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Thread: 2 and a half years and no job

  1. #1
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    2 and a half years and no job

    Hi Everyone,

    I am posting to say i have graduated 2 and a half years ago with a Master's Degree in Urban Planning and I cannot find a job...still. I also hold a bachelor's degree in geography. I am very frustrated with this job search and other planners calling me into interviews without any luck of getting hired. I currently am a temporary office worker in county government but I am well below the poverty level. I am also not attaining any additional experience working in county government for planning which worries me. can anyone help me?

    I feel like i have done EVERYTHING to try and get a job, and i sincerly believe i gave it all i got, but i am just unlucky.

    This is all making me depressed.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Welcome from the Hoosier State.

    Are you willing to relocate/move ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
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    I have had interviews in Idaho, N Carolina, texas, and almost everywhere in between. I live with my parents so I have no lease tieing me down anywhere, they don't care that i live at home. No boyfriend tieing me down either. got enough money to pay off one of my student loans. I am a temporary worker for coutny government, but temporary doesn't last forever. I am trying to keep contact with planners in my county government office by attending plan commission meetings.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    queenO I'm in Milwaukee with 20 years of experience. No job at the momment. It's not you, its the economy. I know ALOT of planners in the area that are out of work or scrapping to keep thier jobs. Keep your chin up.

  5. #5
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    It is impossible to compete

    It is so impossible to find a job in urban planning. I am sick of it

  6. #6
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I have been there. I got out of grad school and I had a contract job for six months. Then it was almost a year before I got another job. I too spent a lot of time traveling for interviews - from the Pacific Coast to Sioux City. I was literally a few weeks from having to move back in with my parents when I finally got a job in Alaska.

    The economy is in the tank, so it is not a good time anyway. Two and a half years looking for a job would leave you discouraged, I am sure. Wish I had words of encouragement or great advice.

    What worked for me was casting a very wide net and not being too particular about where I worked. You mentioned urban planning. If you haven't considered jobs in the small town and rural areas, perhaps you should. Your first job isn't often a place you necessarily want to be in five years, but it gets you employed and teaches you things you need to know, so two years down the line you are ready for a job that suits your goals better.

    Good luck.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Had to hunt for this recent post


  8. #8
    Cyburbian PrahaSMC's avatar
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    I know it's of little consolation, but there are a lot of people in your shoes (myself included). My advice would be to move on from the temp job into something more stable (Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America) that will strengthen your resume and broaden your set of skills. If nothing else, joining AmeriCorps helped ease my mind from the anxiety of being out of work. If you are like I was-- stressing about your employment status day-in and day-out-- it really eats away at your confidence and motivation, which bleeds into every aspect of your life.

    Don't let the job search drag you down-- this is a generation-defining recession and it's going to be years, not months before things are right again. Do something to keep moving forward professionally, even if it takes you in a different direction than you had in mind. It took me a while to realize, but people who are securely employed and financially-stable don't really care about young people looking at things from the bottom up. They just don't; I work alongside them everyday. So, make a list of things you can do that would be more productive/fulfilling than what you're doing now and pick the best option. Trust me, you'll feel better about things.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Praha that is great advice.

  10. #10
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    I have had several interviews in small cities in far off lands, the last place, ASHLAND WI, told me that because i was from a BIG city that i wasn't qualified to work for them, which is total discrimination because I just happened to be born in a REAL city...excuse me!! Small town people have an abysmal attitude toward us city people.

    I would of complained but they paid my transportation costs to get there, which in turn paid for a car repair.

    As for Peace Corps or Americorps, I would LOVE to do work in South Africa but unfortunately I have a 15 year old car and student loans to pay off, so it is not "feasable" at the moment.

    The most frustrating thing is how CLOSE i came to getting jobs only to see less qualified people get them.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian PrahaSMC's avatar
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    Well, it sucks that you got turned down, but look on the bright side: at least you were getting interviews. When I was sending out resumes after Grad School, I sent out about 50-75 resumes, had one phone interview, and.... nothing. For those of us recently out-of-school, things are going to be ultra-competitive our whole careers. This recession is going to take the better part of a decade to sort out and, even then, I don't think we'll ever return to the prosperity of the '90s, much less the post-WWII glory years where American capitalists ruled the roost. It used to be that you work hard through school, go to college, and magically land a good job... it's never going to be that "easy" again.

    Oh, and as far as Peace Corps/AmeriCorps is concerned, they offer loan deferment and, in some programs, an education award at the end of the service term. It's one of the main reasons I took the position I am in now; it gave me much-needed student loan relief and basic healthcare, things I wouldn't have had access to otherwise.

  12. #12
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    oh wow, thatnks, i would love to go and contribute my skills in South Africa with the Peace Corps, maybe even promoting sound planning policies while I am there, like implimenting more productive methods of trash removal for shantytowns, or finding ways to develop permanent housing for the needy. Lofty goals, but I think it would be better than regulating garage-size additions in Eagle, WI.

  13. #13
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    Peace Corps is a major commitment, but a good idea if you are young and relatively debt free. The option I am pursuing, which I think is the way to go, is an internship @ my state legislature. Nothing better than rubbing elbows with members of planning committees, even if you don't get paid for it...good jobs come about by networking/making connections and presentation; resume, written, and the interview. Internships, if used right, get you references or full time jobs.

    I don't mean to pass judgment, but you should already have some amount of experience in your field (unpaid or otherwise) two years removed from a masters degree.

  14. #14
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    Other than the final Applied Planning Workshop Project I had while in Grad School I have no other experience in planning. I did have internships at 2 non-profits though.

  15. #15
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    So should I just give up trying to become an urban planner because i wasn't blessed with the proper internship while in school or found any work in the last 2 and a half years?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    No one here says you have to give up, in fact that is a decision only you can make. In this economy many newly educated planners are doing any jobs to keep food on the table and insurance benefits. Planning happens to be a very specialized field so its easy think about giving up when the chips are falling in your lap. It can certainly be discouraging after 2.5 years but many people in this thread have given you some good advice. With the upcoming holiday season and lull in hiring, take some time and think about where you want to go and what is important.

    I hired an intern recently, we can't pay him but he is gaining local experience and even my PD (who didn't really like him at first glance) agreed to call in a good word for a local position that opened up...things are opening up out there, be patient my friend.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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