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Applying for a demotion?

bentobox34

Cyburbian
Messages
63
Points
4
Anyone out there voluntarily sought out a position that was a "demotion" from the current position (e.g. senior planner at one agency to associate planner at another agency)? What was your reason for this, and were you successful in landing the job? How did you "sell" the potential employer on this?

Employers - Would you look twice at an applicant seeking a demotion or is this an instant disqualification? What would you look for to reassure you that the applicant would be a good fit?
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,452
Points
48
I have considered this a number of times. Demotion can be in a number of senses (work load, responsibility, leadership, pay, etc.). If you can explain away why you would make this move, I have have not seen any issues. Where I would have issues hiring someone would be if they are looking to set it on cruise until their retirement, or generally want to be flaky. If you are doing it for family reasons, stress reasons, or locational reasons (wanting to be closer to home, around more often, etc.), I don't see any issues.

Personally I would take a pay cut to commute less or have less night meetings. Unfortunately that job doesn't exist where I am at. If it did, I would consider being "demoted".
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,002
Points
48
I took a job where I am 3 people down from the city manager and though I love not being in charge, and I am doing good work, I think I may want to be in charge again soon to be 2 people down but mostly because I don't want to break in a new boss

I know @TOFB did it and seems happy

I think you have to shy away from saying it's a demotion to you when applying and interviewing - it's more to the point of I want to be here and do good work - if they get an inkling you think it's a step down, then yeah they will blow you off
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,305
Points
27
I moved from a high stress director job to a free-flowing job managing a newly-formed design center in my home town for $25K less. 13 years later, the design center is gone and somehow I am back to senior manager in the same organization with some, but not all of the stresses of directorship. I complain, but shouldn't. I make $30K more than when I left the director job so no complaints. But they guy who took my assistant planning director job in the gig before is making $30K more than me now . . . . I know, never mind.
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
445
Points
12
Yes, people do this all the time if they want to or have to move to a new state or break into a different sector or planning area, especially one that is more competitive than the place where you currently live and work. Other people might accept a demotion title wise if it means the pay will be the same or higher, or other factors like commute distance, flex hours, lifestyle, type of work done, agency culture, benefits, etc.

At the first agency I worked for, there were plenty of people who moved from out of state and took a giant paycut for being there. They were ok with it because the cost of living was drastically lower, for a change of pace, or because they weren't planners by training so this was their opportunity to get their foot in the door.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
953
Points
20
Funny you should say ask this. After leaving a Senior Planner job where I project managed a combination of large development projects and super interesting neighborhood planning work and transitioning to a Planning Manager job where I supervise numerous planners but do little in the way of actual planning myself, the old Captain Kirk quote "Don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship" has been ringing in my head.

My next gig is probably years away, but I will probably want to find a way back onto the bridge at some point.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,322
Points
56
Funny you should say ask this. After leaving a Senior Planner job where I project managed a combination of large development projects and super interesting neighborhood planning work and transitioning to a Planning Manager job where I supervise numerous planners but do little in the way of actual planning myself, the old Captain Kirk quote "Don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship" has been ringing in my head.

My next gig is probably years away, but I will probably want to find a way back onto the bridge at some point.
From Star Trek "Beyond" (2016)

Captain James T. Kirk : Vice Admirals don't fly, do they?
Commodore Paris : No. They don't.
Captain James T. Kirk : Well, no offense, ma'am, but... where's the fun in that?
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,691
Points
24
When the greeter position comes open in my department I'm half-joking about applying for it
At some point in my life, after I retire from Planning, I think I would actually enjoy an Executive Assistant or Admin position in government. I'm very organized and I know I would be good at it; I'm just not sure that a municipality would take me seriously when I say 'yes, I used to be in a position that was one person away from the CM; now I just want to come in and help the office run more efficiently".
 
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