While studying for a geography degree Jayne Norris realised the potential for town planning as a career that blended social, economic and built-environment disciplines. She gained a masters and diploma in urban planning from Oxford Brookes and went into local government in development management, local plans and appeals. Having raised a family, the challenge of self-employment in the private sector beckoned. Norris worked initially as a freelance consultant for local Oxfordshire practices. In 2007 she joined Edgars in Eynsham, Oxfordshire and is now a planning director.
What are the current objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?
As the director of a team of six planners my role is to generate new clients and maintain satisfaction with existing clients. I also create a development programme for the new planners we want to attract to the business and support professional development of our current team of planners. I also have a small workload of long-standing clients and am measured by successful outcomes, repeat work and sustained increasing turnover.
Q What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?
A Don’t cut corners on background research. No matter what the project, research can offer an insight into a case you may never have appreciated and can haunt you if overlooked.
Deliver bad news with clarity and explanation. Clients do not appreciate false promises or flannel.
Do not underestimate your own ability. Being director of my own business in a largely man’s world has been possible with a clear goal, determination, hard work, good planning, a fantastic team at Edgar’s and a cleaner.