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Thread: Switching jobs and why

  1. #1
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    May 2005
    Blog entries

    Switching jobs and why

    I don't know if this thread has come up before or not, but I was wondering how often have you switched jobs in the planning profession and within how many years. Also, please mention they types of planning jobs you have worked with and the size of the municipalities or organizations you worked for. Also, please explain why you switched each time. And please explain how it affected you.

    I have heard that switching cities or kinds of work is common in the planning field, and I would like to get some details on it and why people do it, how often, and how it affects them.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
    Nov 2004
    Austin, TX
    I would never switch cities, only jobs. I've been where I am for 5 years already and we can retire after 23 years. I'm only 26-years-old now. No way would I leave here and have to start all over again.

  3. #3
    Member DRJ's avatar
    Aug 2005
    It depends on the situation you are in. I was at a smaller city that had few opportunities for advancement. I moved to a larger jurisdicstion in the same metro area to provide with more opportunities. I anticipate that within the next 5 years I will be moving to another metro area (I am getting sick of severe air quality days).

  4. #4
    Jun 2004
    This my third job in the planning profession...first job - right out of school, decent pay, city of 12,000; second - more money, got to move to the mountains, city of about 27,000, left because manager thought he hired a secretary, not a planner; third and current job - more money, got to move home, city of 63,000, historic preservation

    All of the moves that I have made have been positive and each job provided me with new experience and higher pay. The one negative aspect is that they have all been primarily lateral moves. I would like to start looking at Director or Manager positions but don;t really see myself leaving this City any time soon.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
    Jun 2004
    near the edge
    3 Cities in 7 Years

    Planning Intern County/City Combined department pop. 600,000 plus left because too big
    Planning Director/one man show pop 4500 left too small
    Long Range Planner - Pop. 15,000 just right..well for now

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Apr 1996
    New Hampshire
    First job - 3 years.

    Current job - 5+ years and counting.

    As for the why part of the question, I had outgrown the entry-level position at the City I used to work for, and I was tired of being the one of the lowest paid professional planners in the state.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 03 Aug 2005 at 2:20 PM.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Sep 1999
    400 miles from Orlando
    I worked as a planner for a regional agency and then a county, living in a small FL town for 15 years. Left there when I got divorced and am now in a much more urban area, close to family and where I grew up. I switched from zoning/land use to trails planning 3 years ago, mostly to decrease the stress and the number of night meetings. But I figure I'll end up back in current planning at some point.

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