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Thread: Currently planning director, considering the other side

  1. #1

    Feb 2007
    fonthill ontario

    Currently planning director, considering the other side

    I have been in small municipalities (less than 20,000) for 17 years. Currently Director in a municipality that has little regard for planning. Near the end of my rope due to the new Council and their agenda.

    Any input on pros and cons switching over to consultant work with an established practice?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    Just apply - you have a good number of years behind you - focus on your projects, especially the ones you like -

    for instance, if you want to go into comp planning as a consultant, focus on the plans you did

    but remember, before you switch, to make sure that you really are burnt out with the government side of practice and not just because you have a bunch of wacky elected officials - because if it's the latter, remember that every year is an election year, and people really do come and go

    good luck

  3. #3
    Dec 2006
    Private sector pros: wider variety of projects=larger portfolio, network is larger, larger salaries at some firms which shatter any glass ceilings you may encounter in the public sector, ability to work for a firm who doesnt have to go to every meeting or deal with an angry public
    Private sector cons: longer hours, fewer paid days off, time is money mentality can bring out the worst in some people, salaries might be lower than the public sector but you have a greater chance of securing compensation in the form of a merit/performance based raise.

    My firm has hired planners who have worked for years in the private sector. However, these aren't full time staff. They will have a much higher hourly rate (sometimes higher than the principals). However, they are carefully chosen for projects where their expertise is important. My guess is these senior planners/executive directors work as subconsultants for a number of different firms in addition to being the main independent consultant for other projects.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    I made the switch and have loved it. I have always been more a long range/strategic guy rather than a person who wants to deal with implementaion and administration. As a director I found myself constantly doing the latter, or having to work the politics. Now I am free to devote most of my energy to the work I enjoy. I guess that is one question you need to ask yourself, though. What is it that you enjoy the most? Will consulting give you that?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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