BY JOE LIEBHAUSER, SR/WA
In today’s workplace, many of us have heard our retiring
contemporaries say, “I think I’ll do a little consulting.” But
when entering the consulting world, it is important to
remember that not all consulting jobs are created equal.
As baby boomers reach the end of their normal working
careers, they start evaluating their options and making
retirement decisions. The reality is, although people are
retiring earlier, they are staying in good health longer, and
many want to keep working, at least at some level.
THE IMPENDING CAPACITY SQUEEZE
In a weak economy, with employers reluctant to take
on permanent staff, the ability to reach out to a body of
qualified and experienced professionals to fill the gaps when
projects arise is essential. After all, with the bursting of the
housing bubble and its associated economic downturn,
funding for major infrastructure projects has been sparse.
As a result, many right of way staffs have been downsized
through early retirements or transitions to other lines of
work. Recruitment and training of new right of way staff is
at the lowest levels seen in years, with no prediction of near-
As retirement becomes more of a reality than a fantasy, the
peak retirement wave is projected to appear somewhere
around the year 2025. That means droves of experienced right
of way professionals will no longer be in the business. But
over time, there will still be a need for rights of way and its
associated work. New projects, rehabilitation or modernization
of older infrastructure, and ongoing management will not
end. And as the economy improves and demands for new
infrastructure development grow, which they inevitably will,
the right of way and related professions may be in a capacity
squeeze by the time 2025 rolls around.