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The unemployed planner support thread

Tobinn

Cyburbian
Messages
314
Points
11
Back in the Public Sector

Well, after three years to pay cuts, hour cuts and doing anything but planning (well, mostly, there was some planning work here and there) I finally landed a position as a bonafide City Planner. Not only that but it's back into the very position I left for my current (soon to be most recent) position (in the private sector).
 

rcgplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,730
Points
18
Fantastic news Tobinn! I may be overly optimistic but it feels like the planning field has turned a corner and is on its long road back to some sense of normalcy.
 

Backstrom

Cyburbian
Messages
116
Points
6
Job Status & Support Thread

Hi all,

With all of us out-of-work planners fretting about jobs, I figure it would be nice to create a thread where we can report on our job hunts, interviews, statuses, successes, failures, and of course support one another, as planning jobs are still in the tank. I've seen one too many of you freak out about jobs, so I think showing some solidarity with each other is in order.

To start, I'm currently looking for work, graduated June 2012 with a BA in geography/planning, had a temp job in transit planning, and have been doing contract work since late January of 2013. Since October of 2012, I've applied to just 15 jobs, but that's because I was out of the country for some time + the fact that 14 of those jobs are in my hometown. Of those 15, I've been lucky enough to get interviews on five of them, but unlucky enough to get rejected for four of them, one is pending (fingers crossed).

I've heard some of you having to endure 50+ or even 100+ applications to no avail. Either way, feel free to share your job stories/situations and we can consider this something like 'Unemployed Planners Anonymous.'
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Moderator
Messages
7,304
Points
29
Moderator note:



Merged thread. Also making it a sticky for a little while for all of the new grads.

SR

 

Ares

Cyburbian
Messages
199
Points
7
Just applied for a Planner I position for the City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Montana and Utah positions I applied for.
 

j_melrose1980

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
RE: New Job!

Hello all,


I've posted a few times on here probably, and I thought I posted in this thread in 2010 when I got laid off. Not sure, but as many of you know there was NOTHING out there for quite a while ---especially in Illinois with our glorious state government. I worked sales for a while which was a great experience because I'm even better at the table now.

BUT, after two years and 3 months I have rejoined the planning field. It was a step back in pay, but in the long run it is a larger community, better transit and economic development/planning experience then I previously had and many more projects to wrap my hands around. Sucks to take that big hit in pay but in the long run I'm hoping it will pay off.

For those out there still looking, it's getting better and the wallets are starting to slowly open. I wish the best for everyone out there, I know it was hard sitting there with a master's degree, over 6 years experience in a field and having to go work a sales job to get by.

Jake
 

Backstrom

Cyburbian
Messages
116
Points
6
Hello all,


I've posted a few times on here probably, and I thought I posted in this thread in 2010 when I got laid off. Not sure, but as many of you know there was NOTHING out there for quite a while ---especially in Illinois with our glorious state government. I worked sales for a while which was a great experience because I'm even better at the table now.

BUT, after two years and 3 months I have rejoined the planning field. It was a step back in pay, but in the long run it is a larger community, better transit and economic development/planning experience then I previously had and many more projects to wrap my hands around. Sucks to take that big hit in pay but in the long run I'm hoping it will pay off.

For those out there still looking, it's getting better and the wallets are starting to slowly open. I wish the best for everyone out there, I know it was hard sitting there with a master's degree, over 6 years experience in a field and having to go work a sales job to get by.

Jake
Congrats! As long as you're passionate about planning, then getting a position regardless of pay will be worth it.
 

diemerm

Member
Messages
24
Points
2
I finished undergrad last year, majored in Urban Studies & minored in Environmental Studies. I knew I wanted to be a planner for a large city government, but ever since graduating I’ve applied to literally hundreds of planning jobs just trying to get a foot in the door somewhere. I had little to no luck and often turned to Cyburbia for advice and support.

