Career progression can mean many things - building an interesting portfolio of work, working for a variety of organisations, advancing to senior positions within the organisation we already work for.
In the last case, that means earning promotions. Martha Harris asks: what are the attributes a planner needs to be recognised for advancement?
1. Use your time well
Dr Wei Yang (left), founder of Wei Yang & Partners, says that time management was essential to building a good reputation when she began her career.
“I always kept my promises to other team members, project managers, directors and clients. Whenever I had a task, big or small, and I agreed a time scale, I always delivered good-quality work within the time agreed.”
Being a team player also demonstrates commitment to the bigger picture, says Yang. “If I finished my task on time, I would offer to help others so that we had a good overall outcome for a project.”
2. Be enthusiastic
Andrew Close (right), the RTPI’s head of careers, education and professional development, says planners should possess skills that include “being proactive, problem solving, seeing the bigger picture and summarising complex issues in an easier-to-understand way”.
Beyond these, “enthusiasm and interest always shine through”.
Yang agrees that maintaining a personal interest in the profession is key. “It is important to be aware of the bigger picture beyond your day-to-day job – then it is possible to identify the gaps [in your company’s provision] and suggest where you could make an additional contribution.”
3. Keep on the learning curve
Demonstrating a hunger for learning will show that you are keen to progress, says Close. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your employer, as university can’t be expected to teach you everything you’ll need to know about a planning application.”
The RTPI has a number of resources to help boost planners’ knowledge: “Keep up to speed with policy changes by subscribing to RTPI bulletins and networks. Local CPD events are also a great source of information, and an opportunity to network with other planners.”
4. Trust your judgement
It can be tempting to be amenable when you are trying to endear yourself to colleagues and clients, but maintaining your professional integrity is more important, according to Yang.
“Having the client’s trust helps a lot – but I make sure to honour my own judgement. If I disagree with a client, I tell them, and justify my reasons why.”
She continues: “Don’t be afraid of your clients; in the end, they will appreciate your honesty.”
Photo | iStock