As I've mentioned a couple times on here, I'm currently searching for a planning-related job in either Athens, GA or Portland, OR. My problem is that as someone with a B.A. in English, I'm not qualified for even the most entry-level jobs in an actual planning office (they all want planning degrees or previous planning work). So a few weeks back I compiled a lengthy list of everything I could think of that might relate to planning (from any sort of job working for a city government, chamber of commerce, to historical preservation non-profits, to environmental groups, etc), and I've been doing searches to find non-profits of that sort.
The search has been fruitful in that I've found lots of websites of non-profits I would love to work for, mostly in Portland (Athens is a little shorter on that) and that I may volunteer with if I get the chance. But recently a new question has come to mind.
I've pretty much decided that I want to move to Athens over Portland if I can find a decent job. The problem is that, due to a paucity of positions with NGOs and the fact that the standard hourly wage is lower in Georgia, there are very few well-paying jobs I can find in Athens---in a sort of "planning-related position." (By well-paying I mean like, at least 20,000 a year). For instance, there's a job opening for a park worker that pays about 8 bucks an hour. This seems like it would be a good job for an aspiring urban planner because it's a job working for the city and it involves parks, etc. I think I would also enjoy working outside. But it's low paying and part-time. I guess my question is, should I take a job working for the county or city for the experience? Or is it not really worth the low wage? Would some random clerical position, (for a non-profit or otherwise) be just as valuable in terms of the experience I'll gain? I guess, is my focused search for some job, however menial as long as it is somewhat planning related, the wrong tact? Does it really not matter?
I have been looking at non-planner jobs with non-profits that work in city development, transportation issues, environmental issues, sustainability, etc...the park worker job is just an example of the type of availablity I am facing in Athens, specifically. Also, while I have clerical experience, most clerical jobs with non-profits have been asking for a year or more experience working in a similar office, which I don't quite have.