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The unemployed planner support thread

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,266
Points
52
"Notice is hereby given that the (my employer) Planning Commission is required to reduce staff as a result of lack of funds. Based on service credit with the (my employer) Planning Commission, you have the least service credit of all employees in the classification of Principal Planner and/or Senior Planner."

I was laid off yesterday. Budget cuts. There's supposedly a political reason behind the cuts to the agency which I can't post in this thread; it's not apparently not related to me or my work. This was really unexpected; the cuts were speculated for a while, but about a month ago the PD told me tmy job was secure. "I know you've been nervous about the budget, but I wanted to tell you so you wouldn't worry."

The PD watched like a hawk while I packed my office. I had no access to the computer to download my portfolio of completed plans, so I have only limited records of the several comp plans I wrote during my tenure. Since they're public record, I asked that they be sent to me immediately.

Two weeks severance and health insurance; that's it. I didn't sign anything. Unemployment insurance pays one-half of my salary.

There are NO planning jobs in the Cleveland area now. None. A couple of ED positions for which I'm not really qualified, but otherwise nothing. Few local governments in the Cleveland area have planning agencies, and there's only a few private firms.

The housing market in the Cleveland area is dead. I'm upside-down in my mortgage, and live in an inner-ring suburb that was hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. In other words, I can't sell my house. If I can sell it, it would probably be a short sale.

My wonderful girlfriend is in grad school. She absolutely, positively cannot leave the area until she graduates next year. If I get move too far from Cleveland, my relationship will be doomed. She's sticking with me through this, though.

I'm not posting this because I'm seeking the sympathy of other Cyburbians; please don't turn this thread into a pity party. :) I would imagine that with the worsening economy, more planners will be cut from their jobs as elected officials look to cut back on "nonessential" functions. I'm just wondering if others have been in this situation before, and what they've done to cope. Also, I'd like to hear from planners who are facing the possibility of layoffs.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Messages
26,298
Points
51
I find that times of unemployment are conducive to taking stock of one's life and implementing meaningful inner-changes that somehow escape us when when we are so preoccupied with the 9-5 sound and fury signifying nothing. It's one of those rare times when we permit ourselves to be philosophical about things and look at the Big Picture.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
27
I've never been laid off from a planning job. Been laid off from serive sector jobs that, frankly, I didn't care for anyway, so the loss of a paycheck was the only thing missed.

I've gotten sacked too.

Getting laid off is a concern. Even planners with seniority still has that possibility back in their mind, I guess.

Good luck.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,266
Points
52
Those extra hours: job hunting, more fixing up the house, working on Cyburbia, walking, and reading. I got up today at 7:00 AM; I'm trying to keep a normal circadian cycle. I'm bracing myself emotionally for the Kubler-Ross stages.
 

The District

Cyburbian
Messages
375
Points
12
I'm so sorry, Dan. You're right, the state of the job market for people in the land use/planning/real estate arena is pretty scary right now.

Also, I'd like to hear from planners who are facing ther possibility of layoffs.
Layoffs are a good possibility within my organization (we've already lost one employee), but the actual likelihood changes day to day. Sometimes it's hard to really tell what's going on. We appear to be doing better than our competitors, though. It's pretty tough being 8 months out of grad school and constantly concerned about job security. I think lots of us in the private sector who aren't at the top of the organization are basically going to dangle precariously for the next year. Or more. Many of my landscape architecture friends have been laid off already. LA seems to have been hit first, and planning is next.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
8,907
Points
28
holy sh*t. i didn't think it could happen to our fearless leader.

i got laid off from a private sector job (non-planning related) about 5 years ago. it turns out it was a blessing in disguise. i was lucky enough to be able to take some time to reflect on my life and where i wanted to go with it. lucky for me i decided to go to grad school and got my degree in planning. and here i am.

relationship-wise - while a long distance relationship might not be the most desired type of relationship, if the relationship is meant to be it probably won't kill it. after grad school will your girlfriend be able to relocate?
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
28
We have been playing the "re org" game for a few weeks here as money gets tighter and tighter. Folks are leaving on their own (the rats are jumping ship big time) but jobs are not being filled so its musical deck chairs.

Several jurisdictions in the South East are laying off workers or pushing them out quietly. The large developers here are laying off land development folks right and left, as are law firms. Horrid time to job hunt honestly.

The only solid open jobs for planners are in communities known to to have an extremely dysfunctional City Hall.

