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Does anyone actually like planning?

TribePlanner

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
I have to say I was excited when I found out about planning 3 years ago. It seemed to combine all the fields I was interested in: architecture, government, history, sociology, etc., and it really seemed like a job where I could make a difference, albeit in a small way.

I interned at a planning department for a semester and met some great people, but I only dabbled in actual planning work. I am now working at my first job as a legal researcher for 30K planning on applying to schools for either an MUP or MHP in 2011.

However, reading this forum over the past year and a half has made me discouraged. It seems like planning is a low-paid, thankless profession. The politics don't bother me, but it just sounds like overall it is very hard to be happy in this profession. My question is this: are there any happy planners out there, and if so, what do you like about your jobs? On the flip side, if anyone is extremely unhappy and has any suggestions for me, that would be great too. I know this is a recession and a bad time to be a planner, but are people happy they chose planning as a profession, or is there some better option out there? Can anyone suggest any resources that will help me decide if planning really is my calling?

Sorry for the long post, I'm just trying to gather as much information as I can before applying and committing to a grad program in planning. Thanks in advance.
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,335
Points
24
I am a happy a planner. Yes I wish I made more money, and yes, finding a new job that is 5 days a week and pays more has been daunting for over a year, and yes, this job won't make me rich, but overall I am pretty satisified with my job 5 of the 6 years (this past year has sucked balls due to wage cuts/hours cut, etc).

I love my work simply because i deal with tangible end of planning, the design side, land use, urban character and form and long-range planning. I have seen streetscape plans i have worked on from conceptual level become reality. I have see the housing layouts and and downtown facade changes come to life.

On the other hand I have seen plans i have created with good intentions gone terribly wrong and have used those negatives to not make the same mistakes the next go around.

I work in the private sector. If i were in the public sector, simply being a "processor" bugs me, however i know it is a fact of life working with an agency. As with some clients, if you can show them the big picture and they change plans from when they initially submitted something and the change is for the better, it is a win in my book. Others can chime in, but minus the economy I have had some truly great moments as a planner.
 

TribePlanner

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
Thanks! Would a design-oriented program such as harvard's prepare me for work in the private sector, or would I require an MArch? MArch is intimidating for me because even though I took some arch classes in undergrad I'd still have to go through the 3.5 year program.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,053
Points
49
The job I had before my last job, I was fairly happy. Occasionally frustrated, because the pay was lower compared to my peers, I never went to any conferences, and I dealt with more than my fair share of elected officials and a general public that often just could not or did not see the big picture; it wasn't a very progressive organization or jurisdiction. However, I really enjoyed the work I did, drafting comprehensive and area plans for different communities in the jurisdiction's area. I wasn't stressed out at work, my phone wasn't ringing off the hook, and I got the chance to be creative and innovative. I'm very proud of the work I did when I was there.
 

beach_bum

Cyburbian
Messages
3,427
Points
20
I like you found planning and loved that it combined several fields I was interested in. I am happy working as a public sector planner, sure I wish the money was a little better and there was a little more room for advancement at this time, but I am willing to pay my dues in the mean time. I do process for about 50% of my job, but during that time I work with many different people to make the places the best they can be and leave a good legacy after the project is finished. I actually get to be quite creative (more so than the private sector I would argue) because of my position at the table, I am not responsible to the client, but to the general public who wants things to look nice and function well in the community I work for.

It can be a little misleading on this message board because who is motivated to write when they are happy, its usually when things aren't going quite right. We all vent here, and I'm guilty as charged, however, planning is not unlike other professions in development and is experiencing a downturn in available jobs. If you love planning go for it, you should be in a career that makes you happy. Not many fields have weathered this recession very well....planning is in the same boat.
 
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Tobinn

Cyburbian
Messages
314
Points
11
You know, it's like any job - there are ups and downs. The happiest I was as a planner was when I was working on the Design Guidelines for my fair City. I also enjoyed helping people come to workable solutions with their site plans. I did not enjoy angry people and my phone ringing off the hook; fairly obvious, I know..

