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Thread: Any career advice for an entry-level planner in Boston?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by tricky927 View post
    Hi everyone! Thank you for all your help. The coursework seems interesting in the summer program but what is most attractive is the "studio time." It seems that about 70% of the course is devoted to working for a client on promoting green development in a west coast city.

    There seem to be a lot of people here posting from Boston! I am curious...do any of you guys know anything available where you work? I am more than willing to take an internship (preferably paid) to get some experience! If so, please PM me and I'll be more than happy to send my resume and info.
    Hey, it sounds like the course will be a great place for you to start. Look into getting a Master's- then you'll have some good qualifications.

    I'm not working at the moment- looking myself. I spent 3 years as a consultant at an engineering firm and 2 with a Boston suburb. Let me know if you have any questions.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian rover's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Rover you have a piss-poor attitude. You PM me for advice, and I give you more advice than I have given any planner or student in the past 6 years! You don't show one ounce of gratitude, and you demand that I shell out EVERYTHING to you, including all of my confidential job hunting info? Why? You told me I was some crochety old pompous egoist (bro, I just turned 30 last week). Your resume and cover letter are mediocre. You don't tailor ANYTHING to the job description and I see the same template over and over again. When I refuse to hand over my files, you take it personally and you swear at me like a little kid.

    Do I need to go on?
    You better watch yourself or you're going to follow Chet pretty soon.
    You tell a nice white lie.

    1) I thanked you repeatedly for taking time to help me, repeatedly.
    -That wasn't enough though, no, you evidently wanted a personal thank you card sent from me.

    2) Second, you bring up me asking you for "job tips". "Bro" you asked ME to hand over my list of job sources I check each week, you said "since I am looking in Houston, I doubt we will be competing in any event."
    -You're a liar and a hypocrite.

    3) My cover letter and resume were fine, you said so yourself. You actually said "Not too bad...I just need to see a specific job you are targeting." So not only are you lying and going back on your words, but even more you are offering revisionist history.
    I told you, thanked you, for stressing the need to tailor, and said I didn't need anymore help in this regard.

    You offered to help, then demanded I completely bow down and kiss your fanny and send over MY files and MY leads. Perhaps this is why you've been laid off...you try and play manager/supervisor and have a condescending/arrogant attitude towards others while wanting a ticker tape parade in your honor.
    God I wouldn't want to be your co-worker.

    Quote Originally posted by tricky927 View post
    Rover,

    you seem like you are having a tough ttime but why did u get a MA in geography and not urban planning? can you please elaborate a bit more on your background?
    I got an MA in Geography over planning because
    1) I got full scholarship backing for Geography
    2) I figured with Geography, I could do Planning AND something else (Census/Market Research)...whereas with Planning, I felt it limited me and I wouldn't have gotten near the finance package.

    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    Not to pile on, but that would explain why he's been looking for 8 months and only has 4 interviews and no job yet. Sorry. Maybe that was harsh.
    Don't take NRschmid at face value, he tells a revisionist history.
    He say a template of my cover letter and resume, and had no problems with it.
    He also saw my employment search list, and also thought it was thorough enough to want MY SPECIFIC LINKS FOR HIS OWN JOB SEARCH.
    He's a bitter sourpuss because I didn't kiss his fanny enough times or reveal enough personal information to him (which was smart).

    My lack of job search success is due to planning being a dead end field for everybody, particularly entry level people, and me not having a background in GIS.

    I thought Geography would get me into planning or something like the Census, but planning has few jobs, and all others with Geography do MUCH better if they sell GIS skills.

    NRSchmid is a liar and a hypocrite, no surprise he has a checkerboard resume and employers can only stand him so long. People tire after awhile of having a "boss" impersonater.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 11 Feb 2011 at 8:34 AM. Reason: seq. replies

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rover View post
    My lack of job search success is due to planning being a dead end field for everybody, particularly entry level people, and me not having a background in GIS.
    I don't think it is a dead field, dying, but not dead. Other folks in this board have a similar degree and are in the same boat, yet they have landed jobs. IP is a newly minted grad, yet has just landed an internship and has interviews lined up. Why? Work ethic, resume, and cover letter and wide net. If you don't have any of those, than your just treading water.

