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The unemployed planner support thread

Suburb Repairman

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#63
Was going to suggest site acquisition for the major retailers/fast foods. They all have 'em. Cleveland is convenient to many markets. Travel involved.
A lot of those site acquisition companies are based on Columbus, so that might be the place to look.
 

Downtown

     
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#64
Oh honey! I am sick in my stomach to hear this. :fierce hug:

Ok - pity party over - I think that you've gotten some good advice here - i don't have much to add except to network, network, network.

As for being laid off - while that hasn't happened, we just had a complete regime changeover in the town. One party rule since the depression. Complete overturn of supervisor and the majority seats of the Town Board. my boss, the planning director, was able to resign before the new regime came in and fired her, but the rest of us are NYS Civil Service protected. Which means now they need to make things uncomfortable enough for us to leave on our own volition, which they're doing a pretty good job of. So, I'm also avidly job seeking, but at least I have the luxury of the fall back job, and the hopes that in the next election, we'll have a new supervisor.
 
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#65
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...
I couldn't agree more with the Luckless Pedestrian about getting yourself back out there as quickly as possible even if it is un a capacity that might be a gross underemployment of your skills and abilities.

I always say to myself that if times get bad and I were to unexpectedly lose my job, my first stop on the way home after cleaning out my cubicle would be at Starbucks or Caribou or somewhere similar. I just imagine that with all the people coming and going through a coffee shop, you are bound to strike up some conversations that may lead to something more. I know I have begun more than a few relevent conversations with other customers while just waiting in line. As an added bonus, I know Starbucks provides health insurance for even their part-time employees. And the flexibility of a retail schedule is great in allowing you to work on that job search in case you have to take time off for an interview with minimal notice.
 
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#66
Good luck, Dan.

I have attended the regional MPO in Cleveland and even some seminars with Dan. It's always a shame when someone is let go, whether politics played a role or not. I had the same discussion with my PD about the budget -- noting that the trend is to re-hire retired planners at a lower wage so they can get their retirement pay and a wage, as well (it's legal in Ohio). I, too, was told everything was okay. But the clock ticks and the calendar reveals the next day as something which hasn't happened, yet.

I worked for nine years for a private industrial company and was laid-off a number of times. I finally went to school and pursued a degree where I was able to work in television as a news producer then as a broadcast technician. Got laid off, again even though I was union. Since time is money and if they're not selling time... I took this round of lay-offs as a sign to attend college for another degree, which led to a Master's program and finally the county planner position just south of Dan.

Our market for minor and major subdivisions has dwindled dramatically. Not just with the housing crunch the way it is, but with our State Legislature messing with the septic regulations (a long story, which will revert back to the new regs come 2009). So, many factors exist which play a part and it's hard to know just when the breaking point will be met.

Good luck, Dan and everyone else who has met this wall -- leap above it and prevail!
 
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#67
I was just reminded of a guy I knew, my first tenant when I bought my two-family house. He was the director of the State of NJ's planning office, and had a Phd from the London School of Economics. Yes, I said London School of Economics! They were calling his agency the Office of Smart Growth or something at the time. He would go all over the state speaking to groups on why we needed smart growth. Christie Whitman's administration came in, decided they needed to make some cuts, and abolished his whole office! So it goes to show that not even a doctorate from a prestigious university can guarantee you a job. I heard he eventually found something again, but I imagine that was quite a shock to the system.
 

Dan

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#68
I feel so depressed. I just applied for an entry-level job. :(

I get occasional calls from the state employment board (or some such agency) with job referrals for ... industrial production planners. (Hey, it's the Rust Belt.) When I make my weekly unemployment claim, I'm asked whether I got any referrals. I have to answer "yes", and go through a lengthy process to justify why I didn't followup on them. "I'm an URBAN planner, not a production planner or financial planner or wedding planner or party planner or conference planner! URBAN! URBAN! URBAN!"
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
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#70
Found a watershed coordinator position in my Sunday paper. (Holland, Mich.) It's now on the job board.

There might be other types of jobs that use planning skills but don't require that The Only Planner In Town have a fatal full arrest.

Others include:

  • site acquisition (mucho zoning) for cell towers and big retail corporations
  • non-profit do-gooder agencies like the watershed council cited in that job listing
What else?
 
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kjel

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#74
My hours in the ED's office were cut in half last fall which meant I had to pick up part time hours somewhere else at half the pay because few people pay well when you need flexible hours. Now I am back to work full time at the ED's office and it seems to be relatively stable for the time being but we are going through and acquisition by partnership in short order so I am a bit nervous if that is still going to be the case. Ultimately though I am very nervous about my prospects at a good paying planning job upon graduating in December since the job listings are getting scarcer by the day and the economy is in the bucket. Some hard choices are going to have to be made on my end when that time approaches because of living in a very high cost area.

Good luck!
 
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#76
Today I find myself joining the ranks of the newly fired, recently resigned, and lately laid-off urban planners in the great state of Georgia. And although I was busy running around in the past few months trying to find new work (due to the impending fear of termination in my current...now former..position), I'm certain to be extremely focused on finding new work while competing with my former colleagues for the few slots that are available. All I can say is good luck to whoever finds work and no hard feelings if you're the one who beat me out for the position.
 

Dan

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#77
In a metropolitan region of three million plus people like Cleveland, with so many local governments, how can there not be at least ONE vacant planning position available?

There's some architecture and planning firms with "send us your resume"-type solicitations on their Web sites, but when I send off a resume, cover letter and CD-ROM portfolio, I feel that they seem to make their way to the trash; not even a "thank you for your interest" letter. Senior economic development positions pop up every few weeks, none of which I feel qualified for. Nothing for traditional land use/current planning/comprehensive planing/transportation planning.

I haven't heard so much as a "Hey, are you doing okay?" from anyone at my former place of employment. At every other place I've worked, after I moved on to another job, if I was contacted and asked "Hey Dan, what do you know about X?", I helped them out. Not this time. My former employer doesn't deserve that courtesy.

Right now, I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of rejection, and I'm struggling to keep depression at bay. Nobody wants to hire me, nobody wants to advertise on Cyburbia, no inquiries into my well-being from my former employer, no nothing.
 

skyfire

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#78
I wish I had some optimism for you. I've been looking for a mid-level planning job in the SW corner of the state for the past year. There have been about three openings. And maybe about four more for entry-level positions. And about the same number of economic development positions. The consulting firms haven't been hiring much, and if they are it is for an architect/planner or a landscape architect/planner or an engineer/planner. I'm starting to think being a "trailing spouse" and a planner may not very compatible, especially not in this region at this time...I'm starting to push for relocation soon...

Hope you have better luck than me...
 

Veloise

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#79
In a metropolitan region of three million plus people like Cleveland, with so many local governments, how can there not be at least ONE vacant planning position available?
...Right now, I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of rejection, and I'm struggling to keep depression at bay. Nobody wants to hire me, nobody wants to advertise on Cyburbia, no inquiries into my well-being from my former employer, no nothing.
If/when you hear from that local branch of the consulting firm, let me know, and I'll supply answers to the essay test.

[sent off an app to be a ZA today...]
 
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