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Thread: Good Reasons to Change Jobs

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Good Reasons to Change Jobs

    So I am about 9 months in at my current job, an assistant planner in a rapidly growing suburb in the Midwest. The community I am in now has a small staff and little room to advance. I am fairly happy here, but am not really getting to use a lot of my skills, plus the pay isn't that great. I took the job to get my foot in the door professionally.

    Luckly, several weeks ago a position opened up in a exurb of the metro area. The position pays quite a bit more and features a lot more duties that align with my concentration from school (historic and downtown revitialization). The community and department are a bit larger, which would mean more opportunities to advance. I have an interview with the community this week and have a very good feeling about my chances from reviewing the job posting.

    The problem with this position is my current position. I have been here long enough (actually the longest assistant planner), that I am beginning to have a trust built up with my PC, BZA, Council and Town Manager. We just recently hired a new Planning Director and I have been his trainer and have built up a great working relationship with him. I am worried about screwing over my small department and the new director. At the same time I need to look out for myself and my career. I beleive this would be a great opportunity to advance my skills and my financial position (at least a little bit). I am obviously going to the interview but am I just being selfish? Am I caring too much about my current position? Any advice would be greatly welcomed!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    I am obviously going to the interview but am I just being selfish?
    No...but even if you are being selfish, what's wrong with that when it comes to your career and your life? You have plenty of valid reasons for chasing this opportunity - don't second guess yourself.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    If nine months is the longest tenure for your position, nothing else need be said.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I agree with Bubba.

    You need to get your feet wet somewhere and get a feel for the profession (politics, clients, the public, etc.). It sounds like you have thought things through and everyone one you mention is valid. If this is the job you think you want, go for it. If you get the job and have the repoire with the director and manager you say you have, you should have an honest "exit interview" with both of them. They should respect you enough to see this as a personal career advancement and be happy for you. This approach will never burn a bridge.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  5. #5
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    The longest assistant planner at 9 mo? No-brainer. Gopher it. No one will take care of yourself but you. Get the job and tell everyone at the old place how much you love them and will miss the place.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    If you have an annual review this month, wait until after it to leave. They might surprise you with more responsibilities, maybe a pay raise, etc. (yes, it does happen even in bad times). If your review isn't anytime soon, get outta dodge.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    If you have an annual review this month, wait until after it to leave. They might surprise you with more responsibilities, maybe a pay raise, etc. (yes, it does happen even in bad times). If your review isn't anytime soon, get outta dodge.
    Thank you everyone for your responses. They have confirmed my family's and my thoughts about taking this job, if I get it. I have been given more and more responsibilities as my time here has increased. The earliest I am looking at a review is early spring. I had a review in August, where I got my, 'why did they bother, congrats for not leaving us within 6 months', $500 raise.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    ...several weeks ago a position opened up in a exurb of the metro area. The position pays quite a bit more and features a lot more duties that align with my concentration from school (historic and downtown revitialization). The community and department are a bit larger, which would mean more opportunities to advance. I have an interview with the community this week and have a very good feeling about my chances from reviewing the job posting. ...
    Reminds me of a situation that arose in my life a few years back. Was driving to the Detroit area (two hours) several times a week to work as a consultant (telecom). Was offered a local gig at Favorite City doing bicycle planning work. Desk in city hall, ride to work, defined time frame doing bicycle planning, no freeway drives, bicycle planning, five-minute commute, bicycle planning, make a positive difference on my new home town, bicycle planning...

    Sometimes it helps to list the various factors in two columns. This one seems like a given, as others pointed out.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I was in the same situation earlier this year. I felt horrible about leaving because I loved my boss and the people in the small city I was working in were great. However, family and money pulled me to a new position after 8 months in that job. If it's good for you professionally, do it. It's not like it's just a pay increase, it's also work in your interest area, which is a great opportunity.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Opportunity benefits the bold. If you sit there waiting for something to happen, it never will. This is not the 1950's anymore. You do not gain promotions because you were here longer, you get them because you deserve them. If you have learned all that you can, then what else will you gain? This is your career, they just pay you and give you the experience you need.

    Early in my career I was in a similar perdicament. I was at a fantastic city where I loved the people I worked with, enjoyed what I was doing, but had no future growth potential. I took a leteral move (responsibility wise) with better pay and was rewarded two years later by being promoted to Planning Director. If I would have stayed where I was, I would have been happy, but my career would have gone nowhere and I would not have been able to meet my personal goal for myself (Planning Director within 6 years of graduating from the Master's program). Set your goals, know where you want to go, and work towards getting there. Upper management likes people with initiative.
    Satellite City Enabler

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    There is only one answer, IMO, you must do what is best for you and your family. Sure don't burn bridges, but employer hurt feelings can sometimes be inevitiable. Not your problem.

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