How to land a Health and Safety Director role

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How to land a Health and Safety Director role

Not all of us want to have the huge responsibility of running our own firm or being a CEO. But it's always good to have aspirations; something to work towards on the career ladder. There are always going to be jobs available in the Health and Safety industry for trained professionals, especially as the economy is starting to grow again and businesses will be growing too.
With the average salary for a professional health and safety role being £30,000 a year, it's not a living to be sniffed at, but nor will it aid an early retirement or a classic car collection. Anyone looking to get into the £100k + salary bracket will need to start working towards a Director role in a large corporation.

Work experience

Of course you'll need a good few years behind you and a definitive career in the health and safety industry before anyone will consider you for senior management roles. It's always good to have a variety of experience as well, whether that be from construction to retail or environmental to education. If there aren't opportunities in your current role to progress up the management ladder or widen your breadth of experience, then you may want to consider becoming a self-employed consultant or Interim manager for a while. This will allow you to take 3-6 month contracts at different businesses to gather together a portfolio of case studies for your CV.

Extra training

Most employers are happy to invest in their long-serving, full-time staff. There are even some government schemes that can help towards training costs. If you or your employer are a member of a professional organisation such as the CITB then grants are available to cover the courses. Regardless of grants, the courses are actually very affordable, with a special Director's Role for Health and Safety course costing just £140.
You could also look at other types of personal development training such as Project Management techniques and even accounting skills, as the role of a Director is multi-faceted.

Networking

Senior Management roles are hard to find, and hard to land. A board of directors is much more likely to choose a candidate that they know personally, or that has been recommended to them by a colleague or business associate. If you want to be thought of as a Director, you've got to start acting like one and mixing with other directors.
Industry charity events are always a good place to start, as usually everyone's a little more relaxed and sociable especially if there are drinks with dinner. Or even golf society days; it might sound old school but there's still a very healthy amount of business carried out on the golf course!
Try contacting trade publications to see if they are in need of any commentary or extra articles, to get your name about, and consider joining trade associations who will hold their own networking groups that you can go along to. After all, you've got to be in it to win it!

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