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Step change: Charlotte Morphet

Charlotte Morphet
RTPI members discuss their big career-changing decisions


Charlotte Morphet is a chartered Planner at CgMs Ltd
My biggest career decision to date – taking a job as an enforcement officer – did not seem like it would be so significant at the time, but it proved to be the making of my career in planning. I have not looked back. After studying at Kingston University I had six internships but could not seem to get my break and land a full-time paid job. The recession had started and I seriously doubted that I could pursue a career in planning. Should I give up and try something else?
When I saw the enforcement role, I hesitated. Why? For a start, it wasn’t in the particular field of planning I had envisaged for myself. I knew it was a myth, but I associated enforcement officers with tough ex-policemen and believed there would be a lot of aggravation and confrontation. I decided to apply and, to my surprise, was offered the job. But, to be honest, as I left for work on my first day I doubted I would be up to it. Did I really have the skills to work in enforcement? How would I be able to deal with conflict?
“I would certainly encourage others to take work placements”
Enforcement, however, was very different from how I imagined it. That taught me a major career lesson – don’t make assumptions. I discovered that a lot of people simply misunderstood the legislation and my role was to explain what could and could not be done. There was a lot less confrontation and I found I actually had very good communication and negotiation skills. I was also grateful for those internships as they had actually taught me a lot. The outcome of my time at Wandsworth was gaining a graduate planning role at CgMs. It was the job I always wanted and am still enjoying now.
I would certainly encourage others to take work placements if you cannot get the job you want. Take any opportunities that come your way as you never know where they will lead. I was able to use the experience of both my internships and that first job to get the position I now have. Don’t give up if having a career in planning is your dream. Be open-minded if an opportunity comes up.



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