• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

the planning career

What does it take to be a planner?

  • A thick skin

    Votes: 16 43.2%
  • A self-abusive personality

    Votes: 1 2.7%
  • A constant flow of 'joe'

    Votes: 5 13.5%
  • insanity

    Votes: 1 2.7%
  • other, or all of the above

    Votes: 14 37.8%

  • Total voters
    37

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
i am a member of the village hall softball team. That being so, i'm meeting other people from village hall that I didn't know existed. You just never need to bother them, visit, etc. anyway..

they'd ask where i work.. i'd say....planning and that is responded with an....".....ooooohhh" and sometimes with..."you guys are crazy."

are we crazy? do we have the least lax governmental job out there? are we control freaks? do we get high on conforontations with irate individuals?
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
I voted "thick skin", which I think kind of ties into being able to handle high amounts of abuse.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Today is not a good day to be asking any questions to me about planning. Our council did the stupidest, two faced thing ever last night. After bitching and whining for the past year about a lack of qualaity development occurring in the City and how we need new affordabale homes they turned down a rezoning for a land lease community (upscale trailer park) There goes 8-10 million in assessment and 70-80 homes. The location is good, the land is suited, the services are in the ground, but neighbours from 2000 feet away complained. They even used the line we did not know this was happening, yet they were there.

This is pretty much strike 3 for the inbred mutant piglets of this hell hole.

Anyone know of jobs for a person with 8 years experience?
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
the biggest issue I have come across is that no matter how much education or experience (be it I am short on the experience side) a planner seems to have, if the project in anyway involves person Xs checkbook, it all goes out the window.

planning theory does not apply to the NIMBY, planning theory does not apply to the developers checkbook. to them you are an idiot.

unless of course you are on their side and then you are a genious. :p
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
It takes a thick skin and an uncanny ability to deal with idiots, jerks, and racists. I am pretty good at not taking anything personally and I think that helps. However there are times when boards/commissions do and say stuff that makes you want to scream.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
I don't like dealing with people. People suck. If I could find a job where I didn't have to relate to them but still did something worthwhile it would be great. Unfortunately I don't have a specific area of expertise so I'm a "generalist."

Donk, if you haven't seen it, the Connecticut APA Chapter has a number of jobs in CT and beyond. Its pretty thorough and is updated more frequently then RI or MA.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,289
Points
44
I voted thick skin too. And the ability to leave the whole freakin' mess at the office at the end of the day.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,483
Points
44
We are like a hockey goalie. We have things slapped at us all the time, and only the good ones get though. We have to fight for our ideas, and protect our area.

Oh, and a left hook to the face from time to time is needed.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Since I am more on the economic development side of planning, I may have a different perspective. The most important thing for me is to be a facilitator. You have to be able to be flexible and offer compromises, usually without getting any credit for the work you do. I guess that is why I went with "all of the above."
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Thankfully, and according to Huston, i am a genius. I would add that it takes none of those things to be a planner. What does it take to be a good planner, well that's another question.

Hell a clerk at 7-11 needs thick skin and an ability not to take the work home.

You have to be in it because you want "good" development for your community and want to help bring that about. You have to be in it because you actually have an ability to hold private property rights and the public welfare in equal standing. And you have to be in it because you like facilitating the process--giving the elected and appointed the best information available with which to make a decision, regardless of outcome. Its all about process right?

My experience is that very few planners actually combine what I have described.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Hey... I posted that opening in Nunavut.
I am looking for a place a bit less isolated with "real" people, then again Nunavut may have a higher quality of people then where I am now.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
gkmo62u said:
Thankfully, and according to Huston, i am a genius....
nice job twisting my words, gkmo62u. :)

I should of added the word ‘perceived’, so I’ll take the L on that one. or is it a W? remember I am also a consultant, many times for the developer (other times a city/county). Although they (developer) are the clients, I see it as my ‘duty’ to ‘help’ them do the ‘right’ thing.

Sometimes it works out for best! :)

other times, no :(
 
Last edited:

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
donk said:
I am looking for a place a bit less isolated with "real" people, then again Nunavut may have a higher quality of people then where I am now.
[OT]You can always try my dream job ...[/OT]

Ahhhhh... I miss the San Juans...

 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
All of the above, you have to be a little crazy to come back for punishment everyday. You have to have thick skin. You have to have the want to see a City grow. Oh, and don't forget you have to find a sense of humor that lets you relax when you've got a citizen yelling at you for dog poo in the alley (now that's a sh*tty situation, folks). :)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
OT

You can always try my dream job ...
Looks nice, but the job descripton wants someone who is highly motivated. Currently, on a good day I just barely have a pulse.icon12.gif
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
and you forgot the teflon coating on the thick skin.....or a greezy coating like a duck.....
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
24,918
Points
52
a little attitude always helps
as long as you have self-control in how you interact.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
The ability to remember copious amounts of arcane information and make cogent analyses on the fly, all while watching the back of the commission room in case there's some nut out there with a gun. Harder than walking and chewing gum at the same time...
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I voted thick skin too, but not for having to take abuse -- for having to emotionally disconnect yourself from bad decision making then work around it and stay positive.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
boiker said:
i am a member of the village hall softball team. That being so, i'm meeting other people from village hall that I didn't know existed. You just never need to bother them, visit, etc. anyway..
I missed that part of your post the first time I read it. Quite honestly, I know everyone in this building and the ones I dont visit are either miserable people, miserable coworkers, or just plain ugly (the last one is for Prudence and his complaints of the 220lb chick in a sleeveless sundress)
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,244
Points
23
donk said:


Anyone know of jobs for a person with 8 years experience?
On my way to work this morning, I saw McD's was advetising for a managers job. They must require experience since they are of high quality and service (why do they hose down the drivethru every morning?)
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,244
Points
23
Re: Re: the planning career

Chet said:
Ithe last one is for Prudence and his complaints of the 220lb chick in a sleeveless sundress)
That is for freedom of movement and to allow the individual to attempt to air out, to the displeasure of anyone within 20 feet.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,483
Points
44
I think to be a planner, you need everything listed, plus balls of steel, charm, wit, and an uncle named Vinny who owns a garbage business. And then, maybe, good things will start to happen.

I think that planners need to be ethical and as well rounded as possible, with a knowledge what everyone and every department in city hall is doing, just to stay on top of the game. We also need to communicate effectively. I feel that is the most important aspect of planning. If we can not communicate, *both express and listen* then how can we make decisions that will be the best for our communities.
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
751
Points
21
I like the hockey goalie analogy about being a planner.

I voted for the coffee i.v. Seems to work for me.

Planners must be able to write competent staff reports in 45 minutes or less, assess environmental impacts in the field on the spot, and be able to critique engineered/architectural renderings with confidence.

All in a good days work.
 
Top