Best of luck Dan and others looking at finding work
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,896
Points
26
Oh, Dan, I am so sorry to hear that. :-o

Have you thought about doing some consulting until you find a full-time position?
 

beach_bum

Cyburbian
Messages
3,427
Points
20
not facing a layoff but looking...

Well I can't say i'm facing a layoff, but I am looking for my first post-grad school job right now, its tough out there! I even have 2-3 years experience. I have applied for alot of jobs and gotten the most responses from the job postings here on cyburbia! 2 phone interviews and a second face to face interview. I have also PMed members about those postings and they have been so helpful. Thank you to the users who post jobs on here.

Dan-at least you aren't in Florida, the whole state is laying off planners, public and private!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Messages
17,266
Points
52
Have you thought about doing some consulting until you find a full-time position?
How do I get started? Where do I do it? How do they get their first jobs, without having much of a name or reputation? One of the private firms in Cleveland (PM me if you want to know who) has a near-monopoly on development review and planning retainer services to suburbs without planning departments -- in this area, that means most of them -- and they're not hiring. (Gotta' send them a resume, anyhow. I have to make contact, no matter how futile the attempt may be, to keep collecting unemployment.)

beach_bum: I was in Florida several years ago, as the sole planner for a small, historic community outside of Orlando. I was swamped, and left because I was burnt out.

The people I worked with in that small town, though, really seemed to care; I still keep in touch with them. With my last employer, I got a curt matter-of-fact layoff letter; no "thanks for your service", no followup calls or emails to wonder how I was doing later that day, nothing. It just seemed odd.
 

nrschmid

Cyburbian
Messages
2,856
Points
20
Waiting to hear back from a second interview for a public sector job. Chicagoland has so many local governments, so there are still places hiring. Although, there have been layoffs at several homebuilders (Neumann, Pulte, Kimball Hill, etc.). Several of the growing communities are focusing on commercial and public uses for construction, although budgets are VERY tight.

My current job working for a design firm has always paid lower than average for planners, landscape architects, ecologists, etc. I spoke with a co-worker a couple of weeks ago and there has never been a time when the firm laid off people (knock on wood). She said the principals have been known to take salary cuts or forego bonuses at the end of year to make ends meet, rather than loose a worker.

I am the only planner in the firm and my utilization has varied from 25-120%. Most of the work yo-yo's around here: I might not have much to do for weeks at a stretch and then get bombarded with a 5 hard deadlines on top of each other. I also do all of the "dirty" work by myself (plan review for 10 different communities), so the firm would be up a creek if they laid me off and then had 10 reviews come in the next day, on top of the other work in the office.

I want to work for a larger firm after grad school. I am "hoping" that wearing two hats as a planner/LA will make me more immune to layoffs, but again there is never any guarantee. I guess I just have to work my way up to top of the company where I have an ownership stake.

Good luck with whatever you do, Dan.
 
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Captain Worley

Cyburbian
Messages
271
Points
10
Dang, Dan, sorry to hear that. I know how you feel. I was laid off back in 2001. It really does suck. Situation was similar, no mech engineering jobs in SC. I hope you have money saved up, because from your indications, it might be a wile before something comes along. Sorry. No way to sugar coat that.

Sign up immediately for the unemployment and commit yourself to at least an hour of job search a day, even if over the internet. Since you are a professional, the unemployment office will probably accept submission of email resumes and online applications as a job search. keep records, because you have to turn in a list of where you applied.

If you are truly interested in consulting, pick up a book called Consulting for Dummies. It is a pretty good road map of what you want to do, should you decide to go that route. You mayt require professional licensing, yadda, yadda, but read the book.

Don't get depressed. Commit to at least one accomplishment around the house a day, even if it is cleaning the ceiling fans. It keeps you busy and you can point to progress being made.

Any questions, feel free to ask.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Good luck and prayers to you Dan. I've been in the lay-off boat before when my wife was 5 months pregnant with our second. We luckily sold our house quickly (barely breaking even) and I found a job just as my unemployment ran out.

I just jumped ship from a jurisdication with budget issues. I've landed where the budget situation is better, but not pristine. I feel comfortabley safe here, but noticed that the job postings in this area have all but dissapeared.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Moderator
Messages
7,304
Points
29
Never been in the situation myself, but did get to watch my dad go through it. My dad is a very proud person, and took it pretty hard. After being really down for about two weeks, he adopted the Worley approach and picked a task each day to accomplish and began the job hunt. He also started looking at different professions and thought about chasing some of his dreams from when he was younger, though he decided those should just stay hobbies.