I got good news earlier in the year when I was accepted to Cal Poly Pomona’s Urban & Regional Planning Masters program. Finally, I thought, maybe this career choice isn’t as hopeless as it was looking the past year. Well, now I received word yesterday that I got an internship I interviewed for last week. On Monday, I’ll begin interning for the Los Angeles City Planning Department :D

Its gonna be hard, as I’ll be balancing this new internship with my current job (not planning related but need it to pay the bills) but I feel so much more confident now that I’ll be getting my Masters AND have experience in a city planning department.

Moral of the story to anyone that’s in a similar position: Don’t give up. If planning is a passion of yours and it’s what you were meant to do, it will eventually happen IF you try hard enough. I felt worthless at many times in the past year since graduating, but hard work and persistence pays off!!! Good luck and my best wishes to everyone else that is looking for their door into a planning career.
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
23
Hey man, congrats to you. Same story here... laid off a few years ago by an engineering firm when there was no work... finally took a job in another industry, made decent money, but felt like I was toiling away there. Helps to keep your eyes open- found a job back in planning and started last month. Going great so far. Good luck to you!


QUOTE=j_melrose1980;683323]Hello all,


I've posted a few times on here probably, and I thought I posted in this thread in 2010 when I got laid off. Not sure, but as many of you know there was NOTHING out there for quite a while ---especially in Illinois with our glorious state government. I worked sales for a while which was a great experience because I'm even better at the table now.

BUT, after two years and 3 months I have rejoined the planning field. It was a step back in pay, but in the long run it is a larger community, better transit and economic development/planning experience then I previously had and many more projects to wrap my hands around. Sucks to take that big hit in pay but in the long run I'm hoping it will pay off.

For those out there still looking, it's getting better and the wallets are starting to slowly open. I wish the best for everyone out there, I know it was hard sitting there with a master's degree, over 6 years experience in a field and having to go work a sales job to get by.

Jake[/QUOTE]
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,283
Points
29
I'm out looking again......

Well, I'm out looking for planning work......again:r:
Looking for something in my part of California, but also sending applications out for director and management positions nearby.
After getting railroaded by the railroad, I'm looking for any good that I can find with humanity right now. :not:

4 weeks into trying to get unemployment benefits from California and I still haven't been allowed to EVEN apply for benefits:-@

I do have one interview next week, so I got that going for me;)
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,423
Points
25
Well, I'm out looking for planning work......again:r:
Looking for something in my part of California, but also sending applications out for director and management positions nearby.
After getting railroaded by the railroad, I'm looking for any good that I can find with humanity right now. :not:

4 weeks into trying to get unemployment benefits from California and I still haven't been allowed to EVEN apply for benefits:-@

I do have one interview next week, so I got that going for me;)
Very curious what happened with the railroad gig?
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
10,259
Points
31
Well, I'm out looking for planning work......again:r:
Looking for something in my part of California, but also sending applications out for director and management positions nearby.
After getting railroaded by the railroad, I'm looking for any good that I can find with humanity right now. :not:

4 weeks into trying to get unemployment benefits from California and I still haven't been allowed to EVEN apply for benefits:-@

I do have one interview next week, so I got that going for me;)
Sorry to hear that dude. There are positions available. Sadly, you got to move to get to them.
 

Backstrom

Cyburbian
Messages
116
Points
6
Well, I'm out looking for planning work......again:r:
Looking for something in my part of California, but also sending applications out for director and management positions nearby.
After getting railroaded by the railroad, I'm looking for any good that I can find with humanity right now. :not:

4 weeks into trying to get unemployment benefits from California and I still haven't been allowed to EVEN apply for benefits:-@

I do have one interview next week, so I got that going for me;)
I feel you, man.

Last week, I probably got the closest to an offer since I started looking for work last October. Apparently, I was one of the top 2 or 3 candidates before being invited back in for a second interview (which I felt I nailed), and it turns out they gave it someone who was a "better fit" for the workload. Which is really too bad because now I'm just haunted as to what the other candidate had that I didn't. :(
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
I feel you, man.

Last week, I probably got the closest to an offer since I started looking for work last October. Apparently, I was one of the top 2 or 3 candidates before being invited back in for a second interview (which I felt I nailed), and it turns out they gave it someone who was a "better fit" for the workload. Which is really too bad because now I'm just haunted as to what the other candidate had that I didn't. :(
Find out where he worked and apply.
 
