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Thread: Director to Non-Director Position

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Director to Non-Director Position

    I am the Planning Director for a small city. I do not like it and I am looking for other jobs. What's more, I've been getting bad feedback from my bosses that they are not satisfied with my work. How bad do you all think it looks for a Director to be applying for Senior Planner positions? I justify it in my cover letters that I want to be in a community whose values are more in line with my own and I am willing to take a pay cut in exchange if I have to. Is this an acceptable justification? Its true. I just don't think I'm extroverted enough for this job. I'd rather make less money and have less responsibility. Anyone else ever been in this position?

  2. #2
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Lyburnum View post
    ...... I just don't think I'm extroverted enough for this job. I'd rather make less money and have less responsibility. Anyone else ever been in this position?
    As a hiring authority, that attitude bothers me.

    Good luck, nonetheless.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I tend to agree with RJ. The way you describe it - "values are more in line with my own" - raises a red flag. Does this person realize we are in a profession that deals with conflicting interests. Are they too ideological? It would make me inclined to pass over your resume.

    Are there differences in the community in which you work, versus the ones in which you are applying for jobs? Moving from a director in a community of 10,000 people to a senior planner in a community of 100,000 people would not seem unusual. Moving from a director position to a long range planner position, because that is the aspect of planning you find most interesting would not raise an eyebrow. Moving from a director position in Mississippi to a senior planner position in Colorado, because you prefer to live in Colorado, would make a great deal of sense.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks for the frank feedback. I have not stated in a cover letter the thought of "less responsibility / less pay". And I definitely won't in the future. The main difference between where I work and where I've applied is that here I have enough staff to keep our heads above water doing development review. Places I've applied to appear to value planning more as measured by what I find on their departmental websites and on Google street view. Those indicators could be deceptive, sure.

  5. #5
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    As a reminder: we make recommendations and offer arguments to do the right thing through persuasion. Bureaucrats are not policy makers. If you want to establish policy, get elected.

    Again, best of luck.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    that attitude bothers me.
    .
    Not wanting to be a PD any more? Or is it a rule that people should want more responsibility and not want less? Or the wording is inappropriate to get past HR filters?
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    As a hiring authority, that attitude bothers me.

    Good luck, nonetheless.
    Why does it bother you? Lots of PDs spent far more time on public admin than actually meat and potatoes planning. If that's your thing, great, but otherwise, I'd imagine that it could be suffocating. The guy is just being honest, and perhaps he has a point: if he's in a community where's he reduced to the position of a bureaucratic functionary or as a yes man for bad planning practices, then who could blame him for wanting to jump ship.

    OP, what is it about the community that is out of line with your values?

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