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Thread: How long did you stay in your first planning job?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Mar 2005
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    Job 1 - 14 months
    Job 2 - 13 months
    Job 3 - 5 years
    Job 4 - 13 years
    Job 5 - 3 years
    Job 6 - 5 years & counting

    I was the second choice for Job 2 when I got Job 1. They called when they got an opening and I went. Job 2 was fine, but wife wanted to go back home so we left when and opportnuity came up. Job 4 was a great opportunity for advancement. They recruited me for Job 5. Economy tanked and moved to Job 6.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  2. #27
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break
    A little under two years.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    May 2004
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)

    Revolving door

    First job was as a planning technician. The director left five months into my tenure, so there was no one to realize that it was time for my six-month review. I was ready to move on (there are only so many times that I could tolerate being assigned to bring someone a cup of coffee or dust the shelving going up in the conference room). I inquired about the review, and one was hastily pulled together where they gave me two more months free ride to "improve." (If memory serves, the HR department was one guy retired from the federal government, with no tangible background in personnel matters.)

    The menial tasks continued, the project workload was not there (perhaps four hours worth of work a day at this small city), and my suite-mates continued their policy of after-lunch cigars. Yes, in-office smoking used to be legal! I was greatly relieved when the eight months rolled around and they offered me the opportunity to resign (or be fired) either this week or next. For several years I stayed in touch with the graphics guy, a fixture and the institutional memory, and he related the revolving door tales of subsequent planning techs. "The new gal mentioned that she is looking for a new job after [the CD director] asked her to get him a cup of coffee."

    I've worked as a planning planner three more times, and each gig lasted only a few months. The most recent time was due to budget cuts, and the one before that was truncated by the opportunity to practically double my pay in the private sector. My longest job was the project manager gig for a wireless company, and in a few months I will have been gone for the same length of time that I was there (3-1/2 years). Longest job was the 15 years of self-employment.

    In my view, if a potential gig only looks at the dates on my resume, I don't want to work there. It's more about what I've accomplished rather than the time frame. But then I skipped 2nd grade, finished three years of transferred college in two, etc.

  4. #29
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    5 years.....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  5. #30
    Sep 2010
    About 45 minutes southeast of Thibodaux, Lousiana
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I appreciate the insight.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
    Dec 2010
    I'm gettin' there
    My first two planning internships out of school were 6 months each. First real planning job lasted almost exactly one year. Current job is still under a year. I think it's more normal nowadays to have to bounce around to get experience.

    My experience with local government thus far has been positive in many ways, but so often management is slow to change and as a result fails to retain or attract talent. Being young and trying to get your foot in the door can really be a challenge, but mobility and energy have always been my greatest assets. I'm not afraid to move halfway across the county (and I have) to chase after an opportunity and I try to take on any and every challenge my department needs, even if it wasn't what I had in mind when I got started in planning.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  7. #32
    Jul 2008
    Illinois as of 1/1/09

    How much of a salary increase would you need to switch jobs? Did you switch jobs because of money or advancement? Have any of you lived in areas where there are no other planning jobs so any change requires a full move - when would you consider moving?

  8. #33
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Apr 1996
    New Hampshire
    Quote Originally posted by paiste13 View post

    How much of a salary increase would you need to switch jobs? Did you switch jobs because of money or advancement? Have any of you lived in areas where there are no other planning jobs so any change requires a full move - when would you consider moving?
    When I switched from my first job to my second job, I got an $11K bump in salary...and over the course of 11 years it increased another $20K (granted much of that was a reclassification of my position mid way through my tenure).

    From my second job to my current job, it was a $17K bump in salary.

    Both moves were for advancement and salary purposes. Did not move for either job (I live in a central part of southern NH, and within commuting distance to most of the good jobs in the state).
    "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

  9. #34
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    5.5 years and counting.

    I was getting antsy to jump ship earlier this year, but I then received a significant promotion and corresponding salary increase and the feeling mostly went away.

    Quote Originally posted by paiste13 View post
    How much of a salary increase would you need to switch jobs? Did you switch jobs because of money or advancement? Have any of you lived in areas where there are no other planning jobs so any change requires a full move - when would you consider moving?
    It would take a very small salary increase for me to consider moving to a position in the small downtown that I can walk to from my home if one were to become available. Beyond that, and besides a few large foundations I would really be interested in working for, it would take at least an additional $15k to get me to go elsewhere now. I don't earn the most, but I like the security and routine of my current position, and that security and routine is worth quite a bit to me.
    1 3 5
    2 4 6 R

  10. #35
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    I really haven't worked as part of a planning department or firm. Affordable housing is my preferred track and that's been in a variety of places:

    2.5 years on a now tabled redevelopment plan (w/Dragon Lady)
    2 years on as a researcher for an epic analysis of the foreclosure crisis in NJ
    1 year as a half time intern at real world pay for the state housing finance agency
    1 year at a non-profit CDC that was great until my ED was pushed out and replaced by a psychopath so I left for greener pastures
    1 year in my current position and I will be her til they drag me out of the office

    The range between the lowest paid job and my current salary is $20,000. Sometimes your sanity wins out over pay and long term opportunity. It's not always about the money. They got me cheap where I am now but a) I needed a job, b) it's a great environment to work in, c) I have wide latitude in my decision making and project management, d) I have wonderful senior management, e) the benefits package is pretty awesome and low cost. As I have been busy either preserving funding, getting new funding, and always looking to grow the activities in my division over the past year I've saved $750K in funding, gained $500K in new funding, and created a small but increasing stream of revenue for a program I now supervise.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  11. #36
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    I had a couple short internships and landed a job in the suburbs of Phoenix for 6 years. It started out good, but the well was poisoned with a change of leadership and bad budget cuts. I held on for the pay, but was laid off when the next budget mistake came up. I jumped over to my new job in Kansas for several reasons. It bumped me into a director's gig, paid close to the same, and made my family happy. I think sometimes you have to move for the job or promotion. I tend to think if you can try to stick it out for 2 years before you jump ship, but there are always times when you just have to run or take the job of your life. I think I stuck around too long, but it may have helped in getting the job I have now.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  12. #37
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    My first paid gig was technically an internship that lasted for a year. I also picked up a 2nd paid internship that overlapped with the first and lasted for 6 months.

    I was only at my first gig for 6 months. The political situation there was unstable (and unethical) and it was just an all around terrible place to work so I got out
    at the first opening.

    I was in my 2nd job for 3 years.

    My 3rd was 2 years then the subprime crisis hit, people stopped building and I was out of work for ~a year.

    My current job is coming up on 3 years but I'm eager to make a move.

  13. #38
    9 years, but it was unique circumstances. I moved up in the organization and was relatively close to my family.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  14. #39
    Sep 2012

    Career Upgrade

    everyone needs a progress in their career, so if you feel that there is no positive progress in your career then you can shift to other employer that could enhance your career and better progress for future professional position. The ideal maturity of experience in one company is at least 3 years, more years mean high experience rate.

  15. #40
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Emerald Coast
    Quote Originally posted by guile42 View post
    ...... more years mean high experience rate.
    I think that goes without saying. But I could be wrong.
    Habitual Offender

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