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Thread: The unemployed planner support thread

  1. #676
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    I had what I consider a worse situation. Worked for a county and had an opening for an entry level person. I asked the county manager several times if the position was secure before beginning a search. He assured me there was no problem. I hired a very good person. Less than two months later the position was cut from the budget.

    He quit planning all together. I did not stay very long after that incident.
    County Manager should have been canned for that. The fiscal world for a local government doesn't change that fast in two months, or at least not to a degree that a decent county manager would fail to anticipate it and avoid human resources decisions critically affected.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  2. #677
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    I know a lot of HRs in larger jusrisdictions will put out employment notices for the purpose of creating a list of potential candidates IF a vacancy occurs...the list is usually good for a year.

    CalTrans is notorious for interviewing, and then sending a letter that there's no money to fill the position...
    "I'm a boomerang, doesn't matter how you throw me
    I turn around and I'm back in the game
    Even better than the old me"

  3. #678
    Cyburbian
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    What's worse is that when they DO call unannouced, anywhere from 5 weeks to 3 months later regarding the job, you are expected to answer all questions as if you were on an interview. Usually, I will just say I'm headed out the door to a meeting and ask if I can reschedule it (but no more than 24-48 hours). That way you have more time to prepare your answers.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  4. #679
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Got an email today stating that a position I applied for is no longer open anymore due to budget constraints. Seems weird. I wonder why they would offer up the position in the first place, given the state of the economy and municipal budgets. It was also a pretty high-paying entry-level job in a very blue collar city with an already very large planning staff. Didn't they know that they wouldn't have enough money when they opened up the position? It seemed too good to be true, and I guess it was.

    Oh well, I continue to apply and I have a phone interview this week which is good. Nevertheless, I thought that little tid-bit was odd. Anyone else have an experience like that, where they closed a position you applied for and left it unfilled due to budgets long after the economy had already tanked?
    My community has done that. We have posted and conducted interviews but the manager decided against signing off on making the offer. Many times the budget exists for the position ( I always check the budget to see how many FTE's they have budgeted) but they reallocate the funds to another use. Salaries for FTE's is a great budget trick to "hide" money to be used for other purposes. one department head knows he will always have turnover so he will leave a position open and when he was to cut his budget he elimates the vacant position. If not mid year cuts are necessary then he will hire them towards the end of the fiscal and show the salary savings as being a good manager of city resources. Granted, his staff works like a dog when this happens but most keep quite because it beats the alternative.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  5. #680
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I saw that same thing at the company where Chet and I once worked. It was a landscape architect who was there about a month before being laid off. I had a position open that we did get as far as interviewing two candidates, but fortunately saw that work was drying up before hiring.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #681
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Got an email today stating that a position I applied for is no longer open anymore due to budget constraints...
    I got that same email from Peoria, if that's who I think you are referring to.

  7. #682
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    Hi all,

    I'm new to the Cyburbia forum and I've found a wonderful new place to vent my frustrations about not getting a job yet. I graduated back in May and am looking for my first post-grad job. It's been six months and I've gotten one interview. I even got a second interview for the same job and just found out I've been passed over. Should I feel thankful that I've gotten at least one interview or is it normal for me to be feeling overly depressed about this? I don't really have anyone to talk to about being unemployed. I've gone from graduating and feeling on top of the world to feeling worthless. Over-dramatic, I know...

  8. #683
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    Hang in there sahubble , many of us are on the same boat and we share the same frustrations as you do. Its crazy competitive for entry level positions the past few years and its not looking to get better any time soon. Have you applied for staffing agencies to work temp jobs to fill your time or maybe even find a backup career until you can find a full time gig?

  9. #684
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    I would consider temporary work, but I am in a situation where I've been at home with my toddler for the last couple of years, while I was finishing up school. We are a single income family with one car and I've got student loans creeping up on me. We are fine at the moment, but if I take on employment, it would have to be something that would sustain a car payment, daycare, and monthly student loan payments. I'm afraid to take on any additional financial burdens with a temporary job (and the lack of stability). I'm trying to keep current by volunteering, interning, and continuing to network, hoping that maybe being on the inside track will help.

    I just came off an interview where I was part of a formal process, but it was obvious the employer already had someone in mind for the job when they interviewed me. So I'm feeling that cold applications aren't going to get me anywhere right now. It really comes down to who you know.

