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Thread: Burned out

  1. #1

    Burned out

    My peeve is that burn-out in this profession can happen so quickly! I've been working as a planner for about 3 years and I have learned that the practice of planning bears no resemblance to what is taught in graduate school. I think most planning departments are looking for people who can expedite the approval process rather than plan for the future of the community. I find that I am getting really bored with the whole process. Creative thinking is not encouraged and is often discouraged in local government.

    Maybe that is why so many planning graduates are now opting to work for private firms?

    If I had known what the profession is really like, I would have opted for law school or an MBA program instead.

  2. #2

    Burn Out

    Don't give up on the public sector too soon.

    There are proactive agencies and municipalities out there.

    The trick is to try to determine the culture before accepting a job offer. The department heads and chief administrative officers are the ones talk to at length to determine the focus of the office.

    Keep at it, and good luck!

    Stu Baker
    Director of Economic Development
    Town & Village of Canton, NY

  3. #3

    Burn Out

    To Older & Wiser:
    Older? Possibly. Wiser? Perhaps. Pessimistic as humanly possible? Definite.

    To Burn Out:
    There are sloths of politics everywhere - in public and private sectors. If one has the vision and determination, you'll find the way. Granted it may take time. Think where your interest and enthusiasm may be better appreciated!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
    Sep 1998
    "Off Kilter"

    Burn Out

    It's not all as bad as it can be made out to sound so don't jump the gun in deciding it's not for you. I've worked public and private sector and I far prefer public. The pay may not be as good and some of the work gets frustrating but when I'm done I've made a difference and I can get to know the community that I work in and see the changes that occur over time that I've had a part in. I personally find it very rewarding. Finding the right job for you is a personal decision on what you want and is in part effected by the specific agencies/firms you work for. There is good and bad in both the private and the public sector

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Richard Carson's avatar
    Sep 1997
    Vancouver, Washington

    Burned Out?

    You are burned out after only 3 years. I think you are in the wrong profession. I have been doing this for 25 years and love it. Regarding advanced degrees: 1)If you are going to work in consulting, then you need an advanced planning degree. Consultants market expertise. 2) If you are going to work in government, then consider an MPA, or at least an MBA. In government you will advance because of your management and political skills, not because you are the best planner. That is why the AICP designation is such a joke. It actually works against you as you advance. It limits your ability to manage other professionals (i.e., engineers, building officials, scientists) because you are stereotyped.

  6. #6

    Burn Out

    Don't let a few jaded comments dictate what you intend to do with your life. Planning in the public realm can be very rewarding and effective.

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