Now, I've been on both sides of the fence; seven years in the public sector and almost five years with the private. All in all, I prefer the public side.

If you're looking for the big bucks in the planning field I suggest you get a law degree and become a land use attorney.

We all vent here
BBs right, this may not be best barometer for job satisfaction as this forum can serve as a bit of release valve (in addition to being an excellent sounding board for ideas and thoughts - and they said I couldn't kiss butt).

If you hang out at a doctors office you might come to the conclusion that the world is just full of sick people.
 
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arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,335
Points
24
Thanks! Would a design-oriented program such as harvard's prepare me for work in the private sector, or would I require an MArch? MArch is intimidating for me because even though I took some arch classes in undergrad I'd still have to go through the 3.5 year program.
I have no clue. I don't know your background nor want to specialize in the private sector. I just hold a BS in City and Regional Planning from a top notch school in CA.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
You know, it's like any job - there are ups and downs.
Yes, and like beach bum said, this is a vent. I bet most any job related forum, for any profession would be a vent.

And as far as liking planning... I have had jobs I hated, and others I have loved. Currently, I am very happy [although I would take more money].

I love planning and could not or would want to imagine doing anything else (except for maybe long haul trucking, like RJ said.]
 

nrschmid

Cyburbian
Messages
2,856
Points
20
I love what I do, and I am very fortunate to have a boss to keep my busy with planning work. However, I am very fed up with the overall long-term instability of the profession-at-large. The same goes for architecture and landscape architecture. I'm not planning on going anywhere for a long time (so boss, when you read this, I'm not deserting you, bud) but I still don't see myself ulimately retiring as a planner.
 

Tobinn

Cyburbian
Messages
314
Points
11
I always wanted to be...

I never wanted to be a planner anyway. I always wanted to be.....a lumberjack.
Leaping from tree to tree! As they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia! With my best girl by my side!
The Larch!
The Pine!
The Giant Redwood tree!
The Sequoia!
The Little Whopping Rule Tree!
We'd sing! Sing! Sing!
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Messages
25,988
Points
48
It seems like planning is a low-paid,
as a rule, yes.
thankless profession.
Not always.
The politics don't bother me, but....
Gotta be careful about this kinda statement. We (and thousands of other planners) may have heard this statement from others - or maybe even from their own lips (I've said it aloud but later had to admit to myself its' falsity) - but there are degrees of political unpleasantness. I don't know a soul on earth who isn't bothered by some of it, particulary when those politics involve someone trying (rhymes with 'lying') to make you look as bad as possible in order to take you out or cow you into doing what they want.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Moderator
Messages
10,799
Points
29
I like what I do, I'm a decent planner (stop it) and I have moments of accomplishment, I am at the level (Director) that I said I wanted to be before 35 yo, I do not have a Plan B (which I should since I have been a director for 10 years now) and yes I come here to vent and yet I wish I went to law school like my father told me...:-$
 

chocolatechip

Cyburbian
Messages
852
Points
15
I think a major reason why people might get burned out is the fact that all planning work is part of a larger political machine that has no long-term outlook and makes comparatively fickle decisions. We've all been trained according to various professional standards and so we recommend a course of action in line with that... however, this is not a technocratic society, and we very often do not put the smartest people in charge of public decisions.

In any case, I think being happy at work has more to do with the work environment itself; who you work with, your employer, how much autonomy you have (if you want it), the variety of tasks you can perform, and the level of challenges you are able to meet with your skills. Researchers have shown that when we are presented with challenging work and when we can meet those challenges with highly trained skills and accomplish something, it makes for the most satisfying kind of work. (I'm specifically referring to Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow".)

