Mid career and I hate my job.

KSharpe

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#21
I want out of planning too, but it has nothing to do with the people. I simply find it boring and overly technical. I'm now in the challenge of trying to move to a "helping profession"- social work type of stuff. Unfortunately, this is hard to do without a social work degree.
 
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#22
Ridgman looks back

It looks alot better when after 20 years or so you can stand on a few sites and see a project completed or underway with real people living there, shopping there, doing all that human stuff and perhaps-just perhaps your involvement at the critical time made it a better project or solution or land plan.
 

Downtown

     
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#23
Where as comprehensive planning was a planner thing in a planner world, sustainability is a lifestyle thing in everyone’s world and the planning profession IS the group prepared to bring it all together and make things happen.
Agreed.

However, Guap - is the problem your job, not the profession? When I was in consulting - I hated planning. Mostly I hated the hours, but I also couldn't see that public sector was any better. Until I got into a good public sector, long range planning job. I agree with Cardinal in that Long Range planners have it so much better than current planners.

anyway - i'm sorry you're hating your job - dissatisfaction with your employment tends to bleed into every faction of your life - I hope things get sorted out soon.
 
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#24
Bump.

The new place is not all it's cracked up to be. It's a very different community; it's a VERY different work environment. And I've been told about four times already to keep my opinion to myself. That's something I've never heard at work before. (At home, sure -- all the time. ;) ) Weekdays have become exhausting.

Ho humm...
 

DVD

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#25
Bump.

The new place is not all it's cracked up to be. It's a very different community; it's a VERY different work environment. And I've been told about four times already to keep my opinion to myself. That's something I've never heard at work before. (At home, sure -- all the time. ;) ) Weekdays have become exhausting.

Ho humm...
Sorry to hear that. Sounds like the place is stuck in a rut and needs your opinions more than they know.
 

luckless pedestrian

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#26
sorry random - there are few worse gut hits than feeling like it's not a good fit when you start the job - I hope you can find your niche to settle in and/or work your resume so it's not time wasted

what's also amazing is reading this thread from 2008 - wow :-o
 

DVD

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#27
sorry random - there are few worse gut hits than feeling like it's not a good fit when you start the job - I hope you can find your niche to settle in and/or work your resume so it's not time wasted

what's also amazing is reading this thread from 2008 - wow :-o
Don't you have a gig related to this coming up in a couple weeks? :)
 
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#28
Sorry to hear that. Sounds like the place is stuck in a rut and needs your opinions more than they know.
sorry random - there are few worse gut hits than feeling like it's not a good fit when you start the job - I hope you can find your niche to settle in and/or work your resume so it's not time wasted...
Thanks folks. I've been in my career for a dozen or so years and I've never experienced something quite like it. It must be a great learning opportunity for me, right? Right??
 

DVD

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#29
Thanks folks. I've been in my career for a dozen or so years and I've never experienced something quite like it. It must be a great learning opportunity for me, right? Right??
You can always learn by example, right or wrong. Just take mental notes that it's wrong.

I'm learning at my current job to let go of petty things because that's the way they like it. If it's not causing a problem it doesn't need a permit or to be regulated in any way. I'm taking this lesson to learn more managerial stuff like pick your battles.
 
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#30
Pick your battles.
Deal with things head on.
Move through it and move past it.
You can only do what you can do.
Do not let them look down on you... but set an example.
The goal is to dream, but also to act on what is possible, to trust that... where we are now is not where we'll be forever.

I'm learning, I'm learning.
 

luckless pedestrian

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#31
and breathe...:balloon:

my Dad used to say the following phrases to me:


have faith in your fate


all your decisions are the right ones
 
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#34
Random:

Ask yourself this: Do you HATE the job to the point that you despise it, your coworkers, supervisors and feel the work you do is banal?

Last year I was at a job with a non-profit housing agency. I was providing planning support for some affordable housing projects in my area (zoning studies, site feasibility etc.) as well as policy advocacy (organizing community members to support certain projects, helping in lobbying campaigns against our local Republican demagogues). There were things within the organization that PISSED ME OFF to no end (tactless co workers, lack of organizational structure, poor management) BUT I really enjoyed the work I was doing, got along well with my boss and found the work I was producing to be meaningful, so I stayed at it, despite the nonsense. And now that I'm in a more traditional Land Use Planning job, I'm finding there are aspects of my old job that I miss (even if I wanted to rip out my hair sometimes during the course of it).

If you see reward in the work try and stick it out and see if you can adapt and maybe things would get better.

