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Thread: Career paths: enviromental review v. general/community planning

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    Cyburbian
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    Career paths: enviromental review v. general/community planning

    This question is a follow up to "interviewing for a position I'm not sure I want."

    I approached the interview with an open mind, and I am more interested than I anticipated (and as some here predicted). I don't know if they will make me an offer, but I am expecting to get an offer from another potential employer, and I need to start thinking about how I might choose between them.

    One job is public sector, much land use and zoning work. The other is consulting, specifically lots of environmental review for mainly public sector clients.

    I have a few core concerns that I hope the throbbing brain can help me with. First of all, I worry that working on EISs will feel too far from the decision making process for me. I don't want to start on a track that might not be right for me in the long term. The public sector job might keep more options open for the future. However, there is little support for professional development in the public job, and the consultant talked a lot about staff development and opportunities for growth within the company.

    Has anyone worked for a consultant like this? How likely are planners to get pigeon-holed? Do people go on to other types of planning jobs after starting at a company like this? Do they have to start over at the entry level when they do?

    I realize that my professional growth is my own responsibility, but surely supportive management makes a difference. It also occurs to me that talking about professional development is not the same thing as actually following through. They may have simply been telling me what I wanted to hear.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Well....

    Quote Originally posted by Future Planning Diva View post
    This question is a follow up to "interviewing for a position I'm not sure I want."

    I approached the interview with an open mind, and I am more interested than I anticipated (and as some here predicted). I don't know if they will make me an offer, but I am expecting to get an offer from another potential employer, and I need to start thinking about how I might choose between them.

    One job is public sector, much land use and zoning work. The other is consulting, specifically lots of environmental review for mainly public sector clients.

    I have a few core concerns that I hope the throbbing brain can help me with. First of all, I worry that working on EISs will feel too far from the decision making process for me. I don't want to start on a track that might not be right for me in the long term. The public sector job might keep more options open for the future. However, there is little support for professional development in the public job, and the consultant talked a lot about staff development and opportunities for growth within the company.

    Has anyone worked for a consultant like this? How likely are planners to get pigeon-holed? Do people go on to other types of planning jobs after starting at a company like this? Do they have to start over at the entry level when they do?

    I realize that my professional growth is my own responsibility, but surely supportive management makes a difference. It also occurs to me that talking about professional development is not the same thing as actually following through. They may have simply been telling me what I wanted to hear.
    First things first, approach each job on it's own merits and do your absolute best to get a job offer. Can't choose if you approach one of the interviews with a chip on your shoulder from the start.

    While I have only briefly worked for a consultant, I did move on to the planning field without any problem. Being a consultant while doing work in the background (Environmental Reports) could work out well for you. This would give you the opportunity to attend meetings and see how the development process works. You might get a better salary also....

    On the other hand getting a public sector job right out of school would provide some security (if you do well), but could delay consulting work until you have significant experience.

    If it were me....and I had to start all over again......I'd go for the consulting job first. Private sector work tends to be a plus in the public sector, depending on the level of the job.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

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