Unfortunately, planning does not often seem to fit this concept. Things can be challenging, for sure, but often I myself feel I don't really have the skills to do what I'm called upon to do, that much of what I do is to satisfice this larger political machine to fulfill legal responsibilities that really don't have anything to do with on-the-ground matters. Also, there is no immediate feedback, and no real outcome to point to and say "I did that." It's not the same as being a doctor, a carpenter, or even a heavy equipment operator, which are jobs that generally have high work satisfaction.
 

rcgplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,730
Points
18
I have been a planner for about 2 1/2 years now. I have been lucky to have 2 excellent employers. I enjoy my new job much more than my old job. I work for a small MPO and feel like I actually get to undertake real actual planning, versus working at a municipality where I was reviewing variances and development plans all day long . My employer believes in continuing education, webinars, classes, conferences. I have a great set of co-workers, all very smart and very good planners. I am not sure if I see myself being a planner for the next 40 years, but it may happen. Like luckless, I sometimes wish I would have went with my first career choice, law school. :-\
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
22
I very much like the work I do. I do not work for a municipality or for a private firm, but a non-profit which suits me well.

I wanted to comment that while people do complain about the lower pay, I have been trying to figure out lately if this is an aspect of planning specifically or the general economic performance of the last 10 years.

There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.

Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 -- and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.
The story is here.

I know for me personally, a lot of the soul searching I have done in the last few years has centered on trying to figure out if, despite going back to school for another graduate degree and still having limited earning power, the issue of lower income is MY fault for not marketing myself better, or if it is the product of other external forces (or a combo of the two).

I am realizing, more an more, that part of my perception of "failings" centers on comparing my income at my age with what my father accomplished. But we are the first generation where most do not expect and probably will not earn as much as their parents' generation, even with more education and training.

Not to be a huge downer, but if one is trying to choose their career path based on expected income, that could be a disappointing ride. The playing field seems very unknown right now. Personally, I don't know if architecture is going to lead to a higher income. I just read an article in the New York Times last week about an architect who took a chance going out on his own and last year earned $50k - more than he had earned working for any private firm. That's in New York City with a high cost of living! IF a professional architect sees $50k in NYC as having "made it," I'm not sure what that means for others who are not so lucky...

In my limited wisdom regarding our uncertain future, I say pursue the thing that interests you and the rest will fall into place. Earning good money is useful, but enjoying what you spend so much time doing is, for me, critical.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
928
Points
19
And once again, Chocolatechip for the win. Couldn't have said it better.

To build upon that, though: I've found that I've been challenged less frequently than I'm forced to endure. There's a difference. With a challenge, you meet it head on, struggle with it, and overcome it, and you grow. By endure, I mean that what the core elements of you're called upon to do aren't necessarily difficult in and of themselves, but the swirling political hurricane of an environment in which you do these tasks is relentlessly difficult and wears you out. It's also very difficult to feel any sense of ownership and utility for most of one's work products, as most of them end up collecting dust on a shelf. They just aren't interesting for the vast majority of the populace. And "ownership" over surviving a contentious public meeting? Heh, I don't think so.

And just so that I don't come across as relentless negative: while I now see the limitations of the urban planning field with very clear eyes, I would rather do this than, say, work for some random corporation creating TPS reports everyday. For all the BS, I think the job does satisfy some kind of psychological need that I have to make a difference in the world in a way that working strictly for the profit motive never could.
 
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chocolatechip

Cyburbian
Messages
852
Points
15
To build upon that, though: I've found that I've been challenged less frequently than I'm forced to endure. There's a difference. With a challenge, you meet it head on, struggle with it, and overcome it, and you grow. By endure, I mean that what the core elements of you're called upon to do aren't necessarily difficult in and of themselves, but the swirling political hurricane of an environment in which you do these tasks is relentlessly difficult and wears you out. It's also very difficult to feel any sense of ownership and utility for most of one's work products, as most of them end up collecting dust on a shelf. They just aren't interesting for the vast majority of the populace. And "ownership" over surviving a contentious public meeting? Heh, I don't think so.
I agree wholeheartedly. I've been enduring my present situation for about a year, and I'm way past being burned out. I felt like I was running on fumes 6 months ago... I don't know what I'm running on now.

