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Thread: Stressful Pigeon (career advice needed)

  1. #1

    Stressful Pigeon (career advice needed)

    Hello fellow Cyburbians,

    I'm a recent grad of Florida State University with a MSP. As a first year student, I developed the reputation of being the 'modeler' on campus. The subject matter and software was exciting initially and I devoted a lot of extra-curricular time to learning the principles and theories of modeling. I had an internship with Cambridge Systematics for approximately 7 months in which I did nothing but code networks, run the model, and summarize data.

    I landed a position with PBS&J in Tampa due to a reference from my supervisor at Cambridge ( I never took a modeling course). I've been here three months, bringing my time spent modeling at a little more than a year. However, I am burned out and regretful that my curriculum at FSU offered implementation and policy analsyis courses after I pretty much developed the rep and landed the job. I had to take the job, I have a family, but I'm stressed out over doing nothing but modeling after exposure to community planning. I've been contacted by 3 municipalities in the region who are interested in setting up an interview. Should I entertain their requests? given I'm still on my probationary period?

    Kind regards,

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    Absolutely. If you find something closer to your long-term goals, it will work out better for you in the long run. Your employer would benefit from losing you up front instead of putting time into developing you, only to have you burn out and leave after a year or two.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    I'll second Cardinal's sentiment. Would you rather get out now, when you are only slightly burnt out, or wait a year and be really burnt out on the profession. As it is your first job, you can always explain that it was not teh career path you were looking for.

    Good luck. Must be nice havng people contact you for a job.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
    Mar 2005
    I concur with the others. I am also an FSU Grad of 2002. After graducating, I wasn't even sure that I was ready to plan so I took two years away from the field and concentrated on GIS.
    I never liked my job from the start and I have stuck it through for two years and I am about ready to pull all of my hair out. If the planning job market in Louisiana was half as good as the job market in Florida, I would have jumped ship earlier. Now I have decided to move to Wisconsin so I can be a community planner. I also know that in the long term, my current emplyer will be more please with someone else whos goals are more compatable with the employer.
    Take those interviews. If you are offered a job, go with your gut feeling.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
    Mar 2004
    No Where Man
    I get the impression that you have a speciality in transportation modeling, if not, let me know. If you wanted to stay in modeling and have a bit of a more diverse job, I would suggest that you work for a state DOT where modeling is directed from, i.e., FDOT in the Central Office of FDOT. Here you are always on the cutting edge of modeling and get to direct it from a state level but your job is not 100% running and tweaking or figuring out what is wrong with a run.
    The other idea is in Florida to jump on the new fiscal impact model, that the state Dept. of Community Affairs had made. There are a number of socio-economic firms that are now running the model for local govts. Also there is a lot of variety in working for a socio-economic firm in doing market analyses, economic studies, etc. Hope this helps.
    Don't give up on planning so fast. I have been a planner for over 25+ and when I get tired of what I'm doing, I just move on to a different type of planning job. I have been a current planner, long range planner, economic planner, environmental planner, and my favorite is transportation planning.

  6. #6
    It probably wouldn't hurt to interview, if only to see what $ they might offer, but I understand your resistance to jump ship so fast. Consulting can be stressful, but working for a municipality can be doubly-so, because of the lack of insulation from politics, and public access to your office. My first municipal job was pretty drab development review, with a lot of stress to respond quickly. I now work for the State of Texas, and get to do some semi-academic studies, balanced with an accomplishable workload. With your background in modelling, have you thought about academics? Maybe your current job could fund a Ph.D. program in a few years.

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