But if it really is that dreadful than don't torture yourself, pack up the '65 Chev and and get the hell out of there! Your mental health isn't worth it if there is no tangible benefits you can enjoy.
 
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#35
Random:

Ask yourself this: Do you HATE the job to the point that you despise it, your coworkers, supervisors and feel the work you do is banal?

Last year I was at a job with a non-profit housing agency. I was providing planning support for some affordable housing projects in my area (zoning studies, site feasibility etc.) as well as policy advocacy (organizing community members to support certain projects, helping in lobbying campaigns against our local Republican demagogues). There were things within the organization that PISSED ME OFF to no end (tactless co workers, lack of organizational structure, poor management) BUT I really enjoyed the work I was doing, got along well with my boss and found the work I was producing to be meaningful, so I stayed at it, despite the nonsense. And now that I'm in a more traditional Land Use Planning job, I'm finding there are aspects of my old job that I miss (even if I wanted to rip out my hair sometimes during the course of it).

If you see reward in the work try and stick it out and see if you can adapt and maybe things would get better.

But if it really is that dreadful than don't torture yourself, pack up the '65 Chev and and get the hell out of there! Your mental health isn't worth it if there is no tangible benefits you can enjoy.
Did you somehow work at my old nonprofit? I felt the same way. Must be something endemic to the nonprofit world. As a former nonprofit and public sector type turn dark-sider, I do find myself missing public interaction, better hours (and no billable hours!), and better time off benefits. Each sector has its own pluses and minuses. When I was in the public sector, dealing with the never-ending politics and crazy people coming into the office took their toll.
 
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#36
I have had similar struggles with a newish job, Random Planner. I've recently tried to readjust how I look at going to work every day. Instead of "going to work" I look at it as "going to my career" and try to do what I can in my situation to get the most out of it.

For me, not being asked for my opinion results in finishing my work quickly and having downtime. In addition to making it known I would like more work (especially more involved work), I'm finding time to prep my AICP exam materials & begin studying, reading all sorts of policy blogs & papers, staying on top of local politics/developments so I have a ready answer if I am asked my opinion, keeping an eye out for jobs in the area, and now posting here after being a lurker for many years :)

Don't know if any of that applies to you, but you're not alone in the frustration!
 
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#37
Unless it's really unbearable don't make any quick decisions. I think the idea of thinking about your career rather than just this job is a good one. Sometimes bad jobs turn into better ones if a bad boss or political leader leaves. Or you put in a year or three and move on.

Easy for me to say, I know. I actually have left a bad job once very quickly to go back to another place I had left. But I also left an OK job with no alternative plan and that was not a wise move.
 
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#38
I don't plan on making any rash decisions and you're right, thoedani, I can use my down time to increase my knowledge. My last gig was only a year (because of a family move) so I'd like to be here longer than that. But yes, I'm keeping my eyes open and will definitely leave if the new opportunity is right. And the job is giving me different experience and good or bad [hint -- it's bad], I can use that to my advantage.

So when I'm in my next interview and I'm asked "tell me about a challenging work environment and how you dealt with it?", I'll have the answers down pat!
 

B'lieve

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#39
Slightly off-topic (since none of my hate-the-job experiences involved planning, and I can't add much to the good advice already here),
Welcome, thoedani!
 

el Guapo

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#40
10 Years Later...

I love the problem solving and working with the vast majority of people I encounter, but I have come to the conclusion that the cards are stacked against us, no one has our back, no one really gives a shit if we do the job correctly or not. The planning professional crap-to-reward ratio is just too high the higher you climb the ladder of crap.

Maybe I'll fell better in the morning, but this has been building for years. Have you ever been in a room full of developers, engineers, applicants, your fellow planners and elected officials and asked yourself, "Is there anyone in this room that wouldn't screw me over professionally for a nickle?"
I had forgotten that I made the post above. I found it when I was trying to determine the last time I posted on Cyburbia.

Here is a short update: So I quit that old planner/department head life. In December of 2010 I gave my employer five months notice, moved, began law school, divorced my wife, and I started a GIS business while in law school. I structured the business so it eliminated the things I hated about being a planner and working with the public in general. In 2014 I passed the bar and now provide geospatial services to attorneys and businesses. I'm now what people call 'happy' and I control my destiny - completely. Along the way I dropped 40 lbs because my life didn't suck anymore. I also have REALLY enjoyed being single. Since 2010 my politics moved from being a skeptical moderate conservative to very skeptical libertarian.

So, here's my unsolicited advice: If your life sucks - do something about it.

While it took me 10 years, and about $500,000 to fix my life, I'd say it was worth it.
 
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