I have a stack of public and agency comments on an EIR; the comments alone are about 5-6 inches high and it's been my task to respond to them. Line by line. Several times over. Because our client has a several bodies of lawyers reviewing my work, I basically have about half dozen different bosses, all critiquing my work, asking for further analysis, while adding little of value themselves. It's in their interests to just keep the thing going round and round because they get $300 an hour and have no end to their contract. So I'm at the bottom of the totem pole, doing most of the work and deriving the least satisfaction. In fact, it's like a reverse satisfaction, where instead of any kind of accomplishment, you measure your day by how more depressed and suicidal you feel at the end of it. My blood pressure has risen dangerously since I've been on this job, and the next time I see my doctor I know he's going to want me to start medication. Unfortunately, however, my employer cut my benefits a while back because health insurance was just too expensive. We stopped getting any bonuses, too, which would help me buy insurance. So now I've been on this downward financial slide for the past 2 years, no longer have health insurance for myself (can only afford it for my wife), am caught up in the job from hell, and am incurring health difficulties because of my work.

Anyway, I said more than I wanted to. But like others have said, this is a place to vent. So consider this a venting.

And just so that I don't come across as relentless negative: while I now see the limitations of the urban planning field with very clear eyes, I would rather do this than, say, work for some random corporation creating TPS reports everyday. For all the BS, I think the job does satisfy some kind of psychological need that I have to make a difference in the world in a way that working strictly for the profit motive never could.
Well consider yourself lucky. The whole notion of making a difference in the world is so comically distant, I feel bashful about how I saw things when I was in school. Right now, I feel I would make more of a difference playing a banjo on the street corner for handouts. Unfortunately, I don't know how to play the banjo. I can write a mean TPS report, though.
 
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user123

Cyburbian
Messages
25
Points
2
Low pay?? Really, but isn't there a shortage of planners? What on average do you people earn or, classify as "low"
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
22
Low pay?? Really, but isn't there a shortage of planners? What on average do you people earn or, classify as "low"
I have never head anyone say there is a shortage of planners. I think its quite the opposite, which helps keep the market rate for services low.

Disclosure: I earn $40k and I'm 41. I get some other benefits not part of a typical package (free elementary education for my kids at a Montessori school, for example). And my health insurance is covered (though the rest of the family is not). But supporting a family of four in this city is a challenging task. And so, my wife also works FT.

If I were to work for our local CIty or County, with my experience and a Masters in planning, I would not expect to make as much as I do now (though they would likely cover the family's health benefits). Jobs I have seen that I would qualify for pay ~ $35k or so.
 

nrschmid

Cyburbian
Messages
2,856
Points
20
I have a stack of public and agency comments on an EIR; the comments alone are about 5-6 inches high and it's been my task to respond to them. Line by line. Several times over. Because our client has a several bodies of lawyers reviewing my work, I basically have about half dozen different bosses, all critiquing my work, asking for further analysis, while adding little of value themselves.
Well, bud, that's what environmental planning is! You also have CEQA to deal with, which is a headache in itself. EISs, ECADs, ESRs, FONSIs, etc. are really just a bunch of paperwork, research, verifying, and documenting. Personally, I found the work fascinating despite its drudgery. I learned the complexities of the environmental aspect on huge multi-county transportation projects. I am looking forward to working on one in the next few months here.

If you have an open contract with no fixed budget, project managers/principals are going to prolong and extend the project to bring in more money. It's a great business practice. If your firm works on expert witness, where litigation can drag on for years, it means more money for the firm!!! Granted, you don't easily see light at the end of the tunnel but the company is making money, which is good. As an entry-level planner in the private sector, it is not uncommon for a smaller chunk of your billable rate to go into your pocket: a rule of thumb is about one-third. The other two-thirds go to cover overhead, and some profits for the firm. As you probably noticed, the billable rates do not increase proportionately to the years of experience in the company.