He worked for a consulting company for about a year, then found another bank to work for. He ended up better for it--his position now is a repeat of a position he had about 12 years ago when he said he was most happy at work.

A buddy of mine went into planning consulting in an area where one company had a monopoly. He took several of their clients simply by charging $85/hr for public sector clients rather than their rate of $105. There's no shame in cold-calling some of those cities. He similarly undercut them by about $25/hr on entitlement/processing work for private sector clients.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,503
Points
27
Dan, that sucks...but on the other hand...others have already posted comments about spare time and other blessings in disguise.

(How much notice was provided?)

Have you filed for unemployment? (Not much documentation needed here in the mitten.)

Everyone else, who knows someone who knows someone in the greater Cleveland area who might need a private consultant planner? Of all people to get laid off....

ETA: just found a couple listings of consulting firms in Cleveland proper.
http://planning.org/consultantsearch/result.htm?ffirm=&fcity=cleveland&fstate=&fprincipals=&fspecial=&CSform.x=0&CSform.y=0
Feel free to perform your own search in adjacent communities...
 
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Richmond Jake

Cyburbian
Messages
18,231
Points
42
I've been fortunate enough to have never been laid off. The worst it got was out in California where, for about 3 months, our hours were reduced to 36 hours a week. I went through that twice.

Here in Florida, it seems the private consultant planners are getting hit harder than the public sector. We just finished our budget for next fiscal year and nobody in my division faces a lay off.

Sorry I can't offer any advice.
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
25
I was let go from my first post-undergrad planning job. However, I was still in grad school and my first daughter had just been born. It was nice having lots of time for grad school, in between spending lots of time with my daughter.

I would definitely exert lots of energy into something other than the job search. If I hadn't still been in grad school I think I would've went nuts.

Dan - Is there a possibility you could shack up with your GF and try to rent your place out. At least enough rent to pay the monthly mortgage. This may help the financial situation out somewhat.

Based on your description of the Cleveland job market, it sounds like you need to have a very serious discussion with your GF regarding your future and how she fits into it.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
4,548
Points
25
The City of Atlanta started laying folks off today - they are eliminating 441 filled and 347 vacant positions across all city departments (except police), so I imagine some of their planning staff will be among those let go.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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17,266
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52
Dan - Is there a possibility you could shack up with your GF and try to rent your place out. At least enough rent to pay the monthly mortgage. This may help the financial situation out somewhat.
It's not possible right now. PM me for details.

Based on your description of the Cleveland job market, it sounds like you need to have a very serious discussion with your GF regarding your future and how she fits into it.
We're already talking about it. It doesn't look good if I have to move more than a five hour or so drive away. She doesn't want a long distance relationship, period.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,503
Points
27
...We're already talking about it. It doesn't look good if I have to move more than a five hour or so drive away. She doesn't want a long distance relationship, period.
FIVE HOURS?? Sheesh, that gets you to gorgeous GR, or well into PA, NY, WV...

I've broken trail with the local site acquisition vendor already sent to you via e-mail. (Told them to please be nice if/when you contact them.)

How about taking in a lodger? Rent out a room in your house. Inconvenient, but would help with expenses.

(And your tale of woe and intrigue has inspired me to send out two envelopes today...big ol' flat ones.)
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
28
Dan, I can totally sympathize with your situation. I too was the victim of a layoff a few weeks back, and am still looking for my next position. Don't want to move so I can stay close to my son and girlfriend. Hang in there. There may be an opportunity out there just waiting for you.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Messages
17,266
Points
52
Dan, I can totally sympathize with your situation. I too was the victim of a layoff a few weeks back, and am still looking for my next position. Don't want to move so I can stay close to my son and girlfriend. Hang in there. There may be an opportunity out there just waiting for you.
Joe, are you having any luck finding another job?

Veloise: tried site acquisition. I'm good at the zoning part, of course, but at the real estate end, negotiating lease terms and whatnot ... nope. I'd consider GR, though; I was impressed with the city, and really like the area.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,490
Points
25
Dan,

OMG was my first reaction.