Messages
2,228
Points
18
Well, I'm out looking for planning work......again:r:
Looking for something in my part of California, but also sending applications out for director and management positions nearby.
After getting railroaded by the railroad, I'm looking for any good that I can find with humanity right now. :not:

4 weeks into trying to get unemployment benefits from California and I still haven't been allowed to EVEN apply for benefits:-@

I do have one interview next week, so I got that going for me;)
In April I read about the massive layoffs of railroad employees all around the U.S. and Canada. I thought about your position and was hoping that they would not get to you....:glum: So sorry that California is especially guilty of stalling on unemployment benefit processing.

Still, though, isn't living in Southern California SO worth it? The answer is YES!!!!!! (OK, I'm prejudiced because I may be moving back to L.A. County soon.:D)


Wishing you a whole lotta good luck in your interview next week.:)
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,283
Points
29
Oh Yeah......

Very curious what happened with the railroad gig?
It really is a hell of a story.....already told to Brocktoon (He LOVES it when I wear my cut off shorts:l:

I'm thinking of a laefest in San Francisco sometime soon if anyone wants to hear the story (I'll just charge for the beer;))
 

Brocktoon

Cyburbian
Messages
3,728
Points
22
It really is a hell of a story.....already told to Brocktoon (He LOVES it when I wear my cut off shorts:l:

I'm thinking of a laefest in San Francisco sometime soon if anyone wants to hear the story (I'll just charge for the beer;))
You do wear them well...almost as well as you wear that body hair sweater.
 

Tobinn

Cyburbian
Messages
314
Points
11
What is the job market like lately?

I'm wondering what the job market is like lately. All I can say is that I was looking for close on three years before I got my old job back last April. The prospects were somewhat bleak last year (and for the several years prior). Are things improving? About the same? Just wondering how my peers are getting on. The posts to this form seem to have slowed so perhaps that a good thing.
 

southern_yank

Cyburbian
Messages
134
Points
6
I'm employed but looking for jobs in southern California. From my perspective, there are a lot of positions opening up, but competition is fierce (maybe more so for me because I'm trying to relocate from the east coast). There's still a backlog of unemployed and under-employed planners looking for work, so employers have their pick. It's no longer enough to be "good enough". You've got to bring your A game to every interview, show off work samples, and consider creating a portfolio with your work accomplishments. Also, network like crazy. For more introverted people like myself, this may be uncomfortable, but gets easier the more you do it.
 

rcgplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,730
Points
18
I'm wondering what the job market is like lately. All I can say is that I was looking for close on three years before I got my old job back last April. The prospects were somewhat bleak last year (and for the several years prior). Are things improving? About the same? Just wondering how my peers are getting on. The posts to this form seem to have slowed so perhaps that a good thing.
At least for us planners who have been in the field for a while, it feels like the market is improving slowly. I am seeing a lot more jobs being advertised, especially when compared to the same time over the last few years.

For those starting out, I am thinking it may be another tough year or two for them. A lot of people who had planned to retire over the last few years had put it off, but now that the economy and the stock market is beginning to improve, many of those people are planning for retirement. In my office, there are at least 2 people eyeing retirement in the next year and 2 more people that are looking in the next 2 - 3 years. These retirements will provide opportunites for mid-level people to move up. After these internal movements happen, there will finally be room for entry-level planners. My office has no planners at less than a Planner II rank, this is because, besides myself, no one has been hired in over 3 years, so everyone has step-increased past the Planner I stage.