This is just a scenario:

Entry level (1-3 years): 1X billable rate.
Mid-level (4-6 years): 1.25x billable rate
Senior-level (7-10 years): 1.5x billable rate
Prinicipal (varies): 2x-4x billable rate (if not more)

The principals keep a much bigger slice of their billable rates, since the grunts are absorbing most of the costs of running the company. In smaller firms, where principals have a much stronger grip on projects, its not uncommon for the people at the top to have the most hours. It's more money for the company. However, it can backfire when too many higher ups chomp into the budget leaving the grunts with many different tasks but fewer hours to complete them.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,053
Points
49
Low pay?? Really, but isn't there a shortage of planners? What on average do you people earn or, classify as "low"
In the US, there's a surplus of planners. Consider the number of positions advertised on the American Planning Association Web site (http://www.planning.org/jobs/search/) versus the Royal Town Planning Institute in the UK (http://jobs.planningresource.co.uk/), The UK has a smaller population, but there's far more planning jobs advertised.

There are extreme examples in this thread, I would consider a salary that would keep one from living a reasonably middle class lifestyle as "low". There's also the salaries that don't match up to the experience required for the job; for example, offering a salary typical for an entry level or move-up level (Planner II, Associate Planner) job for a senior or director level position.

In the public sector in the United States, planning salaries vary wildly state by state, with some states or regions being infamous for salaries that are quite low considering the cost of living. There's far more regional variation for planning salaries in the US than what I've seen for other English-speaking countries.
 

chocolatechip

Cyburbian
Messages
852
Points
15
Well, bud, that's what environmental planning is! You also have CEQA to deal with, which is a headache in itself. EISs, ECADs, ESRs, FONSIs, etc. are really just a bunch of paperwork, research, verifying, and documenting. Personally, I found the work fascinating despite its drudgery. I learned the complexities of the environmental aspect on huge multi-county transportation projects. I am looking forward to working on one in the next few months here.
That's part of what environmental planning is... response to comments is the worst part of it, in my opinion, and this is the job from hell, so it's like the worst part of a job from hell that's been going on for the past three years. The point at which I'd call it fascinating has long since passed.

As far as billing goes, I know exactly how much everyone in my company makes, what their billing rates are, how much goes to their maintenance and how much goes elsewhere. Right now, I am paid just above the entry level but am billed as a senior associate on most jobs. That doesn't bother me, though, because of some mitigating circumstances that are forcing things that way, including being happy to still have work. These days it seems like we work on one job to fund unpaid work on another job....
 

vxw

Cyburbian
Messages
65
Points
4
TribePlanner, no doubt, this forum is often depressing, kind of like a guilty pleasure, you read it anyways.:D

As for coping with hating the job... I have had a little experience with planning so far, mostly in research, and I'm pretty certain that was I was so low on the totem pole that I am actually in the ground. If I am not challenged at work, I will gladly save that brain power for until I get home, where I can spend time with my family, work on my own side projects, build furniture with friends. As long as you don't make your job your whole life, you won't hate it as much. That's just my take.

All the best my friend.

Btw, if you are unemployed (unfortunately, like me), sit in on some lectures at your local university, meet some new people, learn some new things. It sounds a bit nerdy, but it's quite fun actually.
 

newbieplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
66
Points
4
I took a planning class as part of my geography degree and decided to be a planner. I worked as an intern for a year, didn't have the money to go for my masters. My parents expected me to get a job right away and there were no planning schools within driving distance. . I only had the front desk, zoning permit tech experience, but because I worked there for a year, they took a leap of faith and hired me as a planner. For what little experience and age I have, I make great money (and would be making 40k if it weren't for the no raises last year or this coming year) considering my circumstances.

