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

The Big Conversation: 'A place where we can welcome those starting to develop their careers in housing'


Geraldine Howley, CEO of Incommunities looks back at The Big Conversation in May on how important it is for people starting out in their housing career to take the next steps and develop a real sense of career progression.

When I first envisaged ‘The big conversation’ three years ago I know I wanted to create a space where we can welcome those who are starting to develop their careers in housing, both young people and up and coming professionals. The importance of learning, being fun, dynamic and relevant continue to guide the ways we deliver what is the largest networking event for young professionals in the housing sector.

We held a series of highly engaged and organically developing sessions on how to develop yourself using social media, art and drama which provided attendees a alternative and interactive career building experience.

Our unconference sessions allowed us to gather the wisdom of those in the room and bring together insight and feedback from around the sector to help shape the direction of the conference and raise key questions with senior leaders from the sector.

A huge thank you to the GEM programme who shared their wisdom and knowledge, most particularly for the session around peer mentoring and how to use your friends and colleagues to gain insight and help you develop your career aspirations and ambitions.

It was a hugely successful event for us at the Chartered institute of Housing with a number of young professionals taking advantage of the membership offer on the day. If you attended and feel you missed out you can still take advantage of the offer, just get in touch with the membership team.

As someone who started their housing career in a temporary role I know how important it is for newcomers - our next generation of housing professionals - to take the next steps and develop a real sense of career progression. My CIH Presidential theme was young people and I am intent on addressing the challenges that young people and new professionals face in fulfilling their potential. As we address the challenges of our older colleagues retiring from the sector, a massive shortage of homes and the housing inequalities currently faced by society, talented housing professionals are needed now more than ever. I am so delighted that The Big Conversation continues to gather momentum and look forward to hosting our next event in London in November. More details coming soon.

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