The unemployed planner support thread

Messages
9,038
Likes
9
Points
25
Just to clarify....all these placement companies are pursuing me for the same opening.
Ahhh... that makes it a bit more comical. I could tell that at least two of them were for the same opening but wasn't sure about the rest.

The same thing happened to my wife a couple of years ago - she was contacted by 3 different headhunting firms all at the same time for one particular position. She wasn't interested in changing employers at the time so didn't pursue it with any of them but I always wonder if you can play offers from recruiting firms against each other even if they are all working for the same ultimate employer.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,377
Likes
3
Points
21
The hits just keep on coming!

TO-Co called to let me know that they will definitely (no longer possibly might) be meeting with the client at their metro Detroit office tomorrow, and to re-ask for my resume, apparently lost in their server. (Really.)

MT Co sent an email offering a reminder that my interview is today at 11 am EDT. This was sent after 10 am CDT, so even if I had seen it I would have been late. They followed this with an "oopsie" (the event is tomorrow). At least these two messages are not packed with a jumble of different fonts, sizes, colors, and other distinctive communication elements. They forwarded one from the client who used Comic Sans.
 
Messages
18
Likes
0
Points
0
I always wonder if you can play offers from recruiting firms against each other even if they are all working for the same ultimate employer.
Having multiple recruiters present your resume to an employer is a sure-fire, 100% guaranteed way NOT to get the job.

If the employer hires you through one recruiter, the other(s) will sue for the lost fee, and vice versa, so multiple submits equals instant no-hire because they don't want the legal hassle.
 
Messages
10,075
Likes
0
Points
0
Having multiple recruiters present your resume to an employer is a sure-fire, 100% guaranteed way NOT to get the job.

If the employer hires you through one recruiter, the other(s) will sue for the lost fee, and vice versa, so multiple submits equals instant no-hire because they don't want the legal hassle.
Mrs. Cardinal is a recruiter. Her comment - nonsense. A good candidate will be considered. If submitted by more than one, the first to submit will get the credit.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,377
Likes
3
Points
21
What's really strange is: I've been an active candidate in the client's database for a couple years (at least since the V buying A word came down in 2008).

They liked me, they really liked me. The interviewer, new to that role, asked perfunctory questions. Was impressed by my "the time we managed to remove, then construct, a new site at a college within three months" story. She appreciated my "workplace challenge" story (dress code thing...fully complained about on here).

And then the last question was, "so you're fine with working out of this office?" I said absolutely not, the whole reason I applied was your proposed new office in my fair city, I am not commuting two hours, dad's house is no longer available to camp in, all the headhunter places stated that this position would be based local to where I live.

Based on several other perceptions[SUP]1[/SUP], I suspect it might be a vaporgig. However, running over there enabled placement of a ghostbike, dinner with dad's cousin, other good errands.

[SUP]1[/SUP] Room 400. Got there, found the space, there's a notice indicating it was in Room 300. (There was more.)
 
Messages
71
Likes
0
Points
0
I'm kind of upset/depressed right now.

A guy here in our department, not a planner, no planning education nor experience -the guy who answers the department phone and processes plans & files- just got hired by a county near where he lives as a Planner II.

Really?

I went to grad school, had two assistantships in planning while there, then worked as a P I in one city, then a P II in another city, then a P III in my last two positions, for a sum total of 9 years of intern/full-time experience, and he gets hired right into a P II position w/ 0 planning education or experience.

Didn't that county have any qualified candidates apply for that job? What are/were they thinking? How could they allow a qualified unemployed candidate to remain unemployed in favor of taking someone with no idea what he is getting into?

It makes me incredibly depressed to know that any swinging johnson off the street can get hired as a planner. <sigh> And qualified out-of-work people are having to compete with these other folks. <facepalm> And this guy now is walking around thinking (1) he's now my professional equal/colleague and (2) this "planning stuff" can't be that hard; as in 'They hired me, and I have no experience whatsoever, so how tough can it be?'

I know I'm coming off a bit conceited that I value myself and my education/experience over the value of a person without that education/experience... and I'm OK with that. Because I do value it - both in myself and in others who do and have done the same thing I do.

