Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35

Thread: Where do I fit in planning-post internship experience?

  1. #1

    Where do I fit in planning-post internship experience?

    This summer I did a couple of projects for a nearby town planner's office.
    While I enjoyed my boss, I do not think town planning is for me.
    It was not just the obvious....the high stress/unbalanced schedule/interacting with people....it was also the work itself.

    I found town planning for a New England town to be a bit different than what I hoped.
    It was more nuts-and-bolts dealing with permits for adding decks to the house, and making changes to the zoning code.

    I have a desire to do something where you can be more of a visionary, almost sim-city like, where you design and create something tangible and play around with different scenarios.
    This was not the case as a town planner.


    Now I am wondering, would it be any different if I were involved in regional or transportation planning?

    Pardon the poor analogy....but I envisioned planning as almost like being a GM of a sports team...where you envision and construct a roster and get to play around with different combinations...sim-cityish.

    As a younger person I often would like to as a hobby look at maps and pretend I was designing the major highway network for a regional metropolitian area.
    To me, that was pretty cool and it felt like I was creating something tangible as opposed to just pushing paper.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Questions

    1) I hope I am describing this in a way you can picture, because I would like to know if regional or transportation planning would be more like this.

    2) Further...would my skill-set fit into this? Is the type of work I am describing something a non-quant planner can do...or is this something an engineer/architect/GIS guru does?
    -I'm concerned that because I am NOT a technical person in terms of engineering/math/science/computers that the type of work, simulating designs/scenarios of how to grow/develope regional infrastructure would be above my qualifications.

    3) Given that I am soon to began the final year of my program and am trying to figure a niche for my skills and interests, what do you recommend I do?
    -Visit the University Career Center?
    -Talk to my department?
    -Is there an outside job coaching service that would be able to help me given my skills and field of study....I fear just going to the University they might not know much about planning....but if I go to the department...they might undermanned to help with my skills and shortcomings.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Kingmak's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    156
    I am also a sim-city enthusiast. I get what you're saying. However, I think perhaps you want to be a game designer. Without any background in urban and social issues, and merely just an interest in designing city scapes, URP may not be what you are actually looking for...

  3. #3
    My background IS in urban and social issues...and I am NOT good with computers.
    I thought planning would be like sim-city NOT in the computer sense but in the futzing around with simulations and visions on what the future would look like.
    Something 'tangible.'

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post

    1) I hope I am describing this in a way you can picture, because I would like to know if regional or transportation planning would be more like this.
    A regional/transportation planner performs more tidious work than a municipal planner. Transportation planners are more technical fields, not just planning future street/transit networks, but deal with more issues such as levels of service, running synchro and other technical computer software, dealing with transit headways and station planning and on many occasions public outreach to discuss future transportation corridors. A regional planner as well is more technical, dealing with statistics, regional cooperation and many meetings with other jurisdictions, paper work dealing with applications, reviewing plans, etc. Your just not going to get out of working with people in either field.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    2) Further...would my skill-set fit into this? Is the type of work I am describing something a non-quant planner can do...or is this something an engineer/architect/GIS guru does?
    -I'm concerned that because I am NOT a technical person in terms of engineering/math/science/computers that the type of work, simulating designs/scenarios of how to grow/develope regional infrastructure would be above my qualifications.
    I dunno, but you have described in previous posts that you don't deal well with deadlines, people, etc. Honestly, neither position would be right. Not because your not qualified, it is just you probably won't function well in an office environment. For someone to have little interaction with the outside world, set their own deadlines, etc. maybe a GIS technician might be your best bet, but again, you don't do well with computers.


