How do they do it? Paul Clark

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 1 Aug 2016

Paul clarkPaul Clark graduated from Nottingham University in urban planning and then completed a diploma in town and country planning at University College London, followed by a masters degree in land economy at Cambridge University. He started his career as a town planning consultant at JLL before moving in to land buying for Goldcrest Land and then development consultancy at CBRE. Covering east London until the property market crash in 2008, he was seconded from CBRE to the Olympic Park Legacy Company to help review the legacy strategy for the Olympic Park. From here Clark took up a role as Oxford City Council’s major development project manager. Clark joined Capita Real Estate in 2011 as head of development consultancy and agency. In 2015 Capita acquired GL Hearn and his team transferred across where he now leads a team of 40. He is currently on a part-time secondment to the estates regeneration team at Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), providing commercial support to the emerging national estate regeneration strategy.

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

I have three key objectives – financial, business development and team administration. First and foremost I have both personal and team financial targets to hit, which are pretty black-and-white. On top of this I have certain business development plans agreed at the beginning of the year – measured mainly on financial growth but also on securing new clients and increasing the service lines being provided to existing clients. In terms of team administration, again it’s a growth agenda but also ensuring we are helping people to meet their own career aspirations. On top of all this, I spend part of my week with the Estates Regeneration team at DCLG.

What key lessons have you learned in your career that helped you fulfil those objectives?

Every day is a school day. Stay curious and try to understand everyone else’s discipline and role: training and working as a planner provides a great basis for this.

Be prepared to stick your neck out. Sometimes opportunities come your way that you weren’t expecting and are outside of your comfort zone, but these are the opportunities that will ultimately stretch you and make you a better professional.

Never burn a bridge. This is a small world: since graduating all my career opportunities have arisen through personal relationships and recommendations, so build and maintain your networks.