How do they do it? Karen Charles

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 30 Sep 2016

Karen Charles
Karen Charles graduated from Cardiff University with an undergraduate degree in city and regional planning in the mid 1990s and joined DTZ Debenham Thorpe in London for a year’s placement as part of her post graduate diploma in town planning. She then returned to Cardiff to complete her studies before going back to DTZ - now Cushman & Wakefield - where she stayed for around 20 years, progressing to become a director and head of the London planning team. In 2016, she moved to Boyer to support the growth of the company and is now acting head in the firm's Wokingham office.

Q. What are your objectives in your current role and how are you measured against them?

As with any planning director in a private sector consultancy, my objectives are to meet and where possible exceed client expectations, generate new business, offer direction and leadership to the planning team and support continued growth and financial success. Performance measures are based on satisfying clients and business profit, but I'm also measured on how well the team works together and collaborates. 

Q. What key lessons have you learned during your career that help you to fulfil those objectives?

Continued professional development is worth it. While often frustrating, town planning is a profession that never stands still, therefore continuous learning on new and emerging legislation, case law and projects is an essential part of competence and success in meeting objectives. 

There is no alternative to hard work. I am a hard worker, enjoy being busy and believe to succeed you cannot cut corners - you need to put in the hours and effort to achieve the best results.

Surround yourself with a reliable team. Teamwork is essential to deliver the best results, be it with clients, colleagues or allied professionals.