    A lot can be said about the way you have been called out and quickly smearing nick. I wonder who is right on this one? His resume is a high quality stand out, that for someone at a mid-level career should aspire to have. He is a hard worker and his work effort, and volunteer effort show.

    Why would I want to hire you if you don't have the skills (like GIS) that i need? If you feel you lack skills, go learn them. Give yourself a competitive edge. That's what it takes to get a job in this economy. This isn't "got my degree, now where is my job.." type of economy. Far to often grads feel they are entitled to such, yet haven't even shown their true stripes yet...
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  4. #29
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Everyone take a deep breath.....

    As for my opinion on entry level jobs, I think the field is far from dead. The Recovery Act created lots of jobs in community development and energy planning. My office alone has brought on 3 new people in the last year, admittedly 2 as interns. We could have hired more given our work load but we're reluctant to bring too many people on and then run out of funding and work for them when recovery money runs out.

    There is always a market for people with some skills, a GREAT attitude (even if the work is often menial), and an interest in learning the ropes and working hard even if its beyond the job description or pay rate. That may sound like exploitation, but I think its just how entry level people work their way into the field and eventually up the ladder of responsibility. I can tell you for a fact that we pay very well and promote those who do a good job. We just expect entry level people to come at it as if we are essentially training them, and therefore they should not assume that everything will get handed to them on a silver platter.

    Good luck to all of you and I hope you find the work you want.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    There is always a market for people with some skills, a GREAT attitude (even if the work is often menial), and an interest in learning the ropes and working hard even if its beyond the job description or pay rate. That may sound like exploitation, but I think its just how entry level people work their way into the field and eventually up the ladder of responsibility. I can tell you for a fact that we pay very well and promote those who do a good job. We just expect entry level people to come at it as if we are essentially training them, and therefore they should not assume that everything will get handed to them on a silver platter.
    .
    I can echo this and add to the OP's original question by saying that there is nothing wrong with simply researching what planning firms exist in Boston and sending them a copy of your resume and cover letter and asking them for an internship. This method is what landed me a internship in Hawaii, and due to my hard work and positive attitude, I was offered a full time position after I graduated. Definitely cast a wide net and follow up on every lead.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by rover View post
    I got an MA in Geography over planning because
    1) I got full scholarship backing for Geography
    2) I figured with Geography, I could do Planning AND something else (Census/Market Research)...whereas with Planning, I felt it limited me and I wouldn't have gotten near the finance package.


    Don't take NRschmid at face value, he tells a revisionist history.
    He say a template of my cover letter and resume, and had no problems with it.
    He also saw my employment search list, and also thought it was thorough enough to want MY SPECIFIC LINKS FOR HIS OWN JOB SEARCH.
    He's a bitter sourpuss because I didn't kiss his fanny enough times or reveal enough personal information to him (which was smart).

    My lack of job search success is due to planning being a dead end field for everybody, particularly entry level people, and me not having a background in GIS.

    I thought Geography would get me into planning or something like the Census, but planning has few jobs, and all others with Geography do MUCH better if they sell GIS skills.

    NRSchmid is a liar and a hypocrite, no surprise he has a checkerboard resume and employers can only stand him so long. People tire after awhile of having a "boss" impersonater.
    Flattery will get you no where. This is a professional forum. Use some decorum. I treat this website with a great deal of respect, and I should hope that everyone else, regardless of training or experience, treats it the same way.

    I provided plenty of advice to you. Most people who private me want just a quick look over a resume, cover letter, or portfolio. I did that. Then I asked you to find a specific job you were interested in, and to send me a REVISED resume and cover letter TAILORED to the specific job you were applying for. You sent me the exact same resume and cover letter. You don't have ALL of the essential skills the job ad is looking for. You also are applying for a job that is advertised on the National APA website which is going to receive a TON of applicants, many of whom have far more experience than you. If you are going to EARN any interview as a fresh graduate, you HAVE to have the requisite experience. Period.

