and continuous development.
Secondly, appreciate that quality affordable housing is an essential need for everyone in our society. In your role as a housing professional always be aware of the needs of people and how you can meet those needs and improve the quality of life for people.
Thirdly, constantly strive to learn and develop throughout your career and always ask how things can be done better.