I've never been laid off, but I was fired several years ago from a planning position, and at the time I was extremely angry. The timing, at first, seemed real bad - just before Christmas. However, a couple of days later my sister found out she was going to need surgery, so I went to help her out for 2 weeks. When I got back, I got a retail job, working full time, while I tried to figure out if the reason I was unhappy was the type of job - planning - or the place I had been working.
I ended up working two jobs - one full time, one part time - just to be able to pay the rent, make car payments, and eat ramen noodles. That lasted about 8 months total before I moved to Houston and got a planning job. Turns out it was the place, not the job, that made me unhappy.

Where I am right now is in a budget crunch. It's not a crisis situation yet, but open positions are not being filled. We're losing somebody at the end of the month, someone else retired, and both will not be replaced. My boss thinks that next year will be bloody, but that we've cut enough for now. However, I am the newest outside hire, so I have a big target on my back right now. Bossman says he really wants to get rid of the non-working person first, but he does not have the final say - it's the department director. I haven't told my hubby yet about the budget issues. He would freak.

Being laid off/fired is not the end of the world, but it sure does feel like it for a while. I agree with the others that taking time each day to do tasks, job hunt, and do some soul searching will help you in the long run. Maybe you could work somewhere outside of the planning field for a little while, just to keep some $$$ flowing, and also volunteer. You'll keep busy, and maybe network with the right person.

Good luck staying upbeat. It'll be tough, but you have several people to lean on here, and we'll all be pulling for you.
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
6,241
Points
26
Planning.org has a job in Youngstown. The MPO in Toledo is not hiring. You might want to check with SSnyder in Sandusky and see if he knows of anything in the Sandusky/Port Clinton area. You might be stuck driving for a while.

Dan,

I know what you're feeling. I've had lots of those worries myself regarding what would happen if I need to bug out as the economy here in Detroit is probably worse than it is in N Ohio. I have both a cottage and home I could not sell or leave on vacant too long as they would no doubt both be vandalized.

I will keep my eyes open on the western side of Lake Erie for you; at least that is only about an hour+ drive to work should something become available.

I watch the financial market, and have seen some positive movement over the last week. I am starting to feel a little more secure than I was. Hopefully we are pulling out from the bottom.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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17,266
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52
Being laid off/fired is not the end of the world, but it sure does feel like it for a while. I agree with the others that taking time each day to do tasks, job hunt, and do some soul searching will help you in the long run. Maybe you could work somewhere outside of the planning field for a little while, just to keep some $$$ flowing, and also volunteer. You'll keep busy, and maybe network with the right person.
While I occasionally posted from my former place of work, I didn't do any kind of work related to monetary issues on Cyburbia during work hours or using their resources. Being laid off, though, I can work more time on monetization. I'm also considering volunteering at some organization such as my synagogue (I'm not extremely religious, but it'll keep me busy) or some advocacy group.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Moderator
Messages
10,937
Points
31
Indiana is in the throes of trying to fix a property tax system that is just flat out broken. As a result, the General Assembly has, in its infinite wisdom, decided that eliminating local government expenditure is the way to clear this fiscal mess. By 2010, we'll be getting about 13% less money from state taxes. Something is going to have to be eliminated. When it comes to community support, most folks would rather keep patrolmen on the beat and firemen on the trucks. Planners, sadly, are expendable to the average walking aorund taxpayer.
 

rcgplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,730
Points
18
Indiana is in the throes of trying to fix a property tax system that is just flat out broken. As a result, the General Assembly has, in its infinite wisdom, decided that eliminating local government expenditure is the way to clear this fiscal mess. By 2010, we'll be getting about 13% less money from state taxes. Something is going to have to be eliminated. When it comes to community support, most folks would rather keep patrolmen on the beat and firemen on the trucks. Planners, sadly, are expendable to the average walking aorund taxpayer.
Yup, in our Town we are looking at not getting our first Property Tax disbursment until Fall. Things were rough about a month before I started here, they weren't sure they were going to be able to follow through on their offer. Luckily, they were able to bring me aboard, but I do worry I might be let go if time get rough. They went almost 9 months between planners here.

The only saving grace is we are located in a fairly fast growing suburb, BUT we have noticed the case load dropping over the last few months. While it is nice to not have Plan Commission meetings that go until midnight, I hope things do pick up soon again. Government used to be a fairly safe bet, even in rough economic times, but now no sector is safe. :-( I hope we can see some real change in this Country soon.