    I do not need praise or compliments for helping you. I let my work speak for itself and I am always open to criticism. I OFFER advice. You don't have to listen to it or agree with me. I am not god, and I am human just like everyone else. All I ask is respect and decency. You expect me to just hand over everything to you because I have some experience and you are struggling to get your foot in the door. I am not going to give you everything you want. You have to figure it out yourself.

    As for me, I was laid off due to lack of work. However, I saw the writing on the wall nearly half a year ago. I was already through my second round of interviewing when I was laid off. I moved immediately to southern TX and had a great interview earlier this week and another one next week. When I was in Kansas, I also served as the Professional Development Officer (PDO) for the APA Chapter. Go to APA and find out what PDOs do before criticizing me about career planning. Most importantly, learn to be humble, Rover. Swearing at me shows a complete lack of maturity and credibility. It is going to be very hard for me (and probably others) to take you as a serious contributor to cyburbia when you thrown temper tantrums.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  7. #32
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    OK. I pound pretty hard in a different way to get people out of their comfort zone. When ColoGI is out of their comfort zone, time to take a chill pill.

    2

  8. #33
    Cyburbian rover's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Flattery will get you no where. This is a professional forum. Use some decorum. I treat this website with a great deal of respect, and I should hope that everyone else, regardless of training or experience, treats it the same way.

    I provided plenty of advice to you. Most people who private me want just a quick look over a resume, cover letter, or portfolio. I did that. Then I asked you to find a specific job you were interested in, and to send me a REVISED resume and cover letter TAILORED to the specific job you were applying for. You sent me the exact same resume and cover letter. You don't have ALL of the essential skills the job ad is looking for. You also are applying for a job that is advertised on the National APA website which is going to receive a TON of applicants, many of whom have far more experience than you. If you are going to EARN any interview as a fresh graduate, you HAVE to have the requisite experience. Period.

    I do not need praise or compliments for helping you. I let my work speak for itself and I am always open to criticism. I OFFER advice. You don't have to listen to it or agree with me. I am not god, and I am human just like everyone else. All I ask is respect and decency. You expect me to just hand over everything to you because I have some experience and you are struggling to get your foot in the door. I am not going to give you everything you want. You have to figure it out yourself.

    As for me, I was laid off due to lack of work. However, I saw the writing on the wall nearly half a year ago. I was already through my second round of interviewing when I was laid off. I moved immediately to southern TX and had a great interview earlier this week and another one next week. When I was in Kansas, I also served as the Professional Development Officer (PDO) for the APA Chapter. Go to APA and find out what PDOs do before criticizing me about career planning. Most importantly, learn to be humble, Rover. Swearing at me shows a complete lack of maturity and credibility. It is going to be very hard for me (and probably others) to take you as a serious contributor to cyburbia when you thrown temper tantrums.
    Sigh...let this post be the end of it because I don't have time to get into a war.

    Nick, you started the smear campaign with me, and I'll be darned if I am going to let somebody push me around and damage my rep here.
    I asked you for advice, you gave. I thanked you MANY times, and you have the nerve almost as much to go around saying I lacked any ounce of gratitude?
    Go back and re-read the PMs and emails I sent, everyone of them I prefaced with a thank you for your time.
    I was quite appreciate, but that was not enough. You just couldn't be thanked enough to be satisfied.

    What is worse is that I asked your opinion on if my job search list was thorough and complete enough. I gave you a summary, you though wanted specific URLs for my sites. OK...not that big a problem, except that you then lashed out calling me an ingrate when I asked for the return favor and if I could have some of your URLs.
    Seems it was "crossing the line" for me to ask, but not you.

