Day in the Life: Housing services manager
Matthew Busher, 37, housing services manager at Grampian Housing Association offers a window on his busy day
I usually tend to get to work around 8.30am and start off with a quick check of my emails and diary for the day ahead. I generally tend to have meetings booked in most mornings. We work with a wide range of partner organisations so there tends to be a varied agenda of both internal and external meetings. Wednesday mornings are given over to staff training.
Every day is different. It’s often hard work but there is always something interesting to look forward to. And it provides a high level of job satisfaction knowing that the services that Grampian Housing Association provides can make a positive contribution to the lives of people living in the area.
I started working in social housing by accident really, although a job with some element of public service had always appealed to me. I moved to the area in 2003 for personal reasons (my then girlfriend, now wife, is from Inverurie) and my first job was with the South Area housing team at Aberdeen City Council. I moved to Grampian Housing Association in 2006 as a housing officer. I’ve enjoyed my time working here and have taken opportunities available to learn and develop professionally through secondment opportunities and completing a postgraduate diploma in Housing Studies. I’ve been working in my current post since December 2014.
I try to be good and take something homemade for lunch, usually soup or a sandwich. And where possible I try to fit in a 20-minute leg stretch and burst of fresh air.
I also check my emails again and the inbox is usually quite full with queries about housing allocations, rent management, recruitment, consultations and tenancy services. It’s a diverse range of work and I’m constantly moving from one area to another.
Afternoons are always varied and can include writing management reports, reviewing policies and procedures, office admin, project work, or holding one-to-one development meetings with colleagues. I always try to take a few minutes each afternoon to speak to colleagues in my department to keep in touch with how things have unfolded that day.
It’s a friendly, positive place to work with committed, professional staff. Colleagues are supportive and willing to help out, and there is a sense of collective achievement. Grampian Housing Association also supports staff in professional development, something that I have enjoyed the benefit of.
What I like most about the job is that no two days are the same, you need to be prepared to be adaptable and compete with conflicting demands. A positive and proactive frame of mind is essential. If you don’t achieve what you set out to do that day then you’ll have achieved something else. The real reward is working with staff to find solutions to the challenges we face.
I generally get home at around 6.30pm, although my job involves some occasional evening work. I have three children under the age of eight so getting home is no time to relax! However, the evenings are usually entertaining. In my own time I play five-a-side football, play the piano, and enjoy hillwalking, although not necessarily at the same time.