The unemployed planner support thread

Habanero

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#41
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?
 
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#42
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

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#43
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.
 
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#44
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

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#47
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

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#48
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

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#49
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

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#50
...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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#51
Yeah, layoffs are quite awful. I've been through it a few times now, most recently last December. I haven't been able to find work in my field (LA) since then. The housing downturn has hit LV pretty hard. I started driving a cab recently so I don't get so behind on my bills and to have something to do. Its sociologically fascinating, doing this in Vegas, but other than that its a pretty sucky job. I've been blogging about it, both to vent and have some form of mental exercise. Its kind of frustrating seeing that there are still so many who can afford exorbitant displays of wealth. You see a lot of that here. Not that I aspire to that, but when you see the "system" is benefitting someone so much more than you, well, you feel like a chump. I think about starting over, doing something else, but I really don't know what. I don't want to incur more debts funding more education. Its been costly enough just keeping up with my LA certifications! I wish I believed those people who told me, after an IQ test when I was a kid, that I was up ther with most doctors and scientists. Somehow I got the idea that I wanted to do something creative, something that would benefit society. It feels like some kind of mass re-education plan to turn us all into widget-producing or marketing drones without any real thinking or questioning of society's direction. Not everyone is cut out to be a cutthroat capitalist, but it seems like those are the only people who are surviving and thriving now.
 

Dan

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#52
I think about starting over, doing something else, but I really don't know what.
Same thing here sometimes. It seems like that in the end, planning as a profession has always left me disappointed. I'm so drawn to the promise for what planning can do for a community, but there is so little reward for your work, and so much BS along the way. It's the only profession I know of where you'll get in trouble with the powers that be when you insist on putting your skills and knowledge to practice. and do your job right. I often feel like an underpaid doctor who gives reluctant patients an honest diagnosis, and offers them a course of treatment, but they fight you every step of the way. "No, I don't have that disease. Even though six doctors have told me I have it, I really don't. And even If I did, I still don't want to take those pills. They give me an upset stomach. I know I'll become crippled if I don't take them, but really, my stomach is telling me no, and I have to listen to it over the rest of my body. Just tell me that I'm in great shape, and let me worry about my own problems, okay? You're just an obstructionist to my enjoying my life."

What else can I do, though?
 
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#53
Dan, if you are not pissing off some commissioner, then you are probably not doing the job right. If you want stability and don’t want to worry as much about the politics, go to work for a consultant if you can. Remember, at the end of the day it is about making a living.
 

Queen B

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#54
OMG!!!:-c:-c:-c

OK, whether you are upside down or not... get your house ready for sale. Then put it on the market. Go through your stuff and decide what you can and can't live without. That will at least keep part of your time occupied.

It will be an adventure. Look at it that way.

Do you have a place the dogs can go if you get in a situation that you can't have them? Make those arrangements.
I agree on the whole "the relationship will make it if it is suppose to."

You are fortunate that you don't have a wife and kids (other than your dogs).

Keep all your possibilities open and something will come up.

I sold real estate while I waited for a planning job to come open.

Keep your chin up and fake a smile if you have to, it will get better.
 

tsc

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#55
wow...sorry Dan. We still seem to have the opposite problem here...hard to find employees.
 

donk

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#56
As a person who has been let go (was able to negotiate and exit) and left before it could happen (the knives were being sharpened) and swore he'd never work in planning again, I am really liking working in the private sector. The worst part is dealing with my public sector clients, who are all the things I dislike about the profession. Maybe give the private sector a try.

The other comment, look north of the border, there is a shortage of good planners north of the border right now.
 
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#57
Same thing here sometimes. It seems like that in the end, planning as a profession has always left me disappointed. I'm so drawn to the promise for what planning can do for a community, but there is so little reward for your work, and so much BS along the way. It's the only profession I know of where you'll get in trouble with the powers that be when you insist on putting your skills and knowledge to practice. and do your job right. I often feel like an underpaid doctor who gives reluctant patients an honest diagnosis, and offers them a course of treatment, but they fight you every step of the way. "No, I don't have that disease. Even though six doctors have told me I have it, I really don't. And even If I did, I still don't want to take those pills. They give me an upset stomach. I know I'll become crippled if I don't take them, but really, my stomach is telling me no, and I have to listen to it over the rest of my body. Just tell me that I'm in great shape, and let me worry about my own problems, okay? You're just an obstructionist to my enjoying my life."

What else can I do, though?
two words: PRIVATE SECTOR.
 

Michele Zone

     
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#58
Go through your stuff and decide what you can and can't live without. That will at least keep part of your time occupied.
I know someone who once supplemented their unemployment check by selling a bunch of stuff on ebay.
 

luckless pedestrian

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#59
I agree with dandy, this is a good time to re-charge yourself by traveling - and Australia and Bermuda really need planners and will likely pay to re-locate you

[insert Lily Tomlin operator voice]...and I must say, I am unimpressed with your GF's inflexibility :-o:-x

both my husband and I have gotten laid off once in our lifetime and I was ready to move to DC or California with him if he had found work there - both of these layoffs, btw, were in the private sector so don't think private sector is more stable - I left private sector because it was so unstable - but I worked in the late 80's and early 90's when the economy in the northeast was tepid at best - so maybe a switch to a private firm will renew you but don't think if the economy sinks that you will be unaffected is all - especially if it's a development firm, you'd be better off scoping sites for a chain store

I do know how it feels to be laid off though so I do know what you are going through - that's why, again, I would say, get out of Dodge and go! You may never get this chance again to renew yourself and travel on someone else's dime

in the very short term, though, like today, I would sign yourself up as an office temp with a local agency and get a nighttime job (cabs, restaurants, bars, anything) - this is what I did and it got me out in the world and I met some decent contacts that I was able to use as references when I did go find a planning job again - since you don't know why they let you go (and I am not convinced you were not wrongfully discharged, btw) you will need new people in your life as advocates or at least take stock in the staff people that are still there to sue as references in the future...
 
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