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Thread: How to get into part-time consulting or other planning related side work

  1. #1
    Jun 2007
    New Jersey

    How to get into part-time consulting or other planning related side work

    I am a recent graduate with a MUP degree and an Urban studies undergrad degree. I am now working in Transportation Research, and have some experience (albeit limited, about a year in each as an intern, long enough to see how they work) working for a municiple planning department as well as a transportation planning consultant.

    After communting for several hours a day while working and going to school, I now have the luxury of working near my home. However, with a family and large student loans, I am hoping to find a way to use my time and expertise (if you can call it that) to earn some extra money. For the most part, I am limited to working from my home as my wife will be taking classes in the evening soon and with luck eventually starting med school.

    I am not sure how to go about finding this sort of work, if there is any out there. And then there is the issue of dealing with contracts and all of that stuff. Does anybody have any information about how someone like myself could get started with this sort of thing?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Dec 1998
    Other than doing grunt work like data collection, I'm not sure how much consulting work you're going to get with "limited" experience, particularly as in intern. You might get lucky with a non-profit or a CDC, but even still, there's no real money to be made with those types of agencies. However, if your heart is set on it, try networking with some other planners or some of the firms (especially engineering) in your area to assess what their needs are and if you can provide a service to them.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #3
    Dec 2006
    Create a simple one or two page website that outlines your skills, buy a domain name "johndoe.com" and add it to your business card. I used to have a small space on coroflot.com.

    If there might be a potential conflict of interest with your current employer (doing the same work or working for the same client), find out ahead of time if there is a non-compete clause in your employment contract and how strictly it's enforced. Fortunately, the policy is very lax at my firm, and I have been able to pick up a couple of contracts with a direct competitor provided I don't use company time or equipment.

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