I'm doing site planning at the moment, which I found is not for me. I'd like to explore environmental/natural resource planning or even long range planning. I don't feel like it challenges me, but I like planning as a whole.

Our citizens are very involved in the planning process and can be very demanding for your time and attention. It can be a thankless job, and I find that we're always the "bad" guy when it comes to developments-no matter if the developer or another agency is holding up the project. However, I managed to make even the grumpy ones say "thank you" to me on occasion, or even vent while telling me it's not my fault.

My only gripe are late meetings. They can suck up a lot of your time especially when the ones running the meeting act as if that is the only place we'd rather be.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
4,925
Points
20
I'm going to go out on a limb and say I'm a happy planner. I have not always been a planner. I started my career in planning and was ignominiously "forced out" of a position I loved (see comments on "politics" throughout this thread). I was a little disillusioned, and I tried two other career paths (property insurance underwriting *yawn* and....are you ready for this? Pharmaceutical sales.) Public sector, making decent money, and I enjoy the variety of what I do. I miss the money in pharma, I won't lie, but I had to hate myself every day and it just wasn't worth it.
 

Richmond Jake

Cyburbian
Messages
18,171
Points
41
..... Pharmaceutical sales.....
[ot]Is it true what I hear about pharmaceutical salespeople? They're all female, tall, blonde, attractive, wear short skirts and low cut blouses, and pack nice cans? (We need a "can" smilie.)[/ot]
 

chocolatechip

Cyburbian
Messages
852
Points
15
[ot]Is it true what I hear about pharmaceutical salespeople? They're all female, tall, blonde, attractive, wear short skirts and low cut blouses, and pack nice cans? (We need a "can" smilie.)[/ot]
If it is true, you've just sexually harassed them! ;)
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
I will go out on a limb and say that I generally like planning. But I think I came to it somewhat jaded and am pleased when I can get anything done at all. I've started some projects that I am proud of and navigated others through a political nest and had them come out the other end somewhat intact. I've also helped a number of "good" development projects through a thicket of naysayers, and similarly stopped some "bad" development projects that seemed to have no way to stop them. Have I changed the world? A little bit, but not as much as I would like. But I usualy judge my performance by asking "am I doing a better job than I think someone else would do in this position?" and I usually find the answer to be yes.

My advice, for those who care:

1. Planning is politics- don't do it if you don't have some interest in political science.
2. Planners don't usually do the planning- politicians and community leaders do. Planners help the planning along and occasionally help them by coming up with good ideas
3. Don't expect to get credit for good ideas- in fact, you want them to be someone else's idea so there is some ownership of them in the community at large
4. It helps to be in charge of a staff that has a good work ethic and helps you along.
 

Clore

Cyburbian
Messages
193
Points
7
I have been a planner for about 2 1/2 years now. I have been lucky to have 2 excellent employers. I enjoy my new job much more than my old job. I work for a small MPO and feel like I actually get to undertake real actual planning, versus working at a municipality where I was reviewing variances and development plans all day long . My employer believes in continuing education, webinars, classes, conferences. I have a great set of co-workers, all very smart and very good planners. I am not sure if I see myself being a planner for the next 40 years, but it may happen. Like luckless, I sometimes wish I would have went with my first career choice, law school. :-\
Amen. I currently work for a municipality and basically shuffle paperwork around instead of actually doing planning (it's a story I won't get into here).

My last job was at a non profit where I did some comp planning, open space planning and preservation. Before that I did some economic development/historic pres planning for another nonprofit. I'd go back to that in a heartbeat.

What I've learned is I like planning... actual planning.. not site plan shuffling, minute taking or zoning permit processing.

My current employer keeps me locked in the office without chances to learn or network. Yuck.
 

