Barry Weiland-Jarvis - Neighbourhood Officer
What is your name?
What company do you currently work for?
Grampian Housing Association
What is your job title?
Provide a brief description of your business
Grampian Housing Association is the largest housing association based in the North-east of Scotland. Through direct development and stock transfer, the Grampian Housing Association provides services to over 3,000 households.
Describe your career pathway after leaving school
I went to university to study teaching but decided that it wasn't for me. I then came to Elgin and worked for Walkers Shortbread Ltd. Then, I worked for Moray Council and got elected. I then decided to go back to university to study teaching but failed so returned home to Moray and worked for a small local business. After this, I then went on to work as a Policy Officer for a social housing provider and travelled to Aberdeen each day. I then worked in community support for Moray Council but my contract ended, so I went back to Walkers Shortbread Ltd. On the side, I got a job doing community work with the Co-op and working in the COVID-19 testing call centre. I then went back to Moray Council, working as a key worker in employability. Now, in my current role, I work with Grampian Housing Association as a Neighbourhood Officer.
What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?
Any subjects that encourage empathy and consideration for others.
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
At Grampian Housing Association, we can sometimes make a massive difference to someone's life by not only providing quality housing but through ongoing support for people to maintain their tenancy despite their difficult circumstances.
Why did you want to work in this industry?
I believe housing can have a transformational impact on lives and, through providing good quality housing at affordable rates, we can give people a real opportunity to make the most of their skills and talents.
Did you ever want to pursue another career?
At various points in my life, I have wanted to be involved in politics, community development, teaching and, occasionally, I have thought about becoming a professional wrestler.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
I tend to arrive first thing in the morning and check my work phone and emails for any messages from tenants while I've been away. I'll then look on our database system to see if there are any updates or requests that I'll need to follow up on. I also have to check my own diary as I use that to remind myself of deadlines and things I need to do on a day to day basis. But what I enjoy most is getting out into the schemes and speaking face-to-face with tenants. My job covers a huge range of different aspects from building repairs and concerns to antisocial behaviour and arrears and no two days are ever the same.#
What skills are required to do your job?
- Problem solving
- Ability to communicate with people in a variety of ways
What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?
Keep an eye out for different roles where you can learn the skills in different ways. Sometimes having transferable skills and experience can be as good as doing things in the sector itself.
Any other comments?
In my career, I've gone from what I would say was a 'perfect job' to jobs where I am just making money to live. My advice would be to never be afraid of failure and taking a risk to get to where you want to be.
. . . . .
Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!