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Thread: Making the next step in my career...

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    Making the next step in my career...

    Hello everyone,

    To set the table - I am a relatively young planner (I have just under 2 years experience in planning/zoning and an MS) but life has recently got in the way of my job and I found out I will need to move to be with my S.O. as she just accepted a dream job in another state (only from CT to RI, but I'm not one for a long commute...). My question is - what kind of job should I be looking for at this stage of my career? I have found a huge range of requirements in job postings - but I wanted to see what everyone thinks as far as realistic chances at landing a new job in a new state. Ideally I would have liked to stay in my current position for another year or so, but I have found some postings that seem to provide me realistic chances at some Planner 1 type jobs. Thoughts? Recommendations? Brutal honesty?

    Thanks for the help!

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    You should easily get a planner I job anywhere. Except California. California is weird.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    You have a legit reason to quit and move. As long as there are no question marks on your work history, you should be ok at Planner 1.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement. And yeah - California isn't my goal.

    My boss knows about my family situation and said I will receive a "sparkling recommendation" from him for a new position.

    On a side note - I work in a more rural area at the moment but I'm sending applications to some higher density areas. From a hiring standpoint, does work experience in a more rural area play the same as if I worked for a larger municipality? Not to say we don't have our own hardships in my current Town... and I know I can use those experiences in my interviewing.

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CT_Planner View post
    Thanks for the words of encouragement. And yeah - California isn't my goal.

    My boss knows about my family situation and said I will receive a "sparkling recommendation" from him for a new position.

    On a side note - I work in a more rural area at the moment but I'm sending applications to some higher density areas. From a hiring standpoint, does work experience in a more rural area play the same as if I worked for a larger municipality? Not to say we don't have our own hardships in my current Town... and I know I can use those experiences in my interviewing.
    Depends on what you call rural. I'm in the middle of Kansas. I've also worked for a large suburb. My experience, bigger cities want experience with site plans, platting, zoning, etc. and prefer some decent project examples. You can't just list out that one McDonald's you worked on. Basically you have to translate that you do the same work, it's just as complicated, if not more so because of the limited resources, you just might not have the same volume of work. For example, I talk about plats and the difficulties I have with gas line easements, levees, and making sure there is adequate drainage for the roads. I try to avoid talking about the number of lots because I do plats of 10-20 lots more often than the 100-1000 lots I did at my last job.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    Depends on what you call rural. I'm in the middle of Kansas. I've also worked for a large suburb. My experience, bigger cities want experience with site plans, platting, zoning, etc. and prefer some decent project examples. You can't just list out that one McDonald's you worked on. Basically you have to translate that you do the same work, it's just as complicated, if not more so because of the limited resources, you just might not have the same volume of work. For example, I talk about plats and the difficulties I have with gas line easements, levees, and making sure there is adequate drainage for the roads. I try to avoid talking about the number of lots because I do plats of 10-20 lots more often than the 100-1000 lots I did at my last job.
    Makes sense. I don't think I'll have an issue applying my experience to a larger city... just want to get the chance to do so in an interview. My current Town is ~15,000 people, which is small for NE, but not as small as some others. A target city would be in the 40-70k range in population. I also recognize that larger cities have more staff to work on this stuff... which makes me feel better (currently our planning staff is only me, the director, and our secretary, so we are responsible for literally everything).

    That does make me feel better though. I wasn't sure if I was going to have a lot of trouble trying to change jobs at this point in my career...

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    You should be OK. However, RI, like many smaller states, is a bit insular when it comes to planning jobs. So you may have to get out and network a bunch.

    Depending on where you are living, I wouldn't rule out the south coast of Massachusetts as well. New Bedford and Fall River, as well as the smaller towns around there, are close to most of RI.
    Don't read the comments section. You want to, but don't do it.

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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    You should be OK. However, RI, like many smaller states, is a bit insular when it comes to planning jobs. So you may have to get out and network a bunch.

    Depending on where you are living, I wouldn't rule out the south coast of Massachusetts as well. New Bedford and Fall River, as well as the smaller towns around there, are close to most of RI.
    Thanks. I have been searching in those areas as well - just playing the waiting game at this point...

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    You should be OK. However, RI, like many smaller states, is a bit insular when it comes to planning jobs. So you may have to get out and network a bunch.

    Depending on where you are living, I wouldn't rule out the south coast of Massachusetts as well. New Bedford and Fall River, as well as the smaller towns around there, are close to most of RI.
    I agree with my friend to the south of me

    RI is a great state to work in, I am told, so I hope you find something!
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I agree with my friend to the south of me

    RI is a great state to work in, I am told, so I hope you find something!
    Glad to hear that! Thanks - will try to follow up here to guide some others in my shoes.

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