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Thread: Is my job next?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    Is my job next?

    The Council is looking at ways to make up a $3 million budget shortfall. It was explained to us yesterday that layoffs are not out of the question, although the city (90,000) I work for has never done that in the past. There is always a first time for everything. Executive staff is meeting all day today and were are told will come to a conclusion as to what will happen. I suspect at best - furlough and at worst - layoffs. When development does not happen, my department is the first to go. Police still respond to calls, water/sewer still function, etc. I have not told my wife yet becuase it may amount to nothing but if it happens, I don't know what I will do. It's not like planners are in great demand at the moment.

    Moderator note:
    (Dan) Moved from the FAC.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by SlaveToTheGrind View post
    It's not like planners are in great demand at the moment.

    Moderator note:
    (Dan) Moved from the FAC.
    Is relocation an option?
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    If your in a union, more than likely furloughs will come first, then layoffs. How down are you in the totem pole? I wouldn't fret too much at this point, it is what it is.

    I never thought about re-locating outside of California, but due to the terrible economy, that is now an option for me. Relocation for a job maybe crucial at this point.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  4. #4
    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    I suppose relocation has to be considered but a last resort. We like where we live, don't want to sell our house is this market, and are 10 minutes from my wife's parents, which my boys love. But the bottom line is I have to go where I can work.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Same boat here. Big budget shortfall and planning is getting scapegoated as a "non-essential service". IMO, in these times, absolutely no one working in this field has job security.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Well when was this field ever really secure. Planning has never been an essential service, unlike fire, police, medicine, accounting. Let's face it, we are totally Dependent on "stuff" being built. We can argue the importance of planning in everyday lives till the cows come home, but at the end of the day it all boils down to how many permits were processed (and,no, that does not mean only land use planners).

    I am relocating to a smaller but very interesting city next month for a planning job. There is a ton of work to keep me very very busy for a long time. Is it "guarranteed" security? No. But then again nothing in life is really a guarantee, is it?
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Face it planning sucks.Its interesting to study at Uni, but so is history and there are next to no jobs with that either. No job security in ANY sector all for a teachers salary. In fact I know teachers who make much more. And if you work the government, get caught in political crossfire. Use your skills you gained in another field. Several planners have it done it including myself and I wont look back.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    It amazes me. I went thru college in the 80's recession and got F'ed by this one (2 out of 3 jobs I can at last partly attribute to the recession and work slowdown).

    Why doesn't the general public realize that planners and economic developers are needed MOST when the economy is at a slump for stimulus aid, and at its peak for growth control? Yet we - or now I should say you - are the first to go when things go bad (you didnt do enough), or when things are really good (we dont need you anymore).

  9. #9
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Well when was this field ever really secure. Planning has never been an essential service, unlike fire, police, medicine, accounting. Let's face it, we are totally Dependent on "stuff" being built. We can argue the importance of planning in everyday lives till the cows come home, but at the end of the day it all boils down to how many permits were processed (and,no, that does not mean only land use planners).

    I am relocating to a smaller but very interesting city next month for a planning job. There is a ton of work to keep me very very busy for a long time. Is it "guarranteed" security? No. But then again nothing in life is really a guarantee, is it?
    When did you land a new gig? And what part of the country is it in? Do tell, and congrats!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Aren't there some state-mandated planning functions that have to be performed? If so, that should provide some security. And who needs parks and libraries, anyway? They should go first. Meanwhile, try to look essential.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    When did you land a new gig? And what part of the country is it in? Do tell, and congrats!
    Thanks. Someone on cyburbia emailed me about a job opening. He really wanted me and didn't even interview anyone else (which is fine with me). His company flew me out, wined and dined me, put me up in a nice hotel, showed me around town, blah, blah, blah. He dropped me off at the airport and told me the letter of offer was in the mail. That was last week Monday. I think we have a good chemistry and there is a lot of work to be done, which is good. I don't like to go into specifics on cyburbia, but I will just say the firm is a few states over to the west of me.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  12. #12
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Great news Nick! Glad to see all of your hard work paid off, I found my current job posted on Cyburbia.