    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    3) Given that I am soon to began the final year of my program and am trying to figure a niche for my skills and interests, what do you recommend I do?
    -Visit the University Career Center?
    -Talk to my department?
    -Is there an outside job coaching service that would be able to help me given my skills and field of study....I fear just going to the University they might not know much about planning....but if I go to the department...they might undermanned to help with my skills and shortcomings.
    Talk to your department/career services. They are very big helps to asses your needs.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    I thought planning would be like sim-city NOT in the computer sense but in the futzing around with simulations and visions on what the future would look like.
    Something 'tangible.'
    It is..sometimes. Except when you don't like the way you industry turned out, you can't just instantly de-zone and get rid of it . Most muni (well around the west coast with few exceptions) don't deal with "long range planning" which looks at land uses in the future and design or even zoning code updates. That's what private sector planners do. They handle a lot of long range general plan, comp plan, neighborhood planner services. IMO, this is where the fun is at, and well it has made me a happy work bee (past year excluded). Yea i don't deal with day to day over the counter bs (which can be fun at times) but i get sucked into dealing with property owners and long range visioning, but also working with teams, public outreach efforts, etc. You already mentioned that deadlines, etc not your thing, so unfortunately the private side is definitely not your thing unless you are an exceptional rendering artist, to which you can contract out your services to private firms and draw pretty little pictures all day long.

    Honestly, i don't think planning is a good fit for you, but good luck.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,789
    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    My background IS in urban and social issues...and I am NOT good with computers.
    I thought planning would be like sim-city NOT in the computer sense but in the futzing around with simulations and visions on what the future would look like.
    Something 'tangible.'
    If you are interested in the "Sim City side of planning" I would say long-range planning (comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, corridor studies, open space master plans, etc.). Land uses are arranged within the planning jurisdiction. There are plenty of planners who do this. Another type of "Sim City" planning is physical site design (subdivisions, streetscapes, master plans, park design, etc.). This work involves conceptual design, design development, leading up to construction documents for actual construction. This work is done by landscape architects, some architects, a few types of planners (I have some work in this area), and some types of civil engineers.

    Both long-range planning and physical site design jobs require an advanced understanding of software, including GIS and/or AutoCAD (at the very least) supplemented by Photoshop, Sketchup, Illustrator, GPS, etc. Yes, there are people higher up the food chain who don't have the computer skills, so they delegate those tasks to the lackeys at the bottom. I think you will be hard-pressed to find a "Sim City" type of job without any computer skills. Heck, even Sim City is a computer game!

    I don't know where you will fit into planning. Does your disability limit you from performing most planning tasks, or are you just afraid to "jump in the water"?
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Yes, there are people higher up the food chain who don't have the computer skills, so they delegate those tasks to the lackeys at the bottom.
    I much prefer lapdog
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    It appears that you have almost completely discounted yourself out of the planning profession. Sim City allows you to create idealized cities and whatnot without having to interact with anyone but yourself. In the real world, you can't just "futz" around with simulations and visions of the future without input from the community. That means dealing with people....all kinds, who are, in many instances, distrustful of you and the planning process as a whole.

    Maybe academia is a better fit for you.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  8. #8
    Thanks, I appreciate your feedback.

    So if I understand you all correctly....some aspects of planning CAN BE sim-city like in the sense that you can see a project visioned and carried out from start to finish HOWEVER...this is more likely to be long-range/transportation/comprehensive planning which is done MORE in the private sector requiring heavy pressure for deadlines and definitely computer technical skills?

    Does that sum it up correctly?

    In other words...municipal planning is more on mundane things and dealing with paperwork?
    If I wanted to see a project created and implemented, would I need lots of GIS/CAD skills?
    Otherwise I'd be just a paper-pusher?


    This summer my work was updating zoning regulations and dealing with issues like setbacks.
    My interest has long been what an area's long term general land use is, what the long range highway system will be....which I guess fits into long term planning.
    Just how technical would I need to be to work this side of the field and would my interpersonal skills be a hinderance?

    To sum me up....I love the conceptual visionary side of creating and seeing something (be it a project, a road, a greenbelt) being constructed but I am NOT a GIS/CAD technical person and I work best being delegated assignments independently as opposed to a noisey, personal, atmosphere.

