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Thread: My professional rant for the day: management experience

  1. #1
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    My professional rant for the day: management experience

    How the heck am I supposed to get supervisory exerience when pretty much every planning job requires supervisory experience as a prerequisite qualification. Even senior and associate level jobs seem to be requiring that now. Has the planning profession finally hit the wall where there are way too many qualified planners for way too few planning jobs? I have over ten years professional planning experience and that counts for nothing nowadays. Should I look to change careers? I think this might be a dead end profession. This sucks.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Has the planning profession finally hit the wall where there are way too many qualified planners for way too few planning jobs?
    My answer to you is... yes. The field is in musical chairs mode right now and there is too much talent floating around for us all to end up in good jobs. It sucks royally and I have no answers.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    I recently transitioned from a smaller city (department of 1 = me) after ten years, to supervise a department in a larger city. While I had no traditional supervisory experience, I still applied for this job and focused on those projects or duties that I did have that utilized supervisory skills - management of consultant contracts, interdepartmental projects or committee work that I took the lead on, contracted by the State to provide technical assistance to other communities for the State, etc.

    I think if there are jobs that you feel qualified for that require supervisory experience, you should still apply, and capitalize on those supervisory skills that you may have acquired even if you haven't had an actual staff to supervise. If you don't really have anything you can use, maybe try to boost that part of your resume in the meantime.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Is supervisory experience written into these job descriptions, or are the prospective employers assuming you would have supervisory experience based on your ten years of planning experience?
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    I'm just thinking silently out loud here.....are you still limited to looking in the California area? If so, that could be adding to the problem.

    Latch on to some project in your community and supervise it through the end for resume use Or, co-supervise some project for the experience.....or better yet, make up a project that requires an unpaid intern that you can supervise.
    Skilled Adoxographer

  6. #6
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    I'm just thinking silently out loud here.....are you still limited to looking in the California area? If so, that could be adding to the problem.
    Yes, and probably yes.


    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Latch on to some project in your community and supervise it through the end for resume use Or, co-supervise some project for the experience.....or better yet, make up a project that requires an unpaid intern that you can supervise.
    That's not a bad idea.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    How the heck am I supposed to get supervisory exerience when pretty much every planning job requires supervisory experience as a prerequisite qualification.
    I can sympathize with you. There's a lot of experienced planners with only limited supervisory experience; they might have been promoted through the years, but still found themselves with little or no supervisory experience because of the underlying organizational structure, or because they worked for a very small organization. I've been in the field for nearly a decade and a half, but my supervisory experience isn't that extensive, relatively speaking.

    My advice: consider the times you've directed interns. Also, get some management books from the library, and check out management blogs, so you can at least talk the talk and develop a management philosophy from them. I'd be wary of anything a bit too much into rah-rah or with a religious bent, but your mileage may vary.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    My advice: consider the times you've directed interns. Also, get some management books from the library, and check out management blogs, so you can at least talk the talk and develop a management philosophy from them. I'd be wary of anything a bit too much into rah-rah or with a religious bent, but your mileage may vary.
    The intern is a good idea. Looking for project management and managing a section (permits, floodplain, etc) within the department is an idea. The management books/blogs/training are pure bs. I tried all of that and it is of limited value at best. I learned more by doing and learning my staff's history/culture/temperment.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  9. #9
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    We have two people who are technically below me, but I am not the direct supervisor for. I would consider my interactions with them supervisory though, as I am able to guide their activities and give them feedback. I do not sign their paychecks or give their yearly review, but I think that on the day to day activities I am just as much their supervisor. Sometimes you have to take what you can to show what you are capable of.

    I think the Interns should count more than employees, as they are harder to control, unless you get a good one. Most the time it takes twice the effort to supervise them.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    The management books/blogs/training are pure bs. I tried all of that and it is of limited value at best. I learned more by doing and learning my staff's history/culture/temperment.
    At most interviews I've had during the past couple of years, I've been asked about my management philosophy, and you have to develop one.

    Thee vast majority of management books are BS. You have to be careful not to succumb to the management trend or book of the week, as with my last employer. There's a lot out there that are too rah-rah. Instead, find more general, time-tested books -- and they are hard to find, as I'm discovering. Also, look for blogs about terrible bosses, stifling corporate environments, and the like, and do the opposite. Here's a good thread on Something Awful about inept corporate management. (Work-safe, but not recommended for those working where there's strict Internet monitoring.)
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Easy....

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    At most interviews I've had during the past couple of years, I've been asked about my management philosophy, and you have to develop one.
    Do your damn job and we won't have a problem
    Skilled Adoxographer

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