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Being a nice person gets you far more than a lot of individual skills in interviews

Date: 27/1/2017

Planning magazine reports on the key attributes that organisations that are likely to be recruiting planners in coming months are seeking. Anna Rose, planning director at Milton Keynes Council and President of the Planning Officers Society, contributes.

  • major projects - Rose says: "A lot is to do with confidence and how you deal with people," she says. She suggests "trying to get into some of the relevant meetings, even at the plan-making stage, so you can see what's proposed, what it's going to look like, and you can show your enthusiasm and interest". 
  • business development - Rose says: "I think they are even more relevant to local government at the moment. It's a completely new thing for local government to see a planning authority as a business. You have to treat your customers with due respect and show empathy and understanding to their business to win them over." Planners who can develop these skills will set themselves up well for the future, she adds. "That's something we're seeing local government planners getting really good at and that's why the private sector wants them," says Rose. "When people are really good at that, they are marketable." 
  • interpersonal skills - Rose recommends that planners looking to build confidence should place themselves in uncomfortable situations, such as speaking in public. "I think most of it can be done through putting yourself forward," she says. "Wherever you're working at the moment, if there are opportunities that might seem daunting, go and do them anyway."  Rose concludes by saying: "The general point I would make is that actually being a nice person, simple as it sounds, gets you far more than a lot of these individual skills. I look for somebody who can engage with me." 

Anna Rose Pres_web.jpgAnna Rose, Presodent 2016/17

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