It seems like budgets are stabilizing and places have stopped cutting positions. In a lot of communities there is a pent-up demand for development and IMO there will be a lot of new development in the next few years. The market seems like it is improving, but I don't think we will ever get back to the boom of the early 2000's with signing bonuses, paid moving expenses, etc. The real issue in not only the planning field, but the labor force in general, is stagnant wages. Many of the salaries I am seeing now are the same salaries that were being advertised in 2007/2008.
 

oeds

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
I had been applying for several openings with no luck since May, 2012. So far I have gotten one telephone interview but several emails telling me they have hired someone else or that I am good enough but still they hired someone else. Is very frustrating and I have applied as well to internships. I did two internships while I was in grad school. I am hoping that after my year with AmeriCorps which ends in September of the current year I might be able to have some better luck in the job hunt. Still I am planning for plan b which moving to the continental US from Puerto Rico and slightly improve my chances. Now there is a possibility to do another year as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in case I do not have any offers for jobs as I build my network in the state that I decide to move in.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Moderator
Messages
11,870
Points
30
I am in the non-profit sector and there are job becoming available on a consistent basis and with decent wages. I was unemployed in 2011 and it was a veritable wasteland, I took the first job offered to me because it meant a paycheck and benefits.

I had a final round interview earlier this week for more money, slowly but surely there is some movement.
 

RossKinkade

Member
Messages
16
Points
1
I'm posing these questions as some one who will be graduating in the future...

First , where are the jobs mainly located? I'm currently in Chicago, I would love to move back to the east coast, but honestly I'm open to go where ever I see my self fitting best.

As some one graduating with a bachelors in MAY 2015, will prospects be looking better? I've been networking like mad, and I just got a great internship with CMAP.... but I still have that fear that I'm not making myself markable enough at times, or I am not connected enough.

I know that my schooling comes first, but I do not want to set my self up for failure once I graduate.

Idk if this is the right thread, just some questions I have.
 

Blide

Cyburbian
Messages
1,186
Points
17
First , where are the jobs mainly located?
Where the jobs are located and where you're most likely to find work are two different things. The places with the most planning jobs tend to also be the places where there's the most competition. So starting out, your best bet is probably looking toward places where planners might not be as interested in working.

As some one graduating with a bachelors in MAY 2015, will prospects be looking better?
This is really hard to answer. I imagine things will be better but who knows. You'll probably still be looking at a glut of well qualified planners since the field contracted so much.
 

RossKinkade

Member
Messages
16
Points
1
Where the jobs are located and where you're most likely to find work are two different things. The places with the most planning jobs tend to also be the places where there's the most competition. So starting out, your best bet is probably looking toward places where planners might not be as interested in working.

This is really hard to answer. I imagine things will be better but who knows. You'll probably still be looking at a glut of well qualified planners since the field contracted so much.
The question boils down to where do people not want to work? Are we talking decimated cities, rural, or where?

Just some background- Interested in community development and GIS (hopefully taking more classes and gaining experience soon).
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,319
Points
16
The question boils down to where do people not want to work? Are we talking decimated cities, rural, or where?

Just some background- Interested in community development and GIS (hopefully taking more classes and gaining experience soon).
Rural locations typically have greater odds since most people either 1) didn't see the ads, 2) can't relocated, or 3) do not want to relocated since they have this idealistic dream of living in some urban environment. But consider Los Angeles and the Southern California region for a minute (since I am there). There are jobs out there, and it is getting better. But many people want to live out there, so you have that demand. Plus you have Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA, UCI, UCSB, USC, and Cal Poly SLO that have planning programs nearby, plus other schools like UCR and CSUSB have related programs. The area is saturated with locals looking for a job. While you can still get one, you can see how it can be much more difficult to land a job here compared to other places. The main point is to try and not rule out the more rural areas. If you get that perfect urban setting starting out then great, but you will have a better advantage applying to rural places as well.

As far as your prospects go... you still have time. Interning and being involved with your local APA will certainly help you.
 

terraplnr

Cyburbian
Messages
2,108
Points
23
I was suprised at how many recent job postings were on the APA website yesterday, compared to a couple of years ago. The growth in the housing market has certainly helped. But, I know that planning jobs that are funded in one way or another by the federal government have been hit hard this year (layoffs, hiring freezes) with the sequester, budget hijacking, etc.


Edit: looks like I was responding to the last post on the previous page.. oh well, it still applies to the thread. Need more coffee. :)
 

Signature

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
Gave Up! Degree gathering dust.