    The worst part was you go on here, and provoke me by calling me out.
    That's just a flat out lie, if not downright bullish behavior. To me, it says something about your character and attitude towards people just starting out...you kind have this "get my coffee" type attitude.
    I'm not here for a flame war...but don't go about calling me out with flat out lies and revisionist history accounts.
    Call me immature and having a temper tantrum, but I think you're rather condescending.
    Enough.

    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    I don't think it is a dead field, dying, but not dead. Other folks in this board have a similar degree and are in the same boat, yet they have landed jobs. IP is a newly minted grad, yet has just landed an internship and has interviews lined up. Why? Work ethic, resume, and cover letter and wide net. If you don't have any of those, than your just treading water.

    A lot can be said about the way you have been called out and quickly smearing nick. I wonder who is right on this one? His resume is a high quality stand out, that for someone at a mid-level career should aspire to have. He is a hard worker and his work effort, and volunteer effort show.

    Why would I want to hire you if you don't have the skills (like GIS) that i need? If you feel you lack skills, go learn them. Give yourself a competitive edge. That's what it takes to get a job in this economy. This isn't "got my degree, now where is my job.." type of economy. Far to often grads feel they are entitled to such, yet haven't even shown their true stripes yet...
    I hope you aren't implying that I have an entitlement attitude.
    I got out of graduate school and I thought if I applied myself, I would have something in 6 weeks, not 4 interviews in 8 months.

    I have a completely comprehensive list I check, spanning the Federal Government, State, Municipal, APA, and Private Planning Firms.
    However, there are very few openings. I check constantly, and the few I do see, they have 200 other applicants (and these are for jobs that are not always planning!).

    I have a solid resume and cover letter (like Nick said...I sent him a template which he said was fine). My problem is lack of experience and technical skills. I just am not a GIS person, it was not my strength, it was the most challenging, biggest weakness I had.
    Two of my classmates got jobs right out of school, not doing planning, but doing GIS.

    I've done my part, I've cast a wide net, searched endlessly. I can safely say that NOTHING is out there unless you have experience OR hard science technical skills.
    Be good at GIS or engineering, and you will get a job if not in planning, somewhere related and you can move back in if you want.

    My lack of technical proficiency in GIS or a Statistics/Mathematics/Physical Science actual degree is keeping me from work, as are hiring freezes.

    I just had one great interview, only to find out the agency cannot hire anybody else due to the budget.
    So yea, I am bitter.
    I choose Geography 3 years ago because I love the topic of sprawl and preservation. I was told that recent graduates right out of school got planning jobs.

    8 months in, and I see the real deal. I should have gotten a degree in Accounting, something technical that I can do. Liberal Arts new graduates, such as planning, hahahahaha good luck unless you GIS to go with it.

    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Everyone take a deep breath.....

    As for my opinion on entry level jobs, I think the field is far from dead. The Recovery Act created lots of jobs in community development and energy planning. My office alone has brought on 3 new people in the last year, admittedly 2 as interns. We could have hired more given our work load but we're reluctant to bring too many people on and then run out of funding and work for them when recovery money runs out.

    There is always a market for people with some skills, a GREAT attitude (even if the work is often menial), and an interest in learning the ropes and working hard even if its beyond the job description or pay rate. That may sound like exploitation, but I think its just how entry level people work their way into the field and eventually up the ladder of responsibility. I can tell you for a fact that we pay very well and promote those who do a good job. We just expect entry level people to come at it as if we are essentially training them, and therefore they should not assume that everything will get handed to them on a silver platter.

    Good luck to all of you and I hope you find the work you want.
    I disagree completely with the recovery act helping planning.
    It's helping ENGINEERS and people with GIS skills. However, governments are having freezes, and construction is at an all time low. The field for an entry level is bleak...unless you are an engineer or GIS wiz.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 11 Feb 2011 at 8:33 AM. Reason: seq. replies

  9. #34
    Cyburbian
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    #1. the specific job you sent me wanted CDBG, not GIS, experience.
    #2. You can't be waiting around hoping for desired work to drop in your lap. See previous posts on creating your own work for a portfolio.
    #3. Rover I dont even know your actual name?!!! I asked you the names of your schools and the names of your employers. You are not a CIA operative. Why would I give out my list to a stranger who won't tell me who they are.
    #4. When you asked me for my list, I said to also check websites likely to have planning jobs. Some of these could include Walmart, BP, Sears, etc.

