Climbing the career ladder: Zenab Haji Ismail

Published on: 11 Mar 2016

Planners each have their own reasons for seeking new positions within the profession. Planner Zenab Haji Ismail shares her story.

Where do you work and what does it involve?Zenab Haji Ismail [square]

I work for Camden Council as a senior planning officer. Day today I am dealing with the managing and assessing of developments and proposals in the borough. These include anything from extensions to hotels to garage doors. I also work on appeals.


Why did you decide to make the switch to your current planning role?

I was dealing with planning obligations such as Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 agreements. I moved to gain a broader perspective of planning, more exposure and wider experience. I now deal with a variety of things.


What is the most important thing you've done to boost your career prospects?

The most important thing has been putting extra effort into my learning and development, and getting involved with the RTPI. I have worked on gaining extensive exposure to a range of developments and planning issues, and I still am. Getting involved with the Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 agreements, meeting different people and getting involved with a variety of things, helps to ensure a strong foundation for my future.


What's your advice for other planners seeking to change jobs?

Be realistic and patient. Don’t take a new job for the sake of it. Make sure the work you do and job you take aligns with what you want for your future.


Planner cover Guide 2015

To read more from the Planner 2015 Guide to Career Development please click here.