Hang in there Dan, you will get through this!
 

hilldweller

Cyburbian
Messages
3,866
Points
23
I just quit my job today. It was a senior-level position in a municipality of roughly 100k. Remember this thread? http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=33523
Well, that was the beginning of the end for me. Only it got worse. In the end, I decided it wasn't even worth showing up most days. The values I thought would be shared by the people I worked for- professionalism, integrity, and transparency- were in fact feared.

I've decided to call it quits on my planning career at the rip old age of 28. There is nothing lined up for me, and I am basically laid off, minus the unemployment benefits. I do hope there is a silver lining in this, and I hope to seek it out. After a long vacation.

On a lighter note, Dan: pm me if you want to play online poker sometime. Do you have xbox live?;-):-c
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,266
Points
52
A question: is it typical for layoff notices to be so terse? Mine had nothing thanking me for my work or service, and no other niceties whatsoever. Reading between the lines, it seems to hint that something isn't quite right.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
8,907
Points
28
A question: is it typical for layoff notices to be so terse? Mine had nothing thanking me for my work or service, and no other niceties whatsoever. Reading between the lines, it seems to hint that something isn't quite right.

i didn't even get a layoff notice. a group of "them" just came into my office and told me that i was being let go. they'd pay for for the rest of the week, here's my severance package, sign this....

i was one of 3 who got laid off. we were all supposed to be laid off on monday, but i called in sick b/c my out of town BF was in town visiting. :p so on tuesday i showed up for work, put in a couple of hours before they laid me off. that's what pissed me off. they should've done it first thing in the morning rather than eeking a couple more hours out of me.

so on the upside, i had a lot more time to spend with my BF. we even took some unexpected trips with our new found free time. :)
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,503
Points
27
...Veloise: tried site acquisition. I'm good at the zoning part, of course, but at the real estate end, negotiating lease terms and whatnot ... nope. .
Zoning specialists don't negotiate no steenkin' leases. (I sent you a link to another position, similar to mine, at another carrier's metro Cleveland office.)

I'd consider GR, though; I was impressed with the city, and really like the area.
K'zoo is closer. Maister, you found a new body yet?

Also, there's that City of Deetroit position I posted a while back. ain't no politics nor controversy in that town, nope, not at all.
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
25
When people are extremely updside-down on their mortage, it is often a rationale decision to just walk away from the house and let the bank take possession. What's the point of throwing money at a house that is decreasing in value? Sure - you may have to rent and work on your credit for a few years, but that may be better in the long run than throwing money away on a house.
 

nyc_tribeca

Cyburbian
Messages
54
Points
4
Dan, you didn't want sympathy but I can't help to indulge. I wish you the best, and hope the situation in your personal life can find some kind of resolution. If there were an easy answer, someone would have already mentioned it or you would have figured it out. But as I am finding out, choices that pit career vs. personal life are gut-wrenching and I hope that you come through it.

I wonder whether talk of this situation brings up a larger crisis in the employment market for planning. The credit crunch and deflating home prices could decrease the urgent need for certain types of urban planning. I wonder whether this industry waxes and wanes with the overall economic situation. Considering that many planners are saddled with grad school debt on top of the typical family obligations, the prospect of unemployment, hanging like the Sword of Damocles, must be so unnerving as to make one wonder whether the "thrill" of the work makes up for it.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
22
Geez, this all really sucks. For Dan, AND the others that have either left in frustration or were just fired. WTF?

Fortunately, I think I am pretty secure in my current position, but we'll see what this next year brings. Things are getting tough all over (although Albuquerque seems less economically strapped than places in the midwest and the Great Lakes region).

I was "let go" from a job where I served as Interim Director for 9 months (when it was only supposed to be 3). It was not a planning position, though. After prodding the board to get on with the selection process, they all sent very clear messages to me that I was the top choice and, should I decide to apply for the permanent position, I would most certainly get it. Well, I wasn't going to apply, but did...and then they gave the job to someone else! There were two people on the board that I think did not appreciate my comments about issues I felt needed addressing in the organization and they sort of poisoned the well by saying that I was being obstructionist and unwilling to do the board's bidding. The irony is that most of the community here still thinks the organization is largely irrelevant, which was essentially my point. But I digress.

The kicker was that: the new person is pretty universally disliked even 7 years after the fact AND they paid all of her moving expenses for her to relocate to New Mexico. And what did I get? 2 weeks notice. No severance, no nothing (and our first child was due in a month). Oh, wait, they told me I could have my old job back (but that I would have to fire the person I hired to fill it first!). I had worked at the organization for a while, too. When the ED stepped down, they asked me to fill in and that's when the trouble began.