    Dude, you swear and throw temper tantrums at me through emails. You think that a simple thank you is going to clear it up? Just yesterday you were still telling me to F off? THEN you are sloppy enough to ask the website why you don have a job? Your actions speak for themselves.

    This is a recession dude. You demand a job in 6 weeks? I graduated college 7 years ago with 7 interships and it took me over a year to get my foot in the door. Be patient, persistent, and above all gracious.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  10. #35
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I enjoy Boston Market. You know, they have that chicken and baked apples....

    What does that have to do with this thread? Nothing. Which is better....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  11. #36
    Cyburbian
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    I prefer the baked beans and Mac n' cheese
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  12. #37
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    For rover & nrschmid:



    Keep the personal attacks off the threads. If it keeps up, time in the penalty box is next.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  13. #38
    If we look at the over-arching theme here for a moment: this thread gives an example of how some planners simply won't find jobs, while others will. That's what happens when supply exceeds demand for our services, and there are varying degrees of professional acumen.

    Another poster mentioned the fact that planning isn't dying because of all the Recovery dollars, but then in the next breath talked about how his firm didn't hire more planners because they anticipated Recovery dollars to run out. It's profound when you realize that every other firm is making the same decision. Recovery money is a temporary band-aid on our bleeding profession. (And most of those dollars are going to transportation and environmental projects, not the types of projects that support general planners.)

    So, in this professional environment, its more competitive than ever. Certain planners (we have some here, I think) will land on their feet, because they are at the top of the heap when it comes to skills, networking, personal drive, and intelligence. The mediocre planners (we also have some here, I think) will find it much harder to find work, not because they don't have the right degree, or the right acronyms on their resume, but because they probably don't network or interview well.

  14. #39
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    So, in this professional environment, its more competitive than ever. Certain planners (we have some here, I think) will land on their feet, because they are at the top of the heap when it comes to skills, networking, personal drive, and intelligence. The mediocre planners (we also have some here, I think) will find it much harder to find work, not because they don't have the right degree, or the right acronyms on their resume, but because they probably don't network or interview well.
    It all comes down to the fact that you have to work with people. In any profession. It will always be that way, and office politics and interpersonal relationships drive the boat, then skill comes in. That's just how it is. Trying to build the best city often gets put to the side. Srsly.

  15. #40
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    It all comes down to the fact that you have to work with people. In any profession. It will always be that way, and office politics and interpersonal relationships drive the boat, then skill comes in. That's just how it is. Trying to build the best city often gets put to the side. Srsly.
    Completely agree.

  16. #41
    Cyburbian rover's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    #1. the specific job you sent me wanted CDBG, not GIS, experience.
    #2. You can't be waiting around hoping for desired work to drop in your lap. See previous posts on creating your own work for a portfolio.
    #3. Rover I dont even know your actual name?!!! I asked you the names of your schools and the names of your employers. You are not a CIA operative. Why would I give out my list to a stranger who won't tell me who they are.
    #4. When you asked me for my list, I said to also check websites likely to have planning jobs. Some of these could include Walmart, BP, Sears, etc.

    Dude, you swear and throw temper tantrums at me through emails. You think that a simple thank you is going to clear it up? Just yesterday you were still telling me to F off? THEN you are sloppy enough to ask the website why you don have a job? Your actions speak for themselves.