    To the OP, my boss was starting to feel the same pressure from our council and management and she started making us report every project/pre-app/property we have been getting alot of calls about. See what they figured out that while there may only be seven submittals this month there are at least 20 more in the works that we were working on for submittal in the next few months and she got a list of long range projects that we need to do when we have down time. Best of Luck!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  13. #13
    Just found out this week half the department, which consists of four people, is getting laid off Jan. 1st. Commissioners thought the department could still function with a 35% decrease in funding. : (

  14. #14
    Cyburbian azmodela's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    It amazes me. I went thru college in the 80's recession and got F'ed by this one (2 out of 3 jobs I can at last partly attribute to the recession and work slowdown).

    Why doesn't the general public realize that planners and economic developers are needed MOST when the economy is at a slump for stimulus aid, and at its peak for growth control? Yet we - or now I should say you - are the first to go when things go bad (you didnt do enough), or when things are really good (we dont need you anymore).
    I think the planning profession as a whole needs to step back and look what it's done for itself. What kind of advocacy has it done to present the importance we bring, much like an engineer does to infrastructure design?

    In the last decade, primarily through the boom years, planners both private and public became application processors. Things couldn't be built fast enough in 04'! We never stepped back and said wait a minute, the number of subdivision lots approved this year is sustainable, or this design is poor because...

    Because of this we never created or conveyed a value to the public, elected officials, or developers. It's not surprising that we're viewed as expendable to the decision makers. This would be a good time for the profession, or even APA to advocate for our value and expertise. I have a feeling that in 40 to 50 years, that when the subdivisions that were quickly thrown up this decade turn 50 years old, we'll have wished we had slowed down and take our time to think things out!

    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    Same boat here. Big budget shortfall and planning is getting scapegoated as a "non-essential service". IMO, in these times, absolutely no one working in this field has job security.
    There are a few secure planning jobs out there, even in some of the building dependent regions! Think utility providers, as long as people keep demanding electricity, potable water, and toilets that flush, there will be jobs! The monthly user fees/revenue helps support these positions, not permitting fees.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 13 Nov 2009 at 2:45 PM. Reason: double reply

  15. #15
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    He dropped me off at the airport and told me the letter of offer was in the mail. That was last week Monday.
    Awesome! I'm really excited for you. It sounds like a good opportunity, and it's a bonus that the chemistry is good.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by azmodela View post
    ...What kind of advocacy has it done to present the importance we bring, much like an engineer does to infrastructure design?....
    But still, in my state, there is an estimete of 14% of the engineering work force out of work. We could advocate all we want for planning ( and I think we have done a decent job, given the widespread awareness of sprawl, etc.) but our jobs are only important if there is work to be done and the budget revenue to support it.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    In the last decade, primarily through the boom years, planners both private and public became application processors. Things couldn't be built fast enough in 04'! We never stepped back and said wait a minute, the number of subdivision lots approved this year is sustainable, or this design is poor because...
    I totally agree and in many cases its greedy private firms chasing the housing bubble. I use to work for a firm that placed all its emphasis in processing applications, when there was plenty of work in transport/infrastructure planning/design and sustainable studies for community planning. Some private firms placed all their eggs in one basket, and when the housing/commercial real estate markets collapsed, all the work went down the drain. These owners made staff work overtime processing applications for their own greed with little to no bonuses.

    Once we recover from this economic crisis, the same cycle will be completed. Firms will focus on the easy money in processing applications. This is also what the general public thinks of planners, at least in Australia. You need a development application completed, go hire a town planning consultant. The good news is planning skills are transferable to other built environment professions.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Congrats nrschmid!
    I've read so many of your posts on here that you finding a job even makes me happy. There is hope.
    Take care.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by vxw View post
    Congrats nrschmid!
    I've read so many of your posts on here that you finding a job even makes me happy. There is hope.
    Take care.
    Thanks. Good luck -
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

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