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Thread: Federal jobs without "Planner" in the title

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Federal jobs without "Planner" in the title

    I couldn't find any old threads that address this, so here goes:

    There is a federal service job series called Realty Specialist, and there seem to be quite a few openings within the Dept. of the Interior.

    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge regarding these jobs? Some of them look like they would match the planner's skill set pretty well--reviewing and approving conveyances and easements on federal property, for example.

    The main pitfall I see here is the idea of spending a long period of time with a job title that doesn't include the word "planner". It might be hard to get back into the field down the road.

    For example, I have a masters degree and 4 years at a municipality. Would 4 years as a Planner and 4 years as a Realty Specialist look any worse on a resume than 8 years as a Planner?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I suppose it would look good to a developer. It's a mix of planning and real estate, but I'm not a developer so don't take my word for it. For getting back into public work you would have to spin how the real estate work makes you a better planner than the guy with 8 years experience.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I have a friend who works for the Dept of the Interior in DC. He started in AZ and got promoted to DC after 6 or so years. After several years in DC I don't think you'd have to worry about going back to municipal jobs. Even if you wanted to federal experience (for grant writing, the political process, etc) would be a huge asset regardless of actual title.

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I don't think having a job title that didn't have the word 'planner' in the title would be an impediment to getting hired. "Realty Specialist" sounds like good Dark Side credentials.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I'm in a similar position, hoping to move from a local government planning job into a more non-profit/development focused job for which I will be interviewing this week. I hadn't considered your question because (1) we as planners are pretty good at recognizing that our profession has many facets and our jobs don't always fit into neat boxes and/or titles; and (2) my job prospect is related to my career goals and the topics on which I'd like to focus long-term, so I think the job title would only help me further down the road.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Thank you all for the replies. I have an offer on the table now, and it sounds like there isn't much reason not to take it, especially given the 20% raise.

    The job is reviewing applications to the Interior Dept. to have the government take title to land to be held in trust. The process is like a combination of subdivision plat approval and a special use permit, plus some conveyance work at the end. I would recommend that other searching planners check these jobs out. You won't find them by typing "planner" on usajobs.gov, so it's a bit off the radar.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Good tip, there is an opening for one in an area that I'm looking to relocate to!
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