    This is a recession dude. You demand a job in 6 weeks? I graduated college 7 years ago with 7 interships and it took me over a year to get my foot in the door. Be patient, persistent, and above all gracious.
    1) I have ZERO CDBG experience...but it said GIS would be welcome. Just trying to add anything to help.
    2) I got mad at you because of things like this, claiming I am "waiting around"...when I have a comprehensive search list (as verified by you) that I check routinely and I send out applicants to even long shot openings. Thus I resent the implication I am not "doing" my part. That will cause me to go off, when I feel somebody is calling me out as being entitled and lazy with the effort I put fourth.
    3) I didn't reveal any personal information, because in dealing with strangers, I didn't want to have myself "exposed" because you never know who you are dealing with...how do I know you wouldn't try and blacklist me?

    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post

    So, in this professional environment, its more competitive than ever. Certain planners (we have some here, I think) will land on their feet, because they are at the top of the heap when it comes to skills, networking, personal drive, and intelligence. The mediocre planners (we also have some here, I think) will find it much harder to find work, not because they don't have the right degree, or the right acronyms on their resume, but because they probably don't network or interview well.
    I presume you are trying to infer me as being a "medicore" planner? This I resent. I interview well, I've been rejected due to a) overqualified b) underqualified with GIS c) hiring freezes.
    Fact is I have a mere four interviews BECAUSE I do not have the right acronyms or experience.
    Entry level with 1 internship, and limited GIS=starving planner wannabe.

    I search endlessly and honestly feel the only thing I can do is take an unrelated "sales" job and just volunteer for the next few years in my spare time.
    That thinking planning work will pay the bills now is not going to happen, because I do not have the acronyms or the experience to even let me in for an interview...as well I have no real network.
    How can an entry level person have one?

  17. #42
    Cyburbian Plus Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rover View post
    ....as well I have no real network.
    How can an entry level person have one?
    LinkedIn.


    ten characters

  18. #43
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I'm going to put a different twist on this issue.

    If I were given the opportunity to recruit and fill an entry level position, I'm not so sure I would hire an "experienced" planner, even though I know they're out there. Reason? I don't want a career planner coming in with their baggage and pre-conceived notions of "...how it should be done. Here's how we did it at my last employer." I would be more inclined to hire a recent grad (for an entry level position), that I can mentor and mold to the person I want to perform the essential functions of the position.

    And when this economy turns around and I get the chance to hire, that's my strategy.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  19. #44
    Cyburbian
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    #1. The job description you shared with me emphasized CDBG experience several times, in one form or another. When you review job descriptions try to determine what is the most important skill(s)/experience(s) the employer is looking for, what are the second most important, etc. In this case, GIS is an important skill BUT the employer is looking for CDBG experience. You might be able to sell them on your GIS skills but it is still going to come down to CDBG experience.
    #2. No one can make you get mad. Yes, you do have a comprehensive job search and I said it was a good start. The "waiting around" comment has nothing to do with your job search. Instead of complaining you don't have CDBG experience, create your own "work." This is just a brainstorm idea: you can take it or leave it:
    A. Write down a brief project description of an imaginary project that needs money to be designed/built.
    B. Find the requisite grant forms.
    C. Fill out the forms
    D. Summarize what you did and what you learned from the experience.
    True, it's not actual experience, but at least it shows the employer you thought outside the box and tried to demonstrate your reasoning and thought process.
    #3. This is a very small profession. Sooner or later, you will HAVE to tell people more about yourself. It would be alot harder to recommend a guy named Rover (no last name) for a job doing GIS.
    #4. Chocolatechip was not necessarily referring to you as a "mediocre planner." I think you DO have drive and ambition and you ARE doing the right things. You already have had a few interviews so keep doing that and you will get an offer with persistence. There are plenty of people on here who have looked for work longer than you, some with more experience than you, who have not even earned one phone interview, so keep that in perspective.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  20. #45
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I'm going to put a different twist on this issue.

    If I were given the opportunity to recruit and fill an entry level position, I'm not so sure I would hire an "experienced" planner, even though I know they're out there. Reason? I don't want a career planner coming in with their baggage and pre-conceived notions of "...how it should be done. Here's how we did it at my last employer." I would be more inclined to hire a recent grad (for an entry level position), that I can mentor and mold to the person I want to perform the essential functions of the position.

