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Thread: Planning employment opportunities in D.C. area

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Planning employment opportunities in D.C. area

    I'm starting a job-search in the D.C. and am wondering if anyone can offer up web sites, resources for finding planning-related jobs.

    I've got the MD, VA and D.C. APA chapters sorted out, but what I'm really looking for is ideas. Namely, I'm putting together a list of area consulting firms - while I can think of the big/obvious ones, I'm curious for local knowledge on smaller firms I may overlook (moved here in Feb.)

    Also, a short-list of Federal agencies I can think of that are planning related are:

    HUD
    EPA
    DOT
    Natl. Park Service
    Military base planning, etc.

    Any others I'm overlooking?

    I appreciate any thoughts people can offer.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    I'm actually heading down to DC tomorrow for a week to look at area consulting companies. I'm looking for Urban design landscape arch, comprehensive planning.

    I'd be happy to hear from you and others on private companies I should check out.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Don't forget the multitude of non profits in DC, Urban Land, Brookings etc.

    I used to work for the District of Columbia with many people with planning degrees doing other types of work. Getting into the DC Planning Department was next to impossible.

    The Feds take a year to hire someone although that is supposed to change in November. If you are looking to go the fed route, start talking with temp angencies that place with the fed. That is how most of my friedns that worked for Uncle Sam got their jobs that did not have Hill or military experience.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I am a planner in the DC area, local gov is in deep doo doo $ wise as are both states and the District so jobs are going to be VERY rare and very very competitive. You might find a non profit/NGO type thing but its going to be very hard and this is an extremely costly area to live in. I would think long and hard about the pros and cons before jumping ship and moving here.

    Most consulting firms that do land planning or large builders in general are in trouble, almost all of them I am aware of have laid off large portions of their planning staff as have law firms who had a land use law section.

    Sorry to be such a downer but with planning schools in the area you are competing with the new grads, the out of work planners with 10+ years experience and everyone's "buddies". Contacts within orgs seems to be the way to get hired.

    Best of luck!
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I think Aecom has big offices in Arlington and Alexandria.. you might want to check on their website to see what's available. They're big enough that there could very well be churn, despite the economy.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks for the thoughts! For better or worse, I already live in the D.C. area - moved here because my spouse took a job here. I'll try out the temp agencies idea. As for local governments being in deep doo-doo, I suppose that's par for the course these days! : )

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Clearwater, FL
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    Public Radio report on Federal Job applications

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Don't forget the multitude of non profits in DC, Urban Land, Brookings etc.

    I used to work for the District of Columbia with many people with planning degrees doing other types of work. Getting into the DC Planning Department was next to impossible.

    The Feds take a year to hire someone although that is supposed to change in November. If you are looking to go the fed route, start talking with temp angencies that place with the fed. That is how most of my friedns that worked for Uncle Sam got their jobs that did not have Hill or military experience.
    The process is supposed to change. I heard an NPR piece on this a month or two ago. I found a transcript at VPR (Vermont Public Radio) if anyone is interested.

    http://www.vpr.net/npr/126770863/
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by Tobinn View post
    The process is supposed to change. I heard an NPR piece on this a month or two ago. I found a transcript at VPR (Vermont Public Radio) if anyone is interested.

    http://www.vpr.net/npr/126770863/
    The process is "supposed to have changed" for years....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tobinn View post
    The process is supposed to change. I heard an NPR piece on this a month or two ago. I found a transcript at VPR (Vermont Public Radio) if anyone is interested.

    http://www.vpr.net/npr/126770863/
    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post

    The Feds take a year to hire someone although that is supposed to change in November. If you are looking to go the fed route, start talking with temp angencies that place with the fed. That is how most of my friedns that worked for Uncle Sam got their jobs that did not have Hill or military experience.
    Please see above.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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