• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Trying to move up

Urbplanner

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
I am a Assistant Planner in New Jersey with a Masters degree. I have been at my job for approximately one year. Ive been applying for Planning jobs out of state. It seems ive been getting the cold shoulder from out of state employers. Is it the norm for Plannning Departments to shun out of state applicants. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting a planning job when applying from out of state. Has anyone had this problem? If so let me know and tell me how you dealt with it.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Some agencies look with more favor on someone familiar with their states' planning and zoning legislation, forgetting about the ability to learn quickly. I would imagine, however, that the "approximately" one year experience is more of an issue. Have patience: it takes about 6 months to find the right position.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I agree with Mike. Being out of state should not be a negative in and of itself. One year is pretty quick to be looking though - it gives the perception of being a "job hopper", and as an employer I would shy away from that, unless your cover letter gives a darned good explaination for your job search.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
Maybe you could craft your cover letter to reflect why you want to move out of state. For example, if you are originally from the state you are looking at jobs in, you could casually mention that you are excited about the possibility of moving home and working in your home state. The prospective employeer may get the impression that you are simply looking to move back to a familiar area instead of job-hopping.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I'll echo the above comments. One year is a bit soon. Do you have other experience or is this a first job after graduating? Is there a particular reason you want to move on so soon after taking the job?

Employers like to know that you are familiar with the peculiarities of their state. Try to make a connection to the place you are applying. When I moved to Wisconsin I pointed out that I grew up a "cottage cheesehead" - my family had a summer home just 25-30 miles from here. I also referenced a few specific things about the city, for example, its brownfields and my experience in redevelopment.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
One year after graduation from grad school, easily 50% of my class had already switched jobs - however, that was back in the big planning hay day of 1999. just kidding. anyway, i'll (once more) echo the above advice and recommend that you really sell to the prospective employers just why you want to leave your job. In my case, we moved from SC back to NY to be near our families, a fact that I mentioned in all the cover letters I'd sent out and on all the initial phone contacts I'd made. Just stick with it, and good luck!
 

Urbplanner

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
This is my first planning job. I am from New Jersey. The real reason I want to get a job out of state is the cost of living in New Jersey is too high and a the pay of a entry level planner in the public sector is so low. I completed my undergraduate degree in Virginia and I just like the quality of life the South has to offer. Maybe I am looked at as a job hopper since I only stayed six months at my previous job as a Probation Officer. In my defense I changed that job so quickly because I found something in my field. Thanks for the advice, I will explain in my cover letter from now on why Im seeking to leave my current employer so soon. Again Thanks for the advice
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
I looked for a job in Northern Va for 6 months before I got the one I have now. I got wise to the idea that being out of state was a bad thing and started using my then boy friends address and phone number-viola interviews!

FYI I was at my last job almost 7 years, top notch recomendations from folks and still nada. Heck I have my eyes peeled here for more money (NoVa is horridly overpriced) And its a tough field to get a job in regardless.

:-( good luck
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
First job - 2.5 years.
Second job - less than a year.
(some limited term employment inserted here)
Third job - 2 years.
Fourth job - going on six.

Some interviewers would question the relatively short stays at my early jobs. I would explain my reasons when giving my work history and they always accepted them, after which it was not an issue. You have good reasons for wanting to move on and the short stay in NJ should not make a difference. Good luck.
 
Top