    If planning does not fit....any other suggestions?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    So if I understand you all correctly....some aspects of planning CAN BE sim-city like in the sense that you can see a project visioned and carried out from start to finish HOWEVER...this is more likely to be long-range/transportation/comprehensive planning which is done MORE in the private sector requiring heavy pressure for deadlines and definitely computer technical skills?
    Yes. Although you don't necessarily need computer skills if you are great with the hand graphics side, but defiantly need to know your way around MS Office Suite/Adobe Creative Suite / and know some but can quickly excel in CAD or GIS or both. So yea, knowing your way around some software is a plus.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    In other words...municipal planning is more on mundane things and dealing with paperwork?
    Please don't degrade our public sector planners. Is Fawkin awful. Municipal planners shepherd projects through the development process and help residents and developers understand planning law and apply the rules and regulations to ensure well "planned" communities. Or at least that is the creed they take . In all seriousness, private sector planners work hand in hand with our public sector counterparts for various projects.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    If I wanted to see a project created and implemented, would I need lots of GIS/CAD skills?
    No. Just good people skills and the ability to listen, comprise when necessary, and stick to a vision that can be implemented, properly financed, and well excuted by staff. Project implementation has nothing to do with CAD and GIS skills.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    Otherwise I'd be just a paper-pusher?
    Again really? Do you want to offend 3/4 of cyburbia with this comment?


    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    To sum me up....I love the conceptual visionary side of creating and seeing something (be it a project, a road, a greenbelt) being constructed but I am NOT a GIS/CAD technical person and I work best being delegated assignments independently as opposed to a noisey, personal, atmosphere.
    The private sector is not for you. You can become an independent consultant and start your own firm, but with no leads, clients in the pipe or work experience you are DOA. Sorry dude, maybe a niche in planning like GIS technician or something in the environmental side is best.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Island-State Republic of Singapore
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    some aspects of planning CAN BE sim-city like in the sense that you can see a project visioned and carried out from start to finish
    I currently involved with the 'implementation' side of a master planning project and would like to add that the conceptual planning, master planning and urban design of a project and the implementation of it are two vastly different fields.

    Unfortunately the 'implementation-side' of things is far from the SimCity ideal where you can just click on the map and pull a road through.

    You will have to seek funding, administer land issues, work with other agencies/subcontractors to bring in the infrastructure, finalise details, coordinate between people, monitor timelines and deal with conflicts and unexpected problems that show up (they always do!).

    Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    4

    Planning roles

    I've been in the planning biz since the mid-80's and I've learned that Planning means vastly different things to different people and govt (and quasi governmental) agencies. From reading your post, it sounds like you would do well in a long-range (comprehensive) planning office. Generally speaking, governments and the like divide up the planning tasks into current planning (sounds like what you did) and long-range planning. Different govt agencies call it different things. Where I am, we call it Building and Development (for current planning) and Community Planning (for long range and comp planning). Comp Planning can be a little 'ivory-tower-ish' but you have to start with a concept and vision of where you want your community to go. Current planning often get stuck in the weeds and loses sight of the bigger concepts.

    I think the one you should look into is a Comp Plan internship. Comp plan work looks at planning from 50,000 feet and 50 years rather than 10,000 feet and 10 years. Many places lump transportation planning in with comp planning. If your preference is in Transportation you may want to take a look at some regional planning agencies, like MWCOG here in the DC area. Try to stick to a place that has some growth. It makes things more interesting.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    I suppose it's good that you're asking these questions now, rather than going into your first job with a lot of unrealistic expectations and bad assumptions. IMHO, any job can be mundane as it's what you put into it. Of the 10 years I've been a planner, 2 were spent at the municipal level and the other 8 in the private sector. While I've had more variety (and probably more "Sim City"-like projects) in the private sector, I don't think I would have been as successful if I hadn't worked in the public sector where I learned more of the nuts and bolts of planning. If you want to see your visions implemented, you have to know what the necessary tools are and will probably take a lot more "paper-pushing" than you would imagine.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Please don't degrade our public sector planners. Is Fawkin awful. Municipal planners shepherd projects through the development process and help residents and developers understand planning law and apply the rules and regulations to ensure well "planned" communities. Or at least that is the creed they take . In all seriousness, private sector planners work hand in hand with our public sector counterparts for various projects.
    No offense was meant by that comment. Pardon me, that was used for lack of a better term. I am trying to articulate my thinking so I can get the best possible feedback from people who have worked in the field, and you took offense, no was meant. I just was trying to explain my personal interests.