I went to planning school after the crash (post 2007), got internships with my grad degree (late 2010s), And guess what? I couldn't get a full time gov't position after 2.5 years of graduating. Internships yes, and they were fun, but you know what? Internships don't pay the loans or bills. I was tired of living with my parents.

I gave up and have gone into the private sector in an allied field and you know what? I'm much, much happier having a job that I got trained for (rather than having to scrape by at a private firm that won't train you, no matter what they say). I am so thankful to dear God I am where I am today.

Planning graduate degrees do NOT prepare you for planning if you don't have a planning undergrad. Forget it!
Trying to get into urban planning sucked, and I would NOT recommend it.
The competition is so fierce for planning jobs that ONLY someone who's been at it since undergrad and went to a top ranked school has a chance.

Seriously. Don't bother. FYI: I first got the guts to go into planning from this forum. I am just sharing my personal experience.
 

OfficialPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
930
Points
22
Planning graduate degrees do NOT prepare you for planning if you don't have a planning undergrad. Forget it!
I gave up and have gone into the private sector in an allied field and you know what? I'm much, much happier having a job that I got trained for (rather than having to scrape by at a private firm that won't train you, no matter what they say). I am so thankful to dear God I am where I am today.
The competition is so fierce for planning jobs that ONLY someone who's been at it since undergrad and went to a top ranked school has a chance.
Yes, it's difficult to find gainful employment within planning, but I strongly disagree with several of your arguments as to why that is the case. For starters, it's a disadvantage to earn both a planning undergrad and graduate degree, IMO. Being exposed to other disciplines, especially public administration, may be seen as a more well rounded background for some hiring managers. In fact, I'm willing to venture to say that Cyburbia forum members have a different undergraduate than graduate degree and others have a degree in a related field (geography, public administration) and are successful planners.

I do think planning schools should do their students a favor by being realistic about the day-to-day work of most planners (which would probably scare half of the potential students away), and the job environment (politics). Very few get to do the fun stuff that originally attracted them to the profession. The work can be mundane depending on where you end up.

It sounds like you did meet the end goal, which is using your degree to find employment doing something you love. A lot of job seekers cast a very small net when searching to their detriment.
 

HomerJ

Cyburbian
Messages
1,035
Points
15
I went to planning school after the crash (post 2007), got internships with my grad degree (late 2010s), And guess what? I couldn't get a full time gov't position after 2.5 years of graduating. Internships yes, and they were fun, but you know what? Internships don't pay the loans or bills. I was tired of living with my parents.

I gave up and have gone into the private sector in an allied field and you know what? I'm much, much happier having a job that I got trained for (rather than having to scrape by at a private firm that won't train you, no matter what they say)
What was the allied field you went into?
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
10,259
Points
31
Yes, it's difficult to find gainful employment within planning, but I strongly disagree with several of your arguments as to why that is the case. For starters, it's a disadvantage to earn both a planning undergrad and graduate degree, IMO. Being exposed to other disciplines, especially public administration, may be seen as a more well rounded background for some hiring managers. In fact, I'm willing to venture to say that Cyburbia forum members have a different undergraduate than graduate degree and others have a degree in a related field (geography, public administration) and are successful planners.

I do think planning schools should do their students a favor by being realistic about the day-to-day work of most planners (which would probably scare half of the potential students away), and the job environment (politics). Very few get to do the fun stuff that originally attracted them to the profession. The work can be mundane depending on where you end up.

It sounds like you did meet the end goal, which is using your degree to find employment doing something you love. A lot of job seekers cast a very small net when searching to their detriment.
I whole heartily agree with OP. First, I'm glad you got a paying gig finally, congrats. I don't have a planning degree and have been in the profession 25 years now. My public admin degree came in handy when I got my first PD gig. I understand the difficult balancing act the unis have to go through, tho I do wish they would be a bit more pragmatic about the profession. Again congrats on the job
 

Backstrom

Cyburbian
Messages
116
Points
6
I do think planning schools should do their students a favor by being realistic about the day-to-day work of most planners (which would probably scare half of the potential students away), and the job environment (politics). Very few get to do the fun stuff that originally attracted them to the profession. The work can be mundane depending on where you end up.
I can't agree with this enough. I can't imagine how many MURP/MUP students are choosing hot thesis topics, like greenfield/infill development, TOD, historic preservation, etc. thinking that's what they'll end up doing as a profession, only to find that those jobs are few and far between. It doesn't help that a lot of lure comes from the sexy well-rendered posters that they see from their predecessors or design students.

