I'm in Northern California. I have a BA in Environmental Studies, MA in Urban Planning, and the following professional experience: public sector up to the Planning Director level, local government consulting, environmental consulting and most recently, consulting work/ permitting for a very large development. 20 years of work experience overall. AICP certified but my membership is not current.
I've been looking for work anywhere in the country for the past three months. Very discouraging! I have applied about 60 places for about 80 positions. I've had four interviews (for a total of two positions) and I was recruited for two of those interviews. But I didn't get either job.
It feels like my resume is too diverse. I am strongest in the realm of public sector land use planning, but I haven't done that for 6 years and the almost all the positions out there are for the top of the organization (planning director etc.). I am qualified to do that for a small community but otherwise I'm at the midlevel manager material.
Most of the available jobs seem to be at large engineering firms that are looking for either transportation planners (not qualified) or environmental planner (qualified, but my most relevant experience was for less than two years in the mid 90s).
So I wonder, does my experience and education have applicability in any other field? Has anyone had to switch careers to find work? What type of work did you turn to?
There are some obvious areas to look into: public policy, research institute, politics/research, city management analyst. I look at the jobs in San Francisco where I live and there are thousands of places hiring... there must be some place that would be able to use my skill set. I have managed people, I know how to string a sentence together, I can make presentations, staff boards and commissions, read and make sense out of obtuse regulations, etc.
Or maybe not. Maybe I'm looking at a career flipping burgers...