Facilities Manager, Pulse Electronics

Bob Wiley - 200x275

How many people does your business employ?

I am currently working as a part-time, contract facilities manager for Pulse Electronics. The company designs and manufactures electronic components. Pulse currently has about 11,000 employees worldwide.

How long have you lived in San Diego?

We have lived in San Diego for about 34 years. My wife and I grew up and got married in Hammond, Indiana which is just around the corner from Chicago. We left there after the winter of 1979-1980 when Chicago received over 200 inches of snow and had a record number of days when the high temperature was below zero. I was working outside for a general contractor that winter. That was enough of that. I flooded the west coast with resumes and was lucky enough to land a job in San Diego and here we are.

What was the best advice you have received in your career?

Since I was a little kid my dad always told me, “Plan your work and work your plan.” That helped to organize and prioritize my tasks and follow an implementation plan from a pretty early age. I still follow that rule to this day.

What has been the greatest challenge of your career?

That has to be pulling up stakes and moving to Denmark to work for three and a half years and then relocating from there to Boston for another two and a half years. Living and working in the Danish culture was challenging and very rewarding both career-wise and personally. I had to learn a lot about Danish culture and Danish work life. It was the experience of a lifetime. I learned a lot. Probably the most important thing I took away from my time there is that people everywhere want to do good work that they can take pride in and they want many of the same things for their lives and families that we do. As a bonus, my wife and I got to see a lot of Europe. Boston was an intermediate stop before returning to San Diego. Boston is a great city; easy to get a round in with a lot of culture and history. We enjoyed our time in both places.

How did you end up in facilities management?

I started my career in construction project management, mainly from the owner’s perspective. From there it was a natural transition from developing properties to managing the facilities once they were built. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between project management and facilities management my whole career.

What is your favorite after hours hobby and why?

I enjoy working out two plus hours per day. I run, row, bicycle ride and lift weights, doing different activities on alternating days. My greyhound goes on runs with me as well, although it’s just a fast walk for him. Working out helps me to de-stress and generally keeps me healthy. Reading is also an activity I enjoy.

What are the best and worst aspects of technological advances in your career?

The biggest technological change over my career has been the ubiquitous nature of the internet and the almost instantaneous nature of communication and data transfer. We have quick access to nearly unlimited information at any time. That has greatly benefitted our work experience. I t also has meant that we are available for work 24/7 and, in many cases, that has become the expectation. I am not sure that in the long run that is a healthy situation.