My thoughts are that organizations, departments, companies, corporations, are all vague entities comprised of many people. When something ugly goes down, there is no one face to the group and so everyone rallies to protect the organization (pay out as minimal as possible, cover up any potential for lawsuits, etc.) and turn away from the individual getting screwed. Its sort of like being disowned, or kicked out of the cult. Oh, you don't work here anymore? Well, good luck with that...

Anyway, this is why I think parting letters and the like are often so bleak and business like,. If we said he did a good job, we might get sued and asked to defend why we laid them off to begin with. Or something like that. Anyway, my thoughts go out to Dan and the others.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
930
Points
19
Oh man, I'm really sorry to hear this. I've been there. My first job out of grad school was at a Community Development Corp. and was funded via a grant. We didn't get the grant for the second year and thus I was out of a job after less than a year. I was fortunate in that I had already started interviewing beforehand, found something, and was hired prior to them letting me go - it did require me to move 220 miles from MA to NY, however. I had to give up friends and family but was fortunate that this all took place just after a breakup... I wasn't as tied down as I might have been.

As for my current position, there have been vague rumblings of staff cuts, but nothing solid and I'm not worrying (yet). Best of luck with everything.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
Most of us will probably go through this experience at least once in our career. I was laid off from one job and had another employer go bankrupt. I got out of a grant-funded job just before the cash ran out. While I personally feel secure here right now, we have had layoffs in our company, including one of my planners. This is an unusual recession in that it is laying off more than production workers and IT workers. This time there are professionals whose jobs have always been secure in the past, like engineers and attorneys.

I don't see a quick improvement of the economy as it affects planners and others in the development sector. Housing is going to take a long time to recover. Retail construction is down 55% from last year, and a record number of retailers are expected to go out of business. With plenty of dark space, nobody is going to be building commercial for a while. Tourism and travel are being crippled by fuel costs. The only sector with any life in it yet is industrial.

The competition for consulting work has gotten to be extremely fierce. We are seeing everybody applying for any project that is announced. Consultants from other states, who normally do not look at projects in this area, are showing up more often. Everyone is also cutting prices to be more competitive, but then that does not really pay the bills.

Even though I paint a bleak picture, you have some exceptional talents, Dan. I would really consider looking for ways to consult. I'll PM you with a couple thoughts on that.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
38
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, Dan. It's all new for your and your GF so you're still processing; I hope she will understand that a long-distance relationship, while frustrating, sometimes is the only option, and can work on an interim basis.

Just got work that my former jurisdiction today authorized 71 layoffs and the elimination of 29 vacant positions. LadyBuc advises that 5 people in her/my former division will be let go. They're on pins and needles until 8 a.m. tomorrow. I have no doubt that had I stayed, I would have been on the list, after a funding referendum for the program I worked on failed to pass a year and a half ago.
 

Captain Worley

Cyburbian
Messages
271
Points
10
A question: is it typical for layoff notices to be so terse? Mine had nothing thanking me for my work or service, and no other niceties whatsoever. Reading between the lines, it seems to hint that something isn't quite right.
I didn't get a letter. Just a sticky note on my desk to see the VP. Got there, got the declining business lecture, and said they were giving me 2 weeks severance.

As much as it sucked, it was better than just a letter. Did anyone talk to you about it?
 

Flying Monkeys

Cyburbian
Messages
607
Points
18
One thought...can the GF take the credits earned and transfer them to another college? What colleges would she consider transferring to?

I don't know if that is the best course of action...maybe you should do what you need to and if she can't deal with it, then maybe it was not the relationship you had hoped for.

I can offer this...if you want to move to Florida, I will actively look for possible positions for you. I know I have heard on the forums that Florida seems to be cutting a lot of planners....but I think it is temporary and I believe that there is still a lot of opportunity in places like Florida. (Places that have growth management regulations).

If I can do something Dan, PM me.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
I'm so sorry to hear about this, Dan. I know my former place of employment just laid off about 17 in the development area of the city including two planners. My old position was one that got the boot. Since you have some much experience writing plans, what about looking at open bids listed on State APA sites?
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
38
A question: is it typical for layoff notices to be so terse? Mine had nothing thanking me for my work or service, and no other niceties whatsoever. Reading between the lines, it seems to hint that something isn't quite right.
As I noted above, dozens of my former co-workers were laid off this morning. The ones on the layoff list found out when they couldn't log onto the network when they got to work. How's that for terse?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,266
Points
52
As I noted above, dozens of my former co-workers were laid off this morning. The ones on the layoff list found out when they couldn't log onto the network when they got to work. How's that for terse?
About ten minutes in, my network access got cut off. I was only able to save a couple of plans to my thumb drive. I put in a public information request for the rest of my portfolio.