    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Yes. Although you don't necessarily need computer skills if you are great with the hand graphics side, but defiantly need to know your way around MS Office Suite/Adobe Creative Suite / and know some but can quickly excel in CAD or GIS or both. So yea, knowing your way around some software is a plus.
    [quote]
    No. Just good people skills and the ability to listen, comprise when necessary, and stick to a vision that can be implemented, properly financed, and well excuted by staff. Project implementation has nothing to do with CAD and GIS skills.
    So to be a long-range comprehensive planner you DO NOT need to be a GIS/CAD guru?
    I can MS Office and probably can learn MS Office suite.
    Technical programs like GIS/CAD I would NOT be comfortable if my livelihood required me to be an expert.

    The private sector is not for you. You can become an independent consultant and start your own firm, but with no leads, clients in the pipe or work experience you are DOA. Sorry dude, maybe a niche in planning like GIS technician or something in the environmental side is best.
    Any particular reason you say that?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    So to be a long-range comprehensive planner you DO NOT need to be a GIS/CAD guru?
    No, but you must be willing to learn, on your time, away from company time in the private sector. Time is $$. Especially during these tight economic times. A firm would much rather hire someone with a specific skill set they are seeking rather than taking the time to train someone from the ground up.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    I can MS Office and probably can learn MS Office suite.
    Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop/Illustrator/Indesign) are just as technical and complicated as GIS and CAD is to a degree, If your willing to learn this, than why not CAD and GIS?

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    Technical programs like GIS/CAD I would NOT be comfortable if my livelihood required me to be an expert.
    I am not saying being an expert, because i am by no means proficent at either, but i know my way around to get the job done. The reason why I am saying the private sector is not a good fit is because your previous posts say that you work better independently, without deadlines and don't want to learn technical programs like GIS and CAD.

    Let me throw this out to help illustrate the life of an assistant planner at a typical private firm that deals with long range planning, etc.

    As your project manager, I ask you to complete a research assignment based on current comp plan, zoning ordinance, transportation plans, etc on a 200 Acre planning area that we are completing for a neighborhood plan. I need to know everything about the site from park acreage requirements, school requirements, parking requirements, setbacks, etc, summed up in a nice report for me to look at and pass on to the client. If we don't have the items easily accessible, than track it down by making phone calls, going down to agencies, etc. You have 80 hours to complete the assignment. No more that that, if less great! . IF you need more time, you do it on your own nickle. We need to come under budget here dude, so let's get cracking. As me for any help in terms of sources, etc.

    After you complete that, we need some preliminary land use concepts. You have 16 hours to complete 3 land use concepts on flimsey, and i need conceptual acres, projected housing units, commercial space, etc based on general plan calcs. I will review these concepts with you, $hit on them, change them all around because i don't like them. The revisions should be no longer than a day or 2 to complete and i still need the calcs done for them, etc. I need them scanned, PDF along with acreage calculations. They need to be prepped for our meeting with the client on Friday. Again, we need to be done on Friday, so if you need to come in late, than come in late, but it needs to be finished.

    We meet with the client and they select a concepts to go with to take to meet with City Staff. I need you to take the scan of the hand rendering and put it into CAD/GIS and translate into a digital format that we can use for future tasks. You have 16 hours to complete the assignment...

    In the private firm, you are the grunt. You have deadlines to meet, and coordination with agencies, etc and you need to come under or meet budget. We are here to make $$ and get some repeat clients through the door. If you can handle these, than you will do just fine. If not, than the private sector just isn't what you need.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    And to piggy back off of CPSURaf's example, if you're the only planner on staff in a private firm, then all of that responsibility falls on you.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,789
    I was the only planner in my firm of landscape architects and ecologists. Raf, that seems like a lot of hours. I would be expected to do all of that with a quarter of your budget (granted, the principals at my last job don't know anything about business which is why they are bankrupt and still have staff working for no pay, but that's a different story all together).