TerraSapient

Cyburbian
Messages
2,588
Points
17
My blood pressure has risen dangerously since I've been on this job, and the next time I see my doctor I know he's going to want me to start medication. Unfortunately, however, my employer cut my benefits a while back because health insurance was just too expensive. We stopped getting any bonuses, too, which would help me buy insurance. So now I've been on this downward financial slide for the past 2 years, no longer have health insurance for myself (can only afford it for my wife), am caught up in the job from hell, and am incurring health difficulties because of my work.
ChocolateChip, my firm is hiring. It may not be the best job in the world, but the benefits are excellent, the bonuses are good, and its in lovely Hawaii. Don't stay at a job that makes you feel like that.
 

chocolatechip

Cyburbian
Messages
852
Points
15
ChocolateChip, my firm is hiring. It may not be the best job in the world, but the benefits are excellent, the bonuses are good, and its in lovely Hawaii. Don't stay at a job that makes you feel like that.
Thanks for the encouragement. I've been looking for other work for about 6 months now. At this point I'm almost ready to walk out of here and go work at a bakery.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
4,925
Points
20
[ot]Is it true what I hear about pharmaceutical salespeople? They're all female, tall, blonde, attractive, wear short skirts and low cut blouses, and pack nice cans? (We need a "can" smilie.)[/ot]
Sorry, I've been off-line for days but wanted to give you a response; if you add that they all majored in communications you'll be essentially correct. One more way in which I didn't fit the mold.....
 

Clore

Cyburbian
Messages
193
Points
7
ChocolateChip, my firm is hiring. It may not be the best job in the world, but the benefits are excellent, the bonuses are good, and its in lovely Hawaii. Don't stay at a job that makes you feel like that.
Eyes bugging out of head. I just got back from two weeks in Kauai. Someone please take this man up on this opportunity. Hell, I might.

And btw, if you've never gone to Hawaii, it is SO worth it. One of those things that will restore your faith in people, the universe, and more.

Here's a little taste...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9olCbR1H70
 

Dashboard

Cyburbian
Messages
86
Points
4
No, I do not like planning. I've been doing it for 6 years and I do not enjoy it at all. I am grateful to have a job in these times, but would love to be doing something that I actually enjoy. I am sick of the politics, the bureaucracy, and the general nature of what I do.

I have been looking for a way to transition into something different, but have found that a masters in planning is not well known outside of the field. It has come to the point where I am looking into other careers and will consider getting a new degree if that is what it takes.

Based on what I've read in these threads for a while now, it seems like more and more planners are beginning to be in a similar boat.
 

jdplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
39
Points
2
I'm generally happy being a planner right now. However, I am a newbie planner and probably a little to enthusiastic. (I guess I haven't received a good beat down yet, but I have been told that my time is coming...:-o.)

I'm really liking my current job working for a COG. No day is the same, and I get to work on a variety of projects ranging from CDBG & EDA grants, comp plan and land development ordinance revision, Census out reach, GIS projects, etc.

My former job was being the staff planner for a small city. Basically, I worked the counter and answered questions from the public, processed minor land use permits, did GIS tasks, and helped with code enforcement. I didn't dislike this job, but I really got to see the politics up close and personal, as well as getting the opportunity to interact with some very colorful citizens.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,457
Points
25
I love it!

Last week I dropped by Houston, and noticed that the former open ranch-type space near bro's house (Dairy Ashford/Westheimer) has filled in. They have infill on top of infill, tearing down strip malls to build new ones, and adding yet another ring of condos. I-10 now has a HOV/tollway lane.

And New Orleans...wow.

On the house we were doing, my former DDA boss was jury-rigging the moulding on a door frame. (Donated materials, trying to make things sortof match.) He was aligning things, and in conversation with another team member (an architect in real life) used the term "set back." Discussion.

Walking in the French Quarter, I said, "what we need in GR is balconies." He said, yeah, and some 16th C buildings. I said street performers. And parades with beads.

Planning informs my perception of the world and many of my life choices. (Suburban mall or nearby locally-owned business? Trash can or recycle bin?)
 
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