My interest in transit was spurred on by reading about TOD, rail construction, streetcars, etc. etc., but the vast majority of my experience doing actual transit planning was looking at spreadsheets. So yes, I wholeheartedly agree that planning programs have to be much more realistic about what the majority of planning work actually is.
 

urbanstudies

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
I went to planning school after the crash (post 2007), got internships with my grad degree (late 2010s), And guess what? I couldn't get a full time gov't position after 2.5 years of graduating. Internships yes, and they were fun, but you know what? Internships don't pay the loans or bills. I was tired of living with my parents.

I gave up and have gone into the private sector in an allied field and you know what? I'm much, much happier having a job that I got trained for (rather than having to scrape by at a private firm that won't train you, no matter what they say). I am so thankful to dear God I am where I am today.

Planning graduate degrees do NOT prepare you for planning if you don't have a planning undergrad. Forget it!
Trying to get into urban planning sucked, and I would NOT recommend it.
The competition is so fierce for planning jobs that ONLY someone who's been at it since undergrad and went to a top ranked school has a chance.

Seriously. Don't bother. FYI: I first got the guts to go into planning from this forum. I am just sharing my personal experience.

What was the private sector allied field you ended up going into? I currently work in urban planning in the UK and am considering moving into a field related to but that isn't planning (partially to be more transferable career-wise back to the US).

I also completely agree with your point on planning degrees not preparing you for the field and employment. They really do need to focus on applicable skills and portraying the profession as it actually is. Urban theory is sexy and everything but....

I am originally from California and did planning for my undergrad and masters and the planning sector sounds pretty bleak (albeit getting better) there at the moment. Does it seem better in the private sector than public sector?
 

RossKinkade

Member
Messages
16
Points
1
I also completely agree with your point on planning degrees not preparing you for the field and employment. They really do need to focus on applicable skills and portraying the profession as it actually is. Urban theory is sexy and everything but....

\
As a current undergrad, I struggle with this everytime I walk into class. One of my classes @ UIC, UPA 301- Political Economy of Urban Development , is taught by a knoweldgable PHD student, but the class and I don't understand the real value of the material he is teaching. Not to mention he is too indepth for a Undergrad program and too vauge at times also.

I'm glad that alot of the classes I am taking for my degree have field trips to visit practing planners and related organizations, because they have been a valuable insight into the hard and soft skills that planners need. One of them made a big point about the lack of GIS skills in some places... and now I am planning on taking more GIS course and maybe getting basic certification. I am also trying out some graphics programs, and sharpening my presentation and writing skills. Also, I have really really pushed my self to become more comftorable with communication.

It comes back to something that I truely believe in, and that is the power of work expereience. I've been pushing my self hard to make connections with people, do some unpaid projects and gain insight into planning, some of the things that I still have to learn, and the skills I possess and lack.

It really bugs me when people go to school w/o the real world experience , and expect to be handed a job once they are done. Thats not how it works these days, even in basic part time jobs, they are stressing the importance of experience like no other.

just an undergrads 2 cents :p
 
Messages
22
Points
2
I hope nobody takes this the wrong way...but every time I see a younger professional "venting" in this thread (and other threads), I get drawn to this blog post I read recently:

http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html
I wish it was just venting because we have ambitions and unrealistic expectations.

If I vent it has nothing to do with not getting my dream job, it has everything to do with not getting a job. I am willing to work very hard, I currently have two minor planning related positions along with a unpaid internship. After 6 years of higher education (two degrees), possessing some very marketable skills, and spending a year interning and making connections, I do expect to have been offered a full time position. The job market is saturated and even with a long list of interviews I have not received a job, and I have been told multiple times that my interview was very good (Not sure if the interviewers were being honest).