    And when this economy turns around and I get the chance to hire, that's my strategy.
    I feel the same way as RJ. If it's an entry-level position, I'm hiring a recent grad.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  21. #46
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I feel the same way as RJ. If it's an entry-level position, I'm hiring a recent grad.
    The issue is what does an entry-level planner do. Some places will hire a recent grad, but not everyone. If my budget is only for entry level, but I've been short staffed and people are tired and we need talent, I'm not hiring a recent grad. Lots of places just like that right now, and more will be joining that group real soon. That is: what is the ratio of places that need entry-level vs everyone else.

    That is the issue. That is the context of this market. The LinkedIn, the wide net, the enthusiasm, the skills, the TEAM meme, all these matter. Who you know.

    Let us keep it real for the newbs. Much of your work is in your network. IMHO.

  22. #47
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    I had an entry level position to fill shortly after the economy went south. Like RJ suggests, I made the decision to go with a recent grad. I got a ton of resumes from experienced planners (not to mention architects, engineers, and people who obviously were applying to fufill their unemployement compensation requirements), but did not give them much consideration. One of the main factors was that I didn't want to hire someone who was going to leave as soon as the economy got better, and who, in his or her own mind, was "too good" for the job and would be uncooperative. I wanted someone who would grow into the job and who I could bring along as a member of the team. The results have spoken for themselves.

    I expect this person will move on in a while, because my jurisdiction does not have much of a career ladder for him to follow and he is a talented, hard worker who can go far in planning. If and when he leaves, I will repeat with another entry level planner.

    That said, I've found an amazing and unwarranted sense of entitlement and arrogance in many entry level applicants. A little humility with a "I want to learn" attitude goes a long way.

  23. #48
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I'm going to put a different twist on this issue.

    If I were given the opportunity to recruit and fill an entry level position, I'm not so sure I would hire an "experienced" planner, even though I know they're out there. Reason? I don't want a career planner coming in with their baggage and pre-conceived notions of "...how it should be done. Here's how we did it at my last employer." I would be more inclined to hire a recent grad (for an entry level position), that I can mentor and mold to the person I want to perform the essential functions of the position.

    And when this economy turns around and I get the chance to hire, that's my strategy.
    I agree with RJ, plus I don't want someone second guessing me or being a potential rival. I'd rather have a newbie who is just happy to have a foot in the door.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  24. #49
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    It's all a matter of attitude

    I understand a lot of newbies feeling discouraged, I'm in the same position. But here's my take:

    -just to pay the bills right now I'm doing 2 jobs, one being a low paying internship in planning, the other waiting tables. On an average week I am working 70+ hours sometimes until 1am just to wake up at 6am for the other job.

    -I have been networking and maintaining a positive attitude despite this, and it has been paying off in the form of interviews. I've been trying to get entry level work since May last year and only now have I been seeing results (it takes time and patience to learn how to effectively apply and get an employers attention).

    -I see all this as a huge asset in the future. I'm barely even getting my feet wet in this field and I already have battle scars (figuratively, of course). It's not like life is only going to be hard now and then poof a job comes and everything is ok. So you better believe that the harder it gets, the greater my motivation will be to compete in this field. The less jobs there are now, the shorter the ladder will be to the top.

    -Suck it up! If it was easy to get a job then it wouldn't be all that rewarding to get one!

  25. #50
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    While i agree with both Btrage, Ottis and RJ on hiring a recent grad for an entry level position (and if i were a hiring manager I would also lean the same way), I completely see and agree with CoolGI. If an agency has been hit hard (mine has with massive layoffs) but somehow managed funding for a body but has a very high and complicated work load. My boss went with talent versus molding (but it helped that i only had limited exposure to the public sector) and came in with the blank slate mentality versus "this is how we did it at my old job"
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