A Career Worth Planning

Starting Out and Moving Ahead in the Planning Profession

By Warren Jones, Natalie Macris

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Originally published in 2000 — e-book version released in 2015

New to the e-book edition: A preface by author Natalie Macris on the changes currently affecting planning job seekers and new professionals since the print edition was first published.

Now that your planning degree is in sight or in hand, how and where can you find your "dream job?" Once you're on the job, what can you do to not just survive, but thrive and avoid common professional pitfalls?

In A Career Worth Planning, two veteran planners offer a road map for success. Packed with practical information and useful advice, it is must reading for planning students, new planners, and experienced planners looking to advance their careers.

Career questions can paralyze beginning planners. What are the differences between working for a public planning agency or a private consulting firm? What does an employer look for in a job candidate? How can you set yourself apart from other job hunters through your resume and in an interview? A Career Worth Planning answers these tough questions and many others.

But landing a job is only half the battle. Once you're there, how do you negotiate the career ladder, even in the most difficult circumstances? Here are nuggets of wisdom on how to deal with a bad boss, identify crucial "insiders" who can make or break your success on the job, clarify ethical conflicts, manage political land mines, and yes, even evaluate your job satisfaction and determine when you're ready to move on.

Wherever you are along your career path, this book will help you assess your skills, preferences, and work style, and find the planning niche that fits you.

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Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 1, 2015
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

Part I

Starting your Career • The Planning Profession and You • What Employers Are Looking For • Landing Your First Job • What to Expect from Your Job • For Whom Are You Working?

Part II

Developing Your Career • Essential Communication Skills • Essential Management Skills • Essential Political Skills • Twelve Traps to Avoid • Setting a Career Path for Yourself


"Written for the graduate who is starting or developing a planning career or the person who is considering a program of planning study. It tells what planners do; what knowledge, skills, and values they need to be effective; and what the real world of planning practice is like."

—Linda L. Day
Professor and Coordinator
Master of City and Regional Planning Program
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California

"This book is great reading for the new planner landing a first job and wondering what to do next."

—Janet Ruggiero, FAICP
Director of Community Development
City of Citrus Heights, California

"This highly readable guide condenses precious wisdom normally requiring years to accumulate into a fresh, savvy, how-to book for surviving and thriving as a planning professional."

—Ken Topping, FAICP
General Manager
Cambria Community Services District
Former City Planning Director of Los Angeles