If you live or work in a multi-occupancy building, there’s a good chance you owe a lot to the work of the Services Manager. Rebecca Wood, Senior Services Manager at Multiplex, talks us through what her job entails.
Think about the building you’re in now. Do the electrics work? Do the elevators get you where you need to go? Are there Fire Safety Systems in place? Is there AC if you need it? A Services Manager was the brains working behind the scenes to manage the coordination and logistics of ensuring all these essential services were fully functioning when the building was built.
“In short: I make sure the power gets turned on, the water is running, it’s a nice temperature inside, the Wi-Fi is working, it’s easy to move around and everyone is safe and sound.”
Although it’s not a well-publicized role within the construction industry, it arguably has the most direct day-to-day impact on people’s lives. As Rebecca says:
“If we’ve done our job well, a well-designed and well-constructed building provides a good environment for the people in it after we have left. The success of the systems we install in our buildings has a direct impact on the quality of life for the people that use them.”
Constructing her own career at Multiplex
Rebecca’s route to the top of her field has, in her own words, been “a long, unique, and winding path!” starting with studies in aeronautical engineering, then going into law, before an “accident of coincidence” took her path into construction.
“At the age of 13, I used to work with my father. He had a business involved in renovating commercial buildings with an electrified spray product. I remember being fascinated by the building works going on around us, but it wasn’t until years later, while working for a commercial glazing company, that I walked on to a large central city heritage rejuvenation project and realized that my future also laid in construction.”
Rebecca’s wealth of experience in a wide range of areas – including commercial glazing, civil infrastructure, logging operations, electrical services, hydraulic services, general estimating, and quantity surveying – saw her quickly progress up her career ladder. And in 2016 Multiplex approached her to take on the role of Services Manager for the Jewel development on the Gold Coast – one of the biggest and most challenging projects Multiplex has ever managed in Queensland.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on an iconic project with a company that had always stood out in the industry. Multiplex had been on my radar as an industry leader long before I ended up securing a role with them. And I haven’t looked back since! It was a complex and challenging project and without doubt a career-high.”
Did you know in 2019 Multiplex received the NSW National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC) Innovation Award for their flexibility program?
Find out about this and other employee incentives and benefits.
Since joining, Rebecca says Multiplex has continued to support her to grow professionally within her role.
“Multiplex has encouraged me to create my own path and has given me the space to be able to show where my strengths are.”
Specifically, Rebecca has been able to develop as a leader and has discovered that she enjoys working as part of a larger team:
“Due to the nature of my role, I work with a wide range of people within our company and outside it. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy being part of a wider team structure that focuses on knowledge and skills sharing. I love being able to pass my knowledge on to others and seeing how this helps other staff grow in their roles.”
Do you have what it takes?
To be a successful Services Manager, Rebecca says you need an “extremely wide breadth of knowledge” from across the construction industry. It’s a highly-skilled, technically complex, and diverse career path. One of the most challenging parts of her role is taking these technically complicated issues and making them easy for others to understand. But Rebecca also knows that it’s often all about surrounding yourself with the right people:
“You don’t need to know everything yourself, but you do need to know how to work it out. Surround yourself with a good team and draw on the pool of experience when you need it.”
As a leader, working on large-scale projects, and with many different areas of the business at the same time, Rebecca aims to maintain a “cool composure, even under the most difficult of circumstances,” and she doesn’t shy away from difficult situations. While always determined and focussed in the workplace, her colleagues have praised her “genuine interest and care for the people around her.”
“I aim to be a compassionate, friendly, and reliable leader who ensures everybody feels included, important, and heard.”
Enjoy the ride!
Rebecca admits that her career path has taken her in lots of different directions – but without those diversions, she wouldn’t be where she is today! Learning from her experiences, she encourages everyone to take advantage of any opportunities that come their way.
“Never be scared to take on new challenges, no matter how daunting they may seem. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone but if you do, you’ll never know what you might miss out on. And, while you’re at it, don’t underestimate your own capabilities too much. If other people have the confidence in you to give you a go, you’re probably better than you think!”
Leading by example, in 2021 Rebecca volunteered to join Multiplex’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) team to help promote their global commitment to be carbon net-zero by 2030. Since then, she has taken on a leadership role within the team and enjoys the “exciting opportunity to be part of a global change in the construction industry”.
So, if you feel as though your own career journey doesn’t seem to have a direct path, Rebecca reminds us not to worry!
“Life takes you to some unusual and unexpected places. Take opportunities when they come up and try to enjoy the ride!”