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Thread: Getting kicked upstairs

  1. #1

    Getting kicked upstairs

    Watching Southland with dad (a retired cop) last night. I noticed that there were several actors who were playing street cops. In real life, people that age would no longer be on the street, but be behind a desk or retired. The same way for fireman. There comes an age when you are either in management or out. Do you think that's the same for planning? Is there an age when either you are an AD or a PD or you are out of the profession?
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    This is a great question... maybe one that belongs as much in Career Development as it does here. My thought is this: this work is not physical in the same way that police or firefighting work is, and thus a long as one's mental faculties are adequately sharp, there isn't any reason why one couldn't be a 50 year old Planner II. Would that suck? Well, I'd certainly say so, but sometimes work is just there to pay the bills. I would expect to see more and more of this kind of thing in today's nonexistent planning job market. 'Up our Out' implies a mobility and meritocracy that doesn't always exist outside of police/fire/military.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The AD is 2 yrs older than me, and the PD is 5 yrs younger.
    So what ?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    When you're a young planner, you probably think that older planners who aren't AD or PD should get out and make room. Planning just doesn't have the physical requirements that fire fighting or police work has so there's no reason for people who don't want to be in management (or aren't management prospects) to get out.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    When you're a young planner, you probably think that older planners who aren't AD or PD should get out and make room. Planning just doesn't have the physical requirements that fire fighting or police work has so there's no reason for people who don't want to be in management (or aren't management prospects) to get out.
    In addition there are a lot fewer planners than there are fire or police officers. Therefore there are less opportunities to move up, some planning departments also operate this way on purpose. Politics plays more of a role in planning advancements than it does in fire or police departments where there are tests to move up. Many police and fire departments also have enticements that allow folks to retire early. A friend of mine for example was able to retire early simply because he got shot one too many times! (no kidding). Now he is in law school.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I'm still trying to come to grips with being the youngest on staff here... and the MANAGER at the same time.
    Almost reluctant to tell my staff my age.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  7. #7
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    No. i've worked in plenty of planning agencies where people are regular planners until they retire. One thing about planning that is a little different is that in many instances the PD position is so political and subject to termination on a whim that plenty of people I know (myself included) are not at all interested in becoming a director. I've worked places where every single election that results in new electeds brings about a firing of the current director. who would to be in a position like that?
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  8. #8
    maudit anglais
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    No..every place I've worked (even the consultancy) has one or two crotchety old guys (it's always a guy) who've been stuck at an intermediate level forever. I'm probably stereotyping here but they tend to be policy wonks with not much in the way of social skills or interest in stepping into a managerial role.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    When you're a young planner, you probably think that older planners who aren't AD or PD should get out and make room.
    Those old farts should get out and make room

    I actually know two retired Law Enforcement Officers who, up until their retirement, were still in a very active role. They certainly had positions above that of just an officer, but it wasn't like they were forced to work at a desk at 40, or even past 50 and their retirement. I think that there was a balance between moving up into management roles without being too far above the radar, so sometimes you'll see older employees who have no desire to be a police chief, or a planning director, etc.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    No. i've worked in plenty of planning agencies where people are regular planners until they retire.
    There's a lady here who has been a planning tech for 30 years... This is also a department that hasn't had a PD in well over 5 years. The reason for no PD is of course entirely political though.

    But yeah, I think getting kicked upstairs mainly occurs in physical professions.

  11. #11
    For the ADs and PDs out there, how old were you when you got your first AD or PD gig? I was 34
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I've seen plenty of folks, male and female, retire as associate or senior planners. Not uncommon.


    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    For the ADs and PDs out there, how old were you when you got your first AD or PD gig? I was 34
    At my first PD job I was 43 yo. I'm a late bloomer.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  13. #13
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    For the ADs and PDs out there, how old were you when you got your first AD or PD gig? I was 34
    While not in title, my previous position was essentially an AD, which I started at age 26.

    My current CDD position started at age 37.
    "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

  14. #14
    I was 40 when I took the AD position and just took the PD position this month. At 51, a late bloomer. (Actually I was blocked by a pair of guys with about 600-years experience ....)
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    Abraham Lincoln

  15. #15
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    In the places I've worked so far, there wasn't much longevity in the lower levels of the departments. The AD and Dir. positions had longevity. Before, I was laid off in 2010, I was ready to be content to settle into my Planner 1 position for the long haul (I had it down to a science), but I was able to move into my current Director position at 32, which helped me skip the intermediate 10-15 years of "rising" or trying to rise through the ranks.
    Last edited by mendelman; 19 Jan 2012 at 12:57 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I kinda lucked into my first PD position at the age of 28. But it wasn't a typical PD position as I only had a staff of 1.5 and I was kept out of the loop on a lot of things. I was (and am) 33 when I took my now CDD position. There's no way I could've got this job without have the previous PD position under my belt.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  17. #17
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    At work, upstairs is not where I get kicked.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  18. #18
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    AD - 35
    PD - 46

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    I didn't practice planning long enough to move into an AD or PD position, or even make partner on the private sector side. In my current position, as well as my last two planning jobs (all three are private sector) I am hired as the jack-of-all-trades worker. Since I never say to no anything and work in so many different fields, planning and now non-planning, I take on more responsibility (and compensation) but not necessarily manegerial skills, so it's more of a lateral move. In planning I found several ceilings to advancement: too many planners were comfortable working at the senior level and "maybe" AD positions but wouldn't budge beyond that. I think there are plenty of opportunities for advancement in my new job, although I do GIS work here primarily to pay the bills. I am very interested in learning management skills, but I am planning on saving that for my MBA (or possibly a second masters in management) when I go back to school in a few years.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

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