  10. #685
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by sahubble1112 View post
    I would consider temporary work, but I am in a situation where I've been at home with my toddler for the last couple of years, while I was finishing up school. We are a single income family with one car and I've got student loans creeping up on me. We are fine at the moment, but if I take on employment, it would have to be something that would sustain a car payment, daycare, and monthly student loan payments. I'm afraid to take on any additional financial burdens with a temporary job (and the lack of stability). I'm trying to keep current by volunteering, interning, and continuing to network, hoping that maybe being on the inside track will help.

    I just came off an interview where I was part of a formal process, but it was obvious the employer already had someone in mind for the job when they interviewed me. So I'm feeling that cold applications aren't going to get me anywhere right now. It really comes down to who you know.
    Try and get anything you can. It's better to be able to pay for at least one of your bills than not being able to pay for any of your bills at all, right? Perhaps you can seek a forbearance on your student loans and get a retail job or anything you can find to get by while you continue to look for jobs you're really after. Keep up by continuing to network/volunteer, etc! That's all good. And keep searching...good luck to you. I'm in the same boat right now.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  11. #686
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    There are jobs out there, you do have to be prepared to compete with a lot of applicants.

    Just heard from my intern from this summer, and she informed us she got a job in NY and was selected out of a field of over 200 applicants.

    Get as much volunteer or intern experience as you can...it can make a difference!

    patting self on back...we're now 7 for 8 for former interns finding full time work within 6 months of ending their internships with us. The other one is still in grad school...
    "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

  12. #687
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner View post
    There are jobs out there, you do have to be prepared to compete with a lot of applicants.

    Just heard from my intern from this summer, and she informed us she got a job in NY and was selected out of a field of over 200 applicants.

    Get as much volunteer or intern experience as you can...it can make a difference!

    patting self on back...we're now 7 for 8 for former interns finding full time work within 6 months of ending their internships with us. The other one is still in grad school...
    My last two interns (last summer and then this summer) have both found full-time employment. And neither had to move. One is a pure planning position. The other is more of a planning tech type.

    Unfortunately, my intern program got put on hiatus for next summer.

    That being said, as NH has said, get as much volunteer/intern experience as possible.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  13. #688
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner View post
    There are jobs out there, you do have to be prepared to compete with a lot of applicants.

    Just heard from my intern from this summer, and she informed us she got a job in NY and was selected out of a field of over 200 applicants.

    Get as much volunteer or intern experience as you can...it can make a difference!

    patting self on back...we're now 7 for 8 for former interns finding full time work within 6 months of ending their internships with us. The other one is still in grad school...
    I'm with you... I love it when one of my interns lands a position, particularly in this economy. Its like a nice reminder that you are doing something right. I haven't had interns in about a year, and I really miss the energy they usually bring.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #689
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner View post
    There are jobs out there, you do have to be prepared to compete with a lot of applicants.

    Just heard from my intern from this summer, and she informed us she got a job in NY and was selected out of a field of over 200 applicants.

    Get as much volunteer or intern experience as you can...it can make a difference!

    patting self on back...we're now 7 for 8 for former interns finding full time work within 6 months of ending their internships with us. The other one is still in grad school...
    My community in ruralish Arizona just hired a permit tech. We got few applicants and the first two people hired one did not show up the other worked for one day and decided the commute was too far from Phoenix. I was shocked so few had interest. The planning department hired someone with 7 years expereince working as a permit specialist that was laid off by the county but they were looking for a recent grad with an internship or two that had some interest in backstopping the planners in the department.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  15. #690
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    OK, so I'm in this unemployed club now, too. I was a regular poster here years ago, but fell out of the habit as I got busy with work and life.

    I had been working in consulting for three years and most recently was doing NEPA and sustainability work. I was tired of NEPA, so the layoff wasn't completely unwelcome at the time. I had a terrific summer and fall and had an interview immediately.

    Since then I've had three other interviews, but nothing has panned out. After working as a planner for 6 years and living in an expensive area with a mortgage, I don't feel like I can just take any job. I want a good fit, hopefully something I'm more passionate about. Am I being unrealistic?

