As Featured in "High Times"
For those planners out there experiencing layoffs, this is a place you can vent and feel safe. Just thought I would let people know.
NPR story: Construction trades dying for workersI'm totally willing to do a "dirty" or low-status blue collar job if I have to, but I've got health issues and I'm not fit enough to do a labor-intensive job like in a warehouse or something. Thought I'd see if anyone here has any advice about switching to a different field.
I can relate to a lot in the previous post. In 2016 I got a masters degree in urban planning thinking it would bring job security, but it sure hasn't worked out that way for me. My most recent job was a couple years as a city planner in a "contractor"/permatemp type position (I made the same money in 2019 as I did in 2009 when I only had an associates degree), while searching for a more stable position (I interviewed for seven and got zero offers). Then I got laid off when the pandemic hit and the city cut their budget back by 30%. The job search has been completely bleak. I remember one time last spring when I went on governmentjobs.com and searched for planner there wasn't a single listing on the entire west coast from Bellingham to San Diego. Now almost 10 months later I've got another big gap in my resume and I'm ready to give up on the planning profession. Unlike the previous poster I do not have a well-paid spouse.
Now I'm trying to figure out Plan B. I've been searching the job listings with keywords like project coordinator, project manager, housing, real estate, A/E marketing, GIS. I see plenty of jobs in vaguely planning-adjacent fields that I'm pretty sure I'd be able to do, but then the first bullet point in their list of required qualifications is years of specific experience I don't have. My unemployment benefits are probably going to run out before Biden's covid relief bill starts giving out money to states and municipalities, so I expect I'll have to take a survival job, if I can find one, in a completely unrelated field. I've seriously looked into working as a long-haul truck driver because I might as well live on the road since my city is a ghost town with the pandemic. I'm totally willing to do a "dirty" or low-status blue collar job if I have to, but I've got health issues and I'm not fit enough to do a labor-intensive job like in a warehouse or something. Thought I'd see if anyone here has any advice about switching to a different field.
I've been keeping an eye out for positions like that and I've applied to a few of them, with no response. I would probably have a better chance if I had more experience in the permitting and environmental regulation side of planning, but my experience is more in public outreach and long-range planning. Definitely checking out opportunities at engineering and development firms though.Have you looked at engineering firms or development firms that maybe need project managers? Do you have any contacts from your time as a planner in these fields? I've seen a few jobs where a planner has handled the upfront entitlement work instead of a civil engineer. I have no idea what they pay but it's planning adjacent.