    Raf's example is more typical of a design-heavy planning job, but I think that's the closest you will get to a Sim City experience. I am very proficient with AutoCAD and GIS, but I had to spend MANY evenings and weekends for about 6-7 months when I started my last job to learn the nuts and bolts of CAD programming. I had 2-3 years of self-taught GIS experience/internships under my belt already but I didn't use GIS much.

    Surfer, in these desparate times you are going to take what is given to you if you want to succeed. This is no time for childhood fantasies. IF, and I say IF, you are lucky to even EARN a planning job or internship, you are going to have to be smarter, faster, and better at EVERYTHING to move up. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of would-be planners or planners with more experience, who are willing to throw you under a bus.

    I'm not really a bully, but every now and then there is an upstart who has to be put in his place. Learn the lingo, listen to what we have to say. I was an upstart once, and I paid the price. Through hard work and perserverance I succeeded. Hopefully, you can, too.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I was the only planner in my firm of landscape architects and ecologists. Raf, that seems like a lot of hours.
    You will always take a loss when it comes to the newbie planner, so just factoring that in. Using the whole "encouragement when i know i will write their time off anyways" in hopes of learning and making a killing on the next tasks because they probably learned something out of this approach.

    Look surfer, we are trying not be downers, just giving you some reality checks. I wish i was given them in college, but i learned the hard way. Like i said before, maybe the environmental side has more to offer than the long range/current planning gigs.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  18. #18
    Thanks...I very much appreciate all your help.

    In fact...the day in the life a new hire for private sector was very relevant.
    I want to get as much as possible so this year I can prepare the field of best choice.

    I was struck by a few things in your post

    1) It seems you just handed me the assignment, gave me a deadline, and then said call me if you questions.
    -Nothing is wrong with that at all. That pretty much is how school is...you get an assignment...due F...if it's late...it's your grade.
    -Does this mean in completing the task I would have independence and be focused solely on this and not be multi-tasking?

    2) This sounds very much sim-city like AND your scenario has it where I am the new guy learning the game...while YOU are in charge of ME and CLIENTS.
    I much prefer being the background doing honest work only, having to manage people at this stage is above me.

    3) Sounds like maybe I shouldn't cross off the private sector?
    -Or am I missing something?
    -Are the projects super demanding/pressure,,,more than I caught on by reading?

    4) I have taken TWO GIS Classes and gotten B's...I know what it is but am NOT proficient...I know microsoft word/spreadsheet and adobe photoshop (like any photoshop)
    -Is that the extent of this technical requirements?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    I wouldn't even begin to equate school with work. If you get an F on an assignment, you can always make it up or take the class over. If you royally screw up an assignment at work, it can cost you your job, and possibly, the firm may lose the client.

    You have to keep in mind that the private sector is for-profit. There is no charity here. The bottom line is to make money and that's done by keeping the employees as billable as possible. That means being able to charge your time to projects. The more, the better. So if your firm currently has 5 planning projects with similar requirements and deadlines and 3 planners (including a project manager) on staff, you will find yourself multi-tasking between those projects. It is unlikely that you will be assigned just one project where you can keep your head in the sand and only come up when the supervisor calls you.

    I think you need to give up this Sim-City notion of planning and take heed to what's been said in this thread. You don't necessarily have to be proficient in GIS/CAD etc to succeed in this field. However, you have to accept the fact that there will be some mundane, paper pushing duties; times when you will have to interact with others; varying deadlines to meet, etc. These are all a part of the work world, regardless if it's the public or private sector. The same is true for the type of planning - long range, current, environmental, transportation, whatever.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    Thanks...I very much appreciate all your help.

    In fact...the day in the life a new hire for private sector was very relevant.
    I want to get as much as possible so this year I can prepare the field of best choice.

