Career Reality Webinars

APA's Career Reality Webinars offer members practical tips on job search and professional development issues for new and seasoned planners alike.

The no-cost webinars featured here are for APA members only. Paid webinars are open to all. We'll be adding to this list on a regular basis. Do you have a suggestion for a Career Reality webinar? Let us know: careerservices@planning.org.

Webinars will be available for viewing on-demand after the live event has taken place.


Upcoming Webinars

The Planning Supervisor's Playbook Series

The Six-Part Planning Supervisor’s Playbook live webinar series is available to APA members and non-members. Registration includes all six webinars. Individual sessions will be available as on-demand education once the series has ended.

APA member price: $200

Non-member price: $320

CM | 8.0

(Includes CM | 1.50 | Ethics and CM | 1.50 | Law)

Register for the Series


Jumping into a supervisory role or any level of management is a career goal many people share. While basic management skills are a necessity, there are unique challenges and situations which only a planner will face. From the structure of your organization to the goals and vision of your community, we are mediators, negotiators, problem solvers, counselors, and even referees. To help serve as a guide and as a platform to start the conversation, we are hosting a series of web events to help you navigate the waters of entry-level management to director of your organization:

Public Speaking Communication and Leadership

Thursday, February 22, 2018

1:00–2:15 p.m. ET

One of the most important qualities a leader possesses is the ability to communicate with staff, elected officials, the public, and even the press. Many people think the way to get promoted is by acing review of development proposals or mastering zoning regulations. But trust us, it’s not. What gets you noticed is how you present yourself at meetings, address the public, and maintain emotional composure during tough hearings and other demanding situations. Once you’re in a leadership role, you’ll speak to the public more often and be responsible for teaching your staff these same skills.

Upon completion, participants will be able to apply public speaking skills to public hearings and other community engagement.

Team Evaluation and Implementing Change

Thursday, March 1, 2018

1:00–2:15 p.m. ET

Congratulations on your new position! Now that you’re a supervisor, it’s time to start thinking about your goals for the planning organization and your team. More than likely there are changes you want to implement current practices and procedures: updating planning commission reports, public hearing practices, and codes. How do you accomplish that while putting together the awesome planning team you want? How do you respond quickly to the requests of your elected officials and city manager without creating chaos for your staff? Some employees will take to change well, others will not. You may end up experiencing staff turnover and altered relationships. Management can be lonely. This session will dive into the awesome opportunity — and challenge — of redesigning your team and your department. Get ready to explore your team and your vision for them, as well as your goals for yourself and your supervisory style.

Upon completion, participants will be able to build and implement transitional plans for procedural or department changes.

Speakers

Aimee Nassif, AICP, and Matt Brandmeyer, AICP

Managing Multidisciplinary Teams

Thursday, March 15, 2018

1:00–2:15 p.m. ET

One thing that distinguishes supervising in a planning organization from supervising in other organizations is that it typically entails managing staff from other disciplines. Commonly, permit reviewers, plan examiners, code enforcement officers, GIS experts, and engineers will work in the department that you now oversee. In addition, you may hire and supervise consultants for various projects and assignments. People will test you, so be bold and prepared to make tough decisions. This session discusses tips for gaining everyone’s trust and support while establishing yours as the voice of authority within the organization.

Upon completion, participants will be able to implement methods to assist in managing interdisciplinary teams.

Speakers

Aimee Nassif, AICP, and Matt Brandmeyer, AICP

Ethics in Practice

Thursday, March 22, 2018

1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

What does it mean to be an ethical supervisor? You must understand your organization’s confidentiality policies, handle sensitive personnel issues, and ensure your team makes ethical decisions. You are responsible for your own — and others’ — ethical behavior. In addition to looking at APA’s Ethical Principles in Planning and the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, we will discuss common supervisory situations in which those principles and others come into play.

Upon completion, participants will be able to apply APA’s Ethical Principles in Planning and the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Speakers

Jim Peters, FAICP, Aimee Nassif, AICP, and Matt Brandmeyer, AICP

Management Legalities in Practice

Thursday, April 5, 2018 ​

1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

For a municipal planner, considering legal issues is nothing new. At one time or another in a planner’s career, legal issues concerning development cases and reviews will be debated and discussed. Planners often turn to their city attorney for assistance reviewing and updating zoning codes and development agreements. As a planning supervisor or director, you also may spend more time in meetings discussing protest petitions, pending litigation, contracts, employee grievances, harassment complaints, disciplinary actions, and other legal matters. This session will explore the new legal issues and personal liabilities you will face.

Upon completion, participants will be able to discuss legal issues and personal liabilities that planners face.

Speakers

Rrachelle Breckenridge, Assistant City Attorney, City of Olathe, Kansas
Sue Willman, Partner, Spencer, Fane, Britt & Browne LLP
Aimee Nassif, AICP, and Matt Brandmeyer, AICP

Measuring Success for Planning Leaders

Thursday, April 12, 2018

1:00–2:15 p.m. ET

With more than 25 years of supervisory experience between us, we have learned some tricks and tips that can help rookies and veteran managers alike, in any size planning organization, in any sized community. Although a large part of being a great planning leader is measuring your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can continue to grow and improve with your team, most planning supervisors and directors focus on the tasks in front of them and do not step back to reflect on their own performance. Many supervisors overlook using a variety of metrics and other tools to self-evaluate, even if they find the time between council meetings, board meetings, public meetings, and development proposals under review. We hope this wrap-up session will provide you with support, tools, and inspiration to help you measure your success.

Upon completion, participants will be able to identify support and the tools to measure success.

Speakers

Aimee Nassif, AICP, and Matt Brandmeyer, AICP

Previous Free Webinars

Getting started to get ahead: from interview to first days on the job

December 13, 2017

Listen to the webinar

You will be asked to enter your name and email address, then click "Register" to access the recording.

Careers in Food Systems planning

September 14, 2017

Watch the webinar

Careers in Planning Beyond Planning

July 20, 2017

Listen to the webinar
You will be asked to enter your name and email address, then click "Register" to access the recording.

Careers in Transportation Planning

April 7, 2017

Listen to the webinar
You will be asked to enter your name and email address, then click "Register" to access the recording.

Cosponsored by Transportation Planning Division

Skills and Thrills for Up and Coming Planners

February 1, 2017

Listen to the webinar
You will be asked to enter your name and email address, then click "Register" to access the recording.

Optimize Your Executive Presence

December 8, 2016

Listen to the webinar
You will be asked to enter your name and email address, then click "Register" to access the recording.

How to Start a Planning firm

November 22, 2016

Listen to the webinar
You will be asked to enter your name and email address, then click "Register" to access the recording.

Cosponsored by APA's Private Practice Division

City Manager versus City Planner Skillsets Discussion

August 10, 2016

Watch the webinar

View the PowerPoint slides (pdf)

Careers In Transportation Planning

June 8, 2016

Watch the webinar

View the PowerPoint slides (pdf)

Cosponsored by APA's Transportation Planning Division

Compensation and Salary Negotiations

April 13, 2016

Watch the webinar

View the PowerPoint slides (pdf)

Working Abroad

February 10, 2016

Watch the webinar

View the PowerPoint slides (pdf)

Cosponsored by APA's International Division

Resume and Portfolio Development

December 9, 2015

Watch the webinar

View the PowerPoint slides (pdf)