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Thread: Rigors of private planning practice #11: Staffing the planning office

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Rigors of private planning practice #11: Staffing the planning office

    How do the private sector planners out there like staffing their client communities' planning office?

    I must say I like it! I get a break from my normal cubicle and I get to see new people facing a wide range of issues. Every town has its own set of colorful characters. Plus, in terms of the overall experience for my career, I get to see firsthand how different mindsets respond to similar issues. Some communities give me free reign and let me do my planning thing, and others run a tight ship and tell me what to do. There are only two downsides that I can think of. First, it's the travel. Long trips can be a real downer sometimes. And then there's the schizophrenia that sets in when I'm really busy because I can't keep nothing straight - Was that code violation in Derbyton or Ville de Chapeau? But overall, it's rewarding with a diverse group of folks.

    What do you think? How goes this kind of consulting gig for you?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Not at all my cup of latte. My firm may do some current planning when we get larger, but for now, we are sticking to long-range planning, economic development, and the like.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Your "firm" could eventually benefit from staffing planning offices, if there are no long-range planning opportunities identified at this time. At some point, you will probably end up noticing some potential projects and you will be in a perfect position to pitch them to the planning commission.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian LorenzoRoyal's avatar
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    From my working in the public sector, I think it's more effective working in current planning, although long range works if you work with cities/agencies--like mine-- that have master plans. That will determine how many years you can project into the future for your projects.

  5. #5

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    Doing current planning for clients can be fun and interesting, but my experience is that it will wear you down faster than other types of projects.

  6. #6
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    I used to work as a planning consultant and LOVED doing development review/current planning. Part of that is because I'm detail oriented and liked the nature of the work. But the other part is that our firm worked with a lot of very small places that had no staff of their own. So they kept us on board for a long time - in some cases, it was up to 20 years - which meant that we really got to know the community and it's issues. A nice feeling of continuity for an otherwise vagabond consultant's life...

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Nice story! Thanks for sharing.

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