Jobs! Come work with us in Portland! (or Bay Area or NE Corridor)

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This urgent post will remain at the top of the blog until we fill our position.  New material appears beneath it.

Are you 2-15 years into a transit career but wishing you could be doing something more exciting or effective to change the state of the industry?  We are trying to raise the standards for what counts as good transit planning, and we are looking for smart, motivated people who want to be part of that.

If things go as they're now going, we'll be hiring at several levels over the next year.  But our most urgent need is for one or more people like this:  

Our firm plans to hire a transit planner and project manager, with the title of Senior Associate.  Qualifications are in the bullet list below.

The ideal location is Portland, Oregon but I would like to hear from strong candidates who would prefer to be in the Bay Area or NE Corridor (NY-DC segment).  Odds are high that we will hire in Portland first, but we are beginning to think about offices in these places based on current workload.  We are not considering any other locations at this time.

Jarrett Walker & Associates is a small firm built around the techniques, approaches, and experience outlined in by book Human Transit and often on this blog.  Founded in 2011, we have three professional FTE and are beginning a phase of growth.  Joining us at this stage gives you especially strong opportunities for advancement, and a great deal of influence over how the firm develops from here.

Our mission statement is: “We help foster clear conversations about transit, leading to confident decisions.”  We specialize in network planning that integrates carefully designed public and stakeholder conversations, for maximum transparency to all participants.  The goal is plans that fully reflect both the values of the community and the facts of how transit works.  

Network design studies – both short term and strategic — are the core of our business, but we are also frequently hired to lead visioning processes, workshops, and training programs, and provide expert advice to senior executives and political processes.   In our first three years as a small firm we’ve worked on network design problems across North America, including major projects in Houston, Edmonton, Raleigh, Columbus, Indianapolis and Tucson among others.  We've also led workshops, presentations, training courses and other interactive processes across North America and  overseas, including Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, and Australia.

The job requires travel, engaging with clients across North America and occasionally overseas.   Expect to travel up to 25% of the time, though usually less.

 The ideal candidate has all or most of the following:

  • At least 2 years of professional experience in transit planning, ideally in service planning and analysis, but experience in operations management, public outreach, transit information, and marketing can also be helpful. 
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant field, or 3 years of additional relevant professional experience.
  • Experience as a project manager of significant projects or work efforts, either in consulting or government agencies – not necessarily in transit. 
  • Demonstrated ability to write, especially in explaining technical issues to a non-technical audience
  • A real motivating passion for public transit and its role in city-building.
  • Familiarity with the distinctive approaches to transit that I’ve laid out in my book, blog, and practice — and a readiness to engage critically with these ideas to help us sharpen and revise them.  (Don't just flatter us; tell us how you'd build on our reputation to make us even better!)
  • Evidence of independent and creative problem-solving, especially in the network design, service analysis, facilitation, outreach, policymaking or explanation/education.
  • Ability to engage in spirited collaboration where the desired outcome is the best possible work, not necessarily what serves anyone's emotional needs including mine.  We hire very smart and confident people who can take an intelligent critique and use it to generate a conversation that makes us all smarter.  (We feel a little like a tech startup sometimes.)
  • Comfort with the variable nature of the consulting workload, including the life impacts of travel, evening/weekend events, and periods of high and low demand.  With notice we routinely work around employee needs for flexible hours, but we do need flexibility from staff in return.
  • A willingness to pitch in and do whatever needs doing at the moment, which is essential in a small firm and an important part of cross-training.
  • US legal residency or permission to work long-term in the US.
  • Fluency in English. 
  • Availability to start in Portland (or Bay Area, or NE Corridor) within a month based on a hire in late September.  

Also extremely advantageous are:

  • Comfort in public speaking, including workshop facilitation, and an eagerness to develop these skills. 
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze quantitative geographic issues, including basic GIS analysis skills.
  • Foreign language fluency, especially Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French.

As a small but growing firm we do not yet provide benefits, but we try to invest the equivalent value in salaries.  We expect to develop a more extensive benefit and leave program as we grow over the next year.  This employee will help us do that, so it's likely that the results will be suited to your needs.

For now, we pay by the hour, because we like people to get paid more when they work more.  Your minimum guarantee would be 75-90% of fulltime hours (depending on what we negotiate) but you would sometimes need to work (and get paid) up to 125% of full time, with surges to 150% for short "crunch" periods of a few days.  Over a year these peaks and valleys average out to 90% fulltime or more.

Pay is based on experience and salary history, but we anticipate this job to start in the range of $30-$50/hour (roughly $60,000-100,000/year) depending on experience and marketability.  Excellent employees have experienced strong raises, in the 10-20%/year range, especially in the first few years.  

NOTE: As a small firm we have considerable flexibility in negotiating compensation packages to suit each employee, so if you have particular needs that differ from the above, please state them in your cover letter and we will consider them.  

As an essential part of our identity, we encourage diversity in our workforce, and welcome all applicants regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or any other category or identity you may belong to that does not diminish your ability to excel.  (Our current office space is not accessible to all mobility aids, but we will make all efforts necessary to accommodate a employee using mobility aids if they are the best qualified. We anticipate a move to a new, accessible office space within the next year.)

This is a great opportunity to get involved with a unique and innovative firm at a time at the beginning of a growth spurt, when you can help shape its direction.

If you’re interested, I’d like to receive (email button at right):

  • A cover letter discussing why you think you’d be a good fit for us, and what’s special about what you offer.  In writing your cover letter, make the case for how you fit our criteria, in friendly and concise way, under 2 pages.
  • A resume. 
  • Essential sample of past work:
    • Up to three pieces of writing you’ve done that explains a technical issue in a friendly way that aims to be clear to the broadest possible audience.  This could be a professional report or summary, an academic paper, an advocacy document.  What matters to us is both accuracy and accessibility.  If it’s a long document, the introduction will do.
  •     Optional samples of past work, especially:
    • Quantitative analysis of geographic information.
    • Graphical explanatory information.
    • Videos of you doing some kind of clear and engaging presentation.

Please apply by September 17!  If we need to keep the job open longer we will announce that, but we hope to act based on what we have then.  We will notify all applicants of outcome, and begin discussions with finalists, within two weeks following.  We reserve the right to begin conversations with strong candidates at any time, but we will carefully consider all applications received by September 17.

Questions are welcome by email.   The button is in the column the right. –>

4 Responses to Jobs! Come work with us in Portland! (or Bay Area or NE Corridor)

  1. Onika August 14, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    Sigh, that US residency/work permit requirement is the only thing I don’t have.

  2. Aaron Priven August 19, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    Speaking of jobs…
    AC Transit has a part-time job in the Bay Area open for someone interested in working on public information. http://j.mp/1HWaNNK
    I hope this isn’t an unwanted comment — I doubt we’ll be stealing away any of your desirable candidates.

  3. Aleesha September 15, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Thabks for sharing this job opportunity.
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  4. Jonny September 20, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

    I expect to develop a more extensive benefit and leave program from this job opportunity.
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