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

  1. #51
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    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.
    Off-topic:
    Otis, are we the same person?


    I completely agree - some of this gets chalked up to the new generation (what are the current 20-something's called now?) which was a thread unto itself

    in the end, I know we talk about your resume, your cover, etc etc. but my first job out of school was literally pounding the pavement - it was high 80's and times were hot and cookin' and after going to about a dozen firms, one picked me up that needed help and a draftsperson I became (that's how long ago it was, ) - the point is, it was pure luck - the only reason I stood out was I was young, willing to work and had basic drafting skills and they were busy

    other private sector work came by recruitment, I got pulled and transferred around where was billable work - once you get into the system and you are good at what you do, they all call each other (it's a small world in Boston) and would say, hey, I am low on billables but i have this person who can do this and this, you got any work for her and off I'd go - it shows a checkered resume on my LinkedIn account but I loved every opportunity I had

    when I got my first planning ob in the public sector, the only reason I got it was connections - I had been out of work on medical/maternity issues for a year and I was out of the professional network, forgot how to talk right even - the only reason I know I got that job was I called in a chip I had of someone I knew that knew the Director personally - otherwise I know I never would have got that job

    the next municipal position and the one I have now were from head-hunters who contacted me

    so it's luck, connections that gets you in the door and then yes, interviewing well and having a decent professional past also helps

  2. #52
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    Off-topic:
    Otis, are we the same person?
    You decide: in next week's paper I likely will be called out for "misrepresenting" what our ZO requires.

  3. #53
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    You decide: in next week's paper I likely will be called out for "misrepresenting" what our ZO requires.
    Off-topic:
    why yes, same here, creepy

  4. #54
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by rover View post
    To be blunt...I don't see how you have a chance. I don't see how you'll even get an interview. I've got an MA in Geography, and Boston has been one of my targeted places. I'm 8 months in with NO job and 4 interviews (1 with a planning agency!!!).
    I've been targeting MPAC (in Boston) for 2 years!!!!!!!!!!!
    Planning is dead, entry level=impossible.
    This for people WITH planning degrees/intern experience.
    MAPC happens to be an extremely popular and sought after place to work. They actually do cool things over there in a slightly relaxed atmosphere. It's like a planner's dream job. That and the fact there are three accredited schools and two non accredited urban planning/policy schools in the area. What did you expect?

    You just have to market yourself better. What other things do you have besides your degree? Usually, people who network well get the jobs first so it can't hurt to start.

  5. #55
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Slideruler View post
    MAPC happens to be an extremely popular and sought after place to work. They actually do cool things over there in a slightly relaxed atmosphere. It's like a planner's dream job.
    MAPC is a planner's dream job because the work is entirely divorced from reality. Regional planning schemes that never come to fruition are cool though, I'll give you that.

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