    I've seen people here say to take internships or volunteer. I did that as a student, but don't know how to approach it now. Those jobs are usually listed for Master's candidates. In my time off, I've completed my CEUs, volunteered on a committee for the APA Boston conference and have done general volunteering like soup kitchens, child care, and outdoors leadership.

    Any advice on how to move forward? In the past I've had an easy time getting what I wanted. Now I feel stuck. Thanks!

  16. #691
    Cyburbian
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    Green,

    If you check out regional MPOs and City/County Manager organizations it seems there are jobs EVERYWHERE right now. The HUD sustainability grant has created many temp jobs (2 years) and some permanent ones too.

    Just in my tiny region alone there are 3 city/county administrator jobs to be had.

    Travel demand modeling also seems to be a real hot job right now with MPOs around the country.

    If you are willing to relocate there is a ton of stuff out there.

  17. #692
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CubbieBlue View post
    Green,

    If you check out regional MPOs and City/County Manager organizations it seems there are jobs EVERYWHERE right now. The HUD sustainability grant has created many temp jobs (2 years) and some permanent ones too.

    Just in my tiny region alone there are 3 city/county administrator jobs to be had.

    Travel demand modeling also seems to be a real hot job right now with MPOs around the country.

    If you are willing to relocate there is a ton of stuff out there.
    I'm currently employed but have been looking at jobs elsewhere for the past month and a half. There are jobs out there if you are willing to relocate. I've sent out over 20 apps and have gotten 3 interviews so far (though for some the deadline for apps hasn't even passed yet). I have found the planning jobs links thread here to be extremely helpful, even if some links are out of date. It's where I've found most of the positions I've applied for.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  18. #693
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CubbieBlue View post
    Green,

    If you check out regional MPOs and City/County Manager organizations it seems there are jobs EVERYWHERE right now. The HUD sustainability grant has created many temp jobs (2 years) and some permanent ones too.

    Just in my tiny region alone there are 3 city/county administrator jobs to be had.

    Travel demand modeling also seems to be a real hot job right now with MPOs around the country.

    If you are willing to relocate there is a ton of stuff out there.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I have bookmarked our MPO's site. We also got one of those HUD grants worth $4M so they'll need staff for sure. I've had interviews, but nothing has tipped my way yet. I plan to stay here in Boston unless time really drags on and I get desperate.

  19. #694
    Thanks for all of the great advice.

  20. #695
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    I was laid off today from my full time job in Wichita after only 1 year here (hired by a fellow cyburbian). Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall as early as last May so this did not come as any big surprise. I just had a phone interview for a job in Houston last week and I have two more phone interviews set up for next week in Austin. One of the companies in Austin is a direct competitor with the company here in Wichita.

    I had already planned a backup plan several months ago and am moving in with a friend down in Houston (planner/landscape architect) while I look for work in Houston, Austin, DFW, and San Antonio. Obviously, I'm angry, but there's really no point in complaining right now. I left with the same dignity and respect for the company as I entered it, and it's their loss.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  21. #696
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Oh no! So sorry to hear that nick. I know if anyone can land on their feet its you. TX is growing, several of my non-planning friends have found work there over the past few years from Florida's sinking economic ship. Best of Luck and keep us posted!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  22. #697
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    That's not good to hear, Nick. I wish you much luck in finding gainful employment soon!
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  23. #698
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Nick, I'm sorry to hear that. Only a year ... ouch. I wish you would have had more time with them; another year, and you would have ridden out the recession.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  24. #699
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
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    Bum deal. For what it's worth, I think Texas is about as good a bet as you're going to find. You keep working as hard as you have been and something will come up for you.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  25. #700
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I was laid off today from my full time job in Wichita after only 1 year here (hired by a fellow cyburbian). Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall as early as last May so this did not come as any big surprise. I just had a phone interview for a job in Houston last week and I have two more phone interviews set up for next week in Austin. One of the companies in Austin is a direct competitor with the company here in Wichita.

    I had already planned a backup plan several months ago and am moving in with a friend down in Houston (planner/landscape architect) while I look for work in Houston, Austin, DFW, and San Antonio. Obviously, I'm angry, but there's really no point in complaining right now. I left with the same dignity and respect for the company as I entered it, and it's their loss.
    Kansas will miss your energy

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