I guess I'm a little down on the profession today is all. :-(
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
11,042
Likes
5
Points
27
I'm kind of upset/depressed right now.

A guy here in our department, not a planner, no planning education nor experience -the guy who answers the department phone and processes plans & files- just got hired by a county near where he lives as a Planner II.

. :-(


A: See if he makes his 6-month probabtion
B: If could have been a political, favoritism, netoptism hire (yes it still happens)
 

Raf

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,260
Likes
13
Points
22
I guess I'm a little down on the profession today is all. :-(
In this profession as well as other it sometimes (and more than likely most times) it doesn't not come down to what you have done, but rather "who you know". The likelihood that "who he knows" may have played a part.

Either that or he/she is one hell of an interviewer...
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,835
Likes
0
Points
1
Don't discount the possibility that they are paying him a lot less than what someone with more experience would make. That seems to be a trend right now in local government: Hire cheap and stay cheap. I just started my new job a few weeks ago after being unemployed for over a year. I'm making $23,000 less than my last job. I'm not complaining, it's nice to have a steady paycheck again but I won't be giving up my two part-time jobs anytime soon. :r:
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,289
Likes
0
Points
1
In this profession as well as other it sometimes (and more than likely most times) it doesn't not come down to what you have done, but rather "who you know". The likelihood that "who he knows" may have played a part.

Either that or he/she is one hell of an interviewer...
It's not exactly who you know either. It's who knows you. Still pretty crazy that he was able to get that position without the proper knowledge or background. I wish I could be so fortunate during my job hunt :(.
 

Blide

Cyburbian
Messages
1,186
Likes
0
Points
0
There's someone around here who was hired "to make maps" over twenty years ago. She still claims to do just that but hasn't made a map since GIS was introduced over a decade ago. She has no idea how to use GIS and really has taken no initiative to learn. She's given menial tasks to do during the day but she's normally just on the phone talking to friends or gossiping. She's just so well connected that her job is never at risk.

What's funny is I essentially have the job she's supposed to be doing so can't complain too much.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
4,270
Likes
1
Points
20
Still pretty crazy that he was able to get that position without the proper knowledge or background.
It happens, and sometimes it really is inexplicable. One very recent example I'm aware of: a federal government agency just filled a mid-level environmental planner position at their regional office here (metro Atlanta). I know two of the folks that applied (both former coworkers). One had the exact skill set and experience they were supposedly looking for (based on both the job ad and a couple of conversations I had with the manager this position reports to), plus veteran's preference. The other is a junior person with limited experience in only one of the thirteen or so resource areas covered by NEPA.

Guess who got the job. 8-!
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,289
Likes
0
Points
1
It happens, and sometimes it really is inexplicable. One very recent example I'm aware of: a federal government agency just filled a mid-level environmental planner position at their regional office here (metro Atlanta). I know two of the folks that applied (both former coworkers). One had the exact skill set and experience they were supposedly looking for (based on both the job ad and a couple of conversations I had with the manager this position reports to), plus veteran's preference. The other is a junior person with limited experience in only one of the thirteen or so resource areas covered by NEPA.

Guess who got the job. 8-!
:-c

I know it happens too... with any job. Underqualified, nepotisim, etc.

It's the reminder that life is not fair, and you have to do more than just maintain a strong resume.
 

Raf

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,260
Likes
13
Points
22
:-c

I know it happens too... with any job. Underqualified, nepotisim, etc.

It's the reminder that life is not fair, and you have to do more than just maintain a strong resume.
The above referenced post reminds me of how important networking is. At the CA APA conference i recently attended, I ran into a lot of contacts from my "darkside" days. At one of the evening functions i ran into the CEO of a company that remembered me from my previous company and work we did together on a project. As we talked he didn't realize i no longer was employed with my former employer, than proceeded to say that had he known, he would have offered me a job in a heartbeat at my pick of offices (i was really burnt out from private sector work anyways, so wasn't looking to heavy in it). Needless to say, networking is very key in our business, especially when you have some experience under your belt. We are a small industry, thus keeping these relationships is very key to future employment opportunities imo.
 