The current job market is one that can not be understood by anyone other than the so called "greatest generation". All the generations that have come after have had an easy job market to enter in to, but they don't care about that, they just want to tell my generation how we expect to much and refuse to work hard for it.

I expect the ability to get a job and I expect the ability to pay my bills without help from my parents (which I am very lucky to have). Is that unrealistic expectations?
 

rcgplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,730
Points
18
I also completely agree with your point on planning degrees not preparing you for the field and employment. They really do need to focus on applicable skills and portraying the profession as it actually is. Urban theory is sexy and everything but....
I was very fortunate that the planning program I attended was very technical and gave me lots of realistic experience. Almost all of my classes were coupled with a real life field component. When I graduated I had obtained skills like interperting zoning ordinances, drafting downtown plans, presenting before public bodies, and knowing how to do population projections. All of these experiences gave me tangible skills I was able to turn into a job after graduation. My planning program also gave me a pretty honest assessment of what it really was like to be a front-end planner. I turned down offers from more "famous" planning programs because to me their programs seemed to be more focused on theory and ivy-tower type discussions and less focused on the day-to-day duties of a planner. I truly believe that after you land your first job, unless you are working at some top 5 world class design firm, no one cares where you went to planning school. All future employers care about is what concrete skills and knowldege can you bring them.
 

jwhitty

Cyburbian
Messages
135
Points
6
I hope nobody takes this the wrong way...but every time I see a younger professional "venting" in this thread (and other threads), I get drawn to this blog post I read recently:

http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html
How can someone be a yuppie when they are un/under employed? Doesn't the non-professional aspect of the existence negate the term.

I read that post a few days ago. With the closeted racism and lack of research standing, I was disappointed by author's limited assault on our entitlement culture and no call to put Reagan on the $10 bill.
 

hilldweller

Cyburbian
Messages
3,866
Points
23
How can someone be a yuppie when they are un/under employed? Doesn't the non-professional aspect of the existence negate the term.
Yeah, I don't get that one either. Plus, how much of the Boomers success was due to the good fortune of the surging economy during the 80s, 90s, and early 00s? I don't think they were that much more hard-working then Gen Y, just a whole lot luckier. My two cents (and sorry for being off-topic)...
 

Backstrom

Cyburbian
Messages
116
Points
6
Yeah, I don't get that one either. Plus, how much of the Boomers success was due to the good fortune of the surging economy during the 80s, 90s, and early 00s? I don't think they were that much more hard-working then Gen Y, just a whole lot luckier. My two cents (and sorry for being off-topic)...
My dad, who's a Boeing engineer, was hired in the early 80s. According to him, he sent in his resume, they called him asking if he still had interest in the position, and voila, got an offer.
 

Brocktoon

Cyburbian
Messages
3,728
Points
22
I wish it was just venting because we have ambitions and unrealistic expectations.

If I vent it has nothing to do with not getting my dream job, it has everything to do with not getting a job. I am willing to work very hard, I currently have two minor planning related positions along with a unpaid internship. After 6 years of higher education (two degrees), possessing some very marketable skills, and spending a year interning and making connections, I do expect to have been offered a full time position. The job market is saturated and even with a long list of interviews I have not received a job, and I have been told multiple times that my interview was very good (Not sure if the interviewers were being honest).

The current job market is one that can not be understood by anyone other than the so called "greatest generation". All the generations that have come after have had an easy job market to enter in to, but they don't care about that, they just want to tell my generation how we expect to much and refuse to work hard for it.

I expect the ability to get a job and I expect the ability to pay my bills without help from my parents (which I am very lucky to have). Is that unrealistic expectations?
You expect to get a job in a very competitive field but you don't feel entitled? Many people in your position take a job to pay their bills and keep looking for work in the field. You have options but you feel entitled to a planning job.

I commend you for your perseverance but thinking no other generation understands what you are going through is very short sighted. There are many people on these boards that have worked hard, paid their dues and through no fault of their own got laid off and have to find work doing non planning jobs to pay their bills.

You are very special with your two degrees, some minor planning work, all of your very marketable skills, an internship and a ton of interviews. :r:
 
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