    I was struck by a few things in your post

    1) It seems you just handed me the assignment, gave me a deadline, and then said call me if you questions.
    -Nothing is wrong with that at all. That pretty much is how school is...you get an assignment...due F...if it's late...it's your grade.
    -Does this mean in completing the task I would have independence and be focused solely on this and not be multi-tasking?
    No. I will be on you daily. Asking how your progress is, checking preliminary drafts, etc. You will have other tasks assigned as needed by other project managers. And when a "fire" comes up (i.e. quick turn around, etc) you will be asked to help. Whether it is plotting, mapping, writing, printing a document, etc. Planderalla is pretty spot on about the whole school/work thing. You don't deliver on a work assignment in this economy, you will be quickly shown the door. Multi-tasking is a must! During our boom time (2003-2007) I was juggling about 6-8 projects at a time, with multiple deadlines. I prioritized, worked OT with authorization, and slaved to this job.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    2) This sounds very much sim-city like AND your scenario has it where I am the new guy learning the game...while YOU are in charge of ME and CLIENTS.
    I much prefer being the background doing honest work only, having to manage people at this stage is above me.
    It is like that at first, but you want to be able to move up right? In order to do that you have to learn how to interact with clients and customers. And you will have to manage clients every now and again starting off. Honestly the folks at my firm who have no interaction with clients usually at experts at something like cost estimating (an engineer) or certified CAD or GIS monkeys. Eventually they will stagnate in a position and burn out. Do you really want that?

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    3) Sounds like maybe I shouldn't cross off the private sector?
    -Or am I missing something?
    -Are the projects super demanding/pressure,,,more than I caught on by reading?
    There is a demand to perform under pressure (like me writing this to you and doing base mapping in CAD via a live GIS base for a meeting at 1pm.) If you can't or aren't willing to be able to perform under pressure, consistently, than the private sector is not for you. Then again, the private sector has downsized considerably so there are little to know jobs.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    4) I have taken TWO GIS Classes and gotten B's...I know what it is but am NOT proficient...I know microsoft word/spreadsheet and adobe photoshop (like any photoshop)
    -Is that the extent of this technical requirements?
    No. Each job has a set of requirements. If you meet them, great, if not, lie. If you can't lie, than move to the next job.

    Planderella makes some great points. You really can't get away from the mundane. Good luck
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  21. #21
    Thanks for your feedback.
    This is all very useful for me to consider and I appreciate it.

    I am having a hard time ruling out planning based on the last couple of posts.
    You both stated that you will need to multi-task between projects and be monitored by a supervisor.
    That doesn't necessarily rule me out, because in school you have several classes at once with different assignments and deadlines.

    How much more intense is multi-tasking a planning project in the private sector v multi tasking a week with 2 tests?
    Also, you said the boss will check up on you, but what does that mean?
    An email once a day...or constant phoning/interruptions/interactions?

    The big thing I need is
    1) Structured work schedule with consistent times
    2) Predictable workload
    3) Enough variety not to be board
    4) Working as a team is fine but best if we can split up and do our work separately
    5) I also in case you can not tell from my posts LOVE being able to categorize/generalize/and organize.
    I like being able to at the end of the day have all lose ends tied or at least know progress is being made.
    I am very orderly in that way.

    Curious as to who each of these components go with a PS Planner.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    How much more intense is multi-tasking a planning project in the private sector v multi tasking a week with 2 tests?
    You can't really equate the two. Two tests, you study, divide time between the subjects that you don't feel comfortable with versus what u know. In the real world. It just depends on how critical the deadline is. We have some clients that say "we need this now" which really means, they needed it yesterday so get going. Multi-tasking in the private sector is just based on deadlines, budgets, and time. During our "head turning" days we called it "toggling". Which is where i would be working on say a conceptual neighborhood layout in CAD, receive a phone call from another client requesting some additional copies of a specific plan, so i would than make copies of the plan for the client, place it in the overnight, than go back to the base mapping when a co-worker requests assistance with creating creating street sections for a project deadline, thus going to help that person out and eventually going back to the original task, where i left off. Those were the busy days.

    Now a days i usually have a set task to work on, look for new work, than get fed the next thing to work on. If something is in the pipeline, i move on. etc. Really your multi-tasking will depend on your company's workload.


