Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Transitioning from planning to nonprofit community development?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC area
    Posts
    894

    Transitioning from planning to nonprofit community development?

    Hey everyone,

    I've been interviewing for a position at a nonprofit community development agency and I've been told that an offer is pending. The position is in their organizational development arm - I'd be a program officer charged with managing all of their grant writing. This is a supervisory position and would have involve management of staff.

    My question is this: I've been a jack of all trades, generalist planner for five years. We all know that the planning field isn't doing that well. This is in the nonprofit community development field, as opposed to the public sector in which I work currently. Is there anyone out there who has moved back and forth between these spheres? Theoretically, I'd like the chance to come back to planning at a director level at some point in the future if the right opportunity were to arise. I've been stuck as a Planner I doing Planner II duties for years due to budget austerity and this would give me some really useful supervisory experience; still, my planning skills could atrophy if I'm not using them at all. Any pitfalls that I should be aware of I were to move forward with this?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,425
    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    Hey everyone,

    I've been interviewing for a position at a nonprofit community development agency and I've been told that an offer is pending. The position is in their organizational development arm - I'd be a program officer charged with managing all of their grant writing. This is a supervisory position and would have involve management of staff.

    My question is this: I've been a jack of all trades, generalist planner for five years. We all know that the planning field isn't doing that well. This is in the nonprofit community development field, as opposed to the public sector in which I work currently. Is there anyone out there who has moved back and forth between these spheres? Theoretically, I'd like the chance to come back to planning at a director level at some point in the future if the right opportunity were to arise. I've been stuck as a Planner I doing Planner II duties for years due to budget austerity and this would give me some really useful supervisory experience; still, my planning skills could atrophy if I'm not using them at all. Any pitfalls that I should be aware of I were to move forward with this?
    I wouldn't worry about your planning skills going away. Besides, if one of your goals is to move back into a Director-level position, your planning skills will not be one of the primary factors that will get you the job. I think the supervisory experience at this agency will open more planning doors for you than staying where you are.

    I'm saying all this with the caveat that I've never worked in the non-profit CD field.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I wouldn't worry about your planning skills going away. Besides, if one of your goals is to move back into a Director-level position, your planning skills will not be one of the primary factors that will get you the job. I think the supervisory experience at this agency will open more planning doors for you than staying where you are.
    I agree with btrage. It may also open the door to community development director positions since you will have had both city planning and experience working with grants in a supervisory capacity.

    (I currently work in CD)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC area
    Posts
    894
    Thanks guys. I'm accepting the offer. The way I see it, I don't have a choice: at 5 years in the field, I'm at risk of getting pigeonholed as a 'worker-bee' if I stay much longer in my current capacity. Maybe I'll get on a local board in my community or something in order to keep the planning skills sharp.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,968
    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    Thanks guys. I'm accepting the offer. The way I see it, I don't have a choice: at 5 years in the field, I'm at risk of getting pigeonholed as a 'worker-bee' if I stay much longer in my current capacity. Maybe I'll get on a local board in my community or something in order to keep the planning skills sharp.
    Hey, congrats! And welcome to the Dark Side of non-profit work. I'll just echo btrage's comments - you're moving in the right direction whether you end up back in municipal planning as a director or go in some other as-yet-undefined direction.

    Thumbsup!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 33
    Last post: 13 Dec 2010, 12:28 PM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last post: 12 Mar 2010, 11:10 PM
  3. Community development / social planning
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 28 Feb 2010, 11:31 PM
  4. Rural planning/community development
    Rural and Small Town Planning
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 10 Jun 2009, 12:16 PM
  5. Community planning vs community development
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 29 Aug 2006, 3:12 PM