Since you have some much experience writing plans, what about looking at open bids listed on State APA sites?
I'm going to start bookmarking the RFP and RFQ sites today.


One thought...can the GF take the credits earned and transfer them to another college? What colleges would she consider transferring to?
She absolutely, positively cannot leave whatsoever until she graduates, period, exclamation point, end of story. Seriously. :( She can't transfer her credits. She can't attend another school. She is in a graduate program that is considered one of the best in the country for her specialty, and Ohio certification for what will eventually be her profession is also considered the most transferable.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
8,907
Points
28
my totally unrealistic suggestion would be:

apply for one of those jobs in Austraila or Bermuda. work there for a few years, rent out your house while you're gone. while the girlfriend may not be keen on the idea of a long-distance relationship, the thought of having an excuse to visit Bermuda or Austraila a few times a year might sweeten the deal.

the universe is giving you a chance to make some big changes in your life. life is short, might as well enjoy it! :)
 

CDT

Cyburbian
Messages
192
Points
7
I was canned from a private firm pretty soon after graduation. A little different situation, but it still felt like hell. I had to work in an unrealted job that I actually detested for about a month. Then I landed a contract with my husbands firm to write a guide for the local planning department. In the middle of the consulting job a position opened up with that city. I applied and got the job. It all worked out but it was nervewracking.

A good friend of mine was laid off from a metro. city department. His situation was very political because he was on the union board. The union didn't have good negotiations this year so three of the union officials were canned from their positions and even after a lawsuit, he still lost. Luckily a job was open in my city (which is how I met him) and everythings been good since then. He doesn't touch union activities with a ten foot pole.

I think we're at the start of a very bad economic readjustment where a lot of things are going to change and be uncomfortable. I can only hope that me and my fellow planners weather it well. Good luck to all
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,266
Points
52
Here's the link to the story of the 71 laid off in Seminole County.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/seminole/orl-sembud0208may02,0,310682.story
Ouch. This thread is here for the cut planners, if they find this place,

Strange thing is that with the country where I was employed, I am the layoff, at least so far. I just have the gut feeling that one of the county commissioners was mad at me for some unknown reason -- I often felt that my job involved bringing planning in the county kicking, dragging and screaming into the 1980s -- and that I advocated some sort of policy that would have affected one of them or their friends. I don't know what: I asked, and was told "we can't say." The department wasn't exactly looked on in a favorable light as it was, and the budget was trimmed every year while I was working there.
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,283
Points
29
Bummer

Dan, getting laid off stinks.....

I've had it happen twice to me, both times during recessions.....once by a Canadian Company that routinely purged short time employees to avoid paying any benefits.....only to rehire people for the same job the next day to start the cycle over.....The second time was by a major home builder who did it the right way and allowed me time to find another job:-D While I wasn't pleased to be let go....I was encouraged by the way they did it and professionalism on their part (obviously rare in lay off's). Having said that, it REALLY disrupted my family life and forced me to leave my home state:-( I say do a nationwide search for a higher level position (always look to move forward) and rent the place out. If the GF can't handle a sub-one year wait.....oh well...:-| Just my two cents.....good luck....:-|
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,503
Points
27
...Strange thing is that with the country where I was employed, I am the layoff, at least so far. I just have the gut feeling that one of the county commissioners was really mad at me for some unknown reason -- I often felt that my job involved bringing planning in the county kicking, dragging and screaming into the 1980s -- and that I advocated some sort of policy that would have affected one of them or their friends. I don't know what: I asked, and was told "we can't say." ...
Dan, the more little tidbits you offer, the more it looks like you were singled out by someone with the power to wield the banhammer.
Most professional positions are noticed, even with budget cuts. Sometimes there's a good-bye party or ceremony. When there are many layoffs, the hammerers set it up with an ambulance outside and an array of IT folks and desk boxes inside. A budget cut is typically not a firing, which is handled differently.
My take on this is: you were fired.
Play the grapevine and see what comes up. (There has to be another Cyburbian who lives in your county...)
 
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