    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    Also, you said the boss will check up on you, but what does that mean?
    An email once a day...or constant phoning/interruptions/interactions?
    Every boss/supervisor is different. As a project manager, I would assign a task and check in with them periodically throughout the day (usually in the morning, and once after lunch, and at the end of the day). If it was something i knew they needed hand holding with, i would definitely walk through the steps (such as learning how to xref base maps in cad, linking word documents in indesign, etc). Interaction is my key. Making sure they were where i thought they needed to be. Or if they were done with a section of a document, reviewing it and getting back comments to the them. We all sit in the same section, so I was also available to my staff. Any questions i had that were above my head, I would talk to my boss or give them a call, etc. Again, we had constant team interaction. Even if it were small chit chat.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    The big thing I need is
    1) Structured work schedule with consistent times Heh, depends on workload, but over the last year i have been an 8-5 guy with the occasional come in early/stay late or public meeting to attend
    2) Predictable workload Everyone has a workload, whether it is public or private
    3) Enough variety not to be board Good luck with that. An organization will exploit your talent and put you as the go to guy for many things.
    4) Working as a team is fine but best if we can split up and do our work separatelyWe have had a habitat of splitting things up within the team, like one person writes, another is graphics, etc. but in the end the document or product needs to have one voice, consistent vision, etc and that can be a problem sometimes. Thanks to downsizing, I am back to be jack of all trades (write, pm, and do the graphics)
    5) I also in case you can not tell from my posts LOVE being able to categorize/generalize/and organize.

    Quote Originally posted by surfer1280 View post
    I like being able to at the end of the day have all lose ends tied or at least know progress is being made.
    Sorry, planning is a long term deal. The only time you will have ends tied is when a) a project is adopted by council b) your fired from a project c) you win or loose a project based on a lawsuit.

    In six years as private sector planner, I have helped process/worked on 30 or so projects, seen only 9 been approved or adopted, and only 2 go to construction. 3 of my projects have been sued, all cases have been thrown out by the courts, and of the two construction projects, 1 was stopped due to the market crash (bummer it was a mixed use infill project) and the other i saw Caltrans put in the planting/street section as specified the way i wrote it, which was nice but the other portions that have been built look nothing like the plan envisioned, which is a bummer for those residents. At the end of the day all I can hope for is the next day, and more work.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  23. #23
    Man CPSUraf you may be turning Surfer off to private sector planning, but you're turning me on to it. It sounds exciting, having the challenge of juggling multiple projects like that. I like to be pushed........otherwise, I get bored.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    Man CPSUraf you may be turning Surfer off to private sector planning, but you're turning me on to it. It sounds exciting, having the challenge of juggling multiple projects like that. I like to be pushed........otherwise, I get bored.
    This was the past for my firm. Lately I have tended to sit on tasks simply because there is nothing else for me to do, or read up on latest trends and training on new programs like Civil 3D. This week has been different since we have all of a sudden some quick fires to put out like today. Overall it has been a great experience, but due to the economy, the public sector is really where I would like to be at for the next few years (like say 5).
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    This was the past for my firm. Lately I have tended to sit on tasks simply because there is nothing else for me to do, or read up on latest trends and training on new programs like Civil 3D. This week has been different since we have all of a sudden some quick fires to put out like today. Overall it has been a great experience, but due to the economy, the public sector is really where I would like to be at for the next few years (like say 5).

    Yeah. I had been planning on doing public sector for a couple of years when I got out of school only because I figured that a private firm would want someone with that experience. The more and more I learn about private sector planning though the more interested I am in it. I hardly ever meet anybody who works in the private sector. But I can definitely understand why the current recession would make private sector planning not so great. Right now I don't plan on coming out of school until 2012 though, and I do believe that the economy will have turned around by then.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 7
    Last post: 19 Dec 2011, 10:07 AM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last post: 30 Apr 2011, 11:24 AM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last post: 25 Jan 2011, 12:28 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last post: 13 Aug 2008, 3:05 PM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last post: 28 Jan 2002, 1:17 PM