Messages
71
Likes
0
Points
0
In this profession as well as other it sometimes (and more than likely most times) it doesn't not come down to what you have done, but rather "who you know". The likelihood that "who he knows" may have played a part.

Either that or he/she is one hell of an interviewer...
Yeah, I guess I forgot to mention that he's politically connected, from a known political family one county over from where his new job is. I can only imagine the names on his list of references: I'd guess a few county commissioners and at least one current or former city/county manager. Hell, for all I know, that's why my bosses hired him; after all, he's been about worthless in the job he's leaving, so it wasn't for his on-the-job skill!

To me it still gives off the air that our careers are marginalized by those hiring us, which depresses me.

Best of luck to those of you on the job search; I hadn't realized what you were up against, but this event opened my eyes.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,289
Likes
0
Points
1
The above referenced post reminds me of how important networking is. At the CA APA conference i recently attended, I ran into a lot of contacts from my "darkside" days. At one of the evening functions i ran into the CEO of a company that remembered me from my previous company and work we did together on a project. As we talked he didn't realize i no longer was employed with my former employer, than proceeded to say that had he known, he would have offered me a job in a heartbeat at my pick of offices (i was really burnt out from private sector work anyways, so wasn't looking to heavy in it). Needless to say, networking is very key in our business, especially when you have some experience under your belt. We are a small industry, thus keeping these relationships is very key to future employment opportunities imo.
I agree. Networking is the one thing I need to work on. As a recent grad, I realize that my resume will only be able to open the door so far :( Plus, I am constantly told that my first job will likely come from someone I know, and not as a result of sending resumes across the country (though I am doing that as well).
 

HomerJ

Cyburbian
Messages
1,026
Likes
0
Points
0
I agree. Networking is the one thing I need to work on. As a recent grad, I realize that my resume will only be able to open the door so far :( Plus, I am constantly told that my first job will likely come from someone I know, and not as a result of sending resumes across the country (though I am doing that as well).
That's how I got my first internship, and before that my Resume wasn't much. But, my (current) first real Planning job was 500+ miles away, way out of my network, so there is hope that sending those Resumes out will pay off. Statistically speaking though, I would guess that once you go outside your network/area your chances seriously drop.
 
Messages
2,854
Likes
0
Points
0
. Statistically speaking though, I would guess that once you go outside your network/area your chances seriously drop.
Which is why it is so much more important to stand apart from the other candidates. I earned several face-to-face interviews with potential out-of-state employers, all of whom paid for the trip and were outside of my immediate network. If you don't know anything about the area do your homework before you even apply. Every community is disparate but planners (not planning) have more in common on one coast or the other. Don't be afraid to cast your net far.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,895
Likes
0
Points
0
Which is why it is so much more important to stand apart from the other candidates. I earned several face-to-face interviews with potential out-of-state employers, all of whom paid for the trip and were outside of my immediate network. If you don't know anything about the area do your homework before you even apply. Every community is disparate but planners (not planning) have more in common on one coast or the other. Don't be afraid to cast your net far.
Every job I've ever gotten was outside of a network. I ridiculously felt like I was cheating if I applied for a job where I knew somone. Felt like I wasn't being weighed solely on my merits.

I don't feel that way anymore.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,289
Likes
0
Points
1
Every job I've ever gotten was outside of a network. I ridiculously felt like I was cheating if I applied for a job where I knew somone. Felt like I wasn't being weighed solely on my merits.

I don't feel that way anymore.
My impression is that there are going to be jobs out there, but that some of them you won't find on the national APA website (and on related search engines). I also think that there are also fewer ads for new entry level positions (which is my prime target). So, having that contact to suggest places that are hiring is key. In my case, I just need the interviews, and from there I can show what knowledge I have. So, developing the wider network is going to probably going to give a better chance of the interview rather than just applying everywhere. But to be safe, I'm still casting a 'wide net.'

I agree though that you have to make yourself stand out.
 
Last edited:
Top