Planner II (Male, Age 26) in Peoria, NY

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Male aged 26 who works as a Planner II in Peoria, NY. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Planner II
Salary $40,640
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week
Company Size (not answered)
Location Peoria, NY
Years Experience 10 months

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a Metropolitan Planning Organization. The organization includes 6 staff planner and 6 GIS (Geographic Information Systems) employees.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Plan future paratransit services, write bicycle and pedestrian plans, administer grants for local communities.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
12 Vacation Days a Year, 12 Sick Days a Year, 10 Paid Holidays, Health/Dental/Vision, 457b (401k for public sector workers)

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Well Compensated

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I deal mostly with my fellow co-workers and my supervisor. I do have to deal with local elected officials a few times a month, either face to face or via telephone or e-mail.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work in an office setting, right now I share an office with the transportation planner. Because my work is such a small organization, it feels very collegiate, we are always in each others offices bouncing ideas off of each other.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 5
Hours: 7
Co-Workers: 2
Supervisors: 3
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 6
The Actual Work: 4

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am
8am to 9am My work day begins at 8:30 am. I get to my desk and check to my e-mail to see if I have any messages. This early in the morning I only have one e-mail, it is from a local board member asking the status of a grant his community applied for.
9am to 10am Time for our bi-weekly staff meeting. This meeting is an opportunity for everyone in the office to update everyone else on what they are working on. This is important even in a small office because we usually have 10 to 15 projects being worked on at one time. The meeting usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour.
10am to 11am Back to my desk and I have a voice mail. I check it, it is a lady from the local senior center, she has a complaint about one of the bus drivers. I talk to her about it and give her some ideas on who to talk to. 10:30 am, I rush out of the office, I have a meeting that starts at 11:00, about 15 miles away.
11am to 12pm 11:00, I meet with a local trail advocacy group about an abandoned rail line and how it can be converted to a bicycle and pedestrian trail. I moderate the meeting, but mostly listen to the group’s ideas and provide input on how to best meet those ideas.
12pm to 1pm Lunch, with my co-workers, mostly discussing things not related to work
1pm to 2pm Sit down at my desk, work on a local air quality policy document that we need for a regional plan. I am working on the transit and carpooling sections. I call the local transit agency to get some information about their new buses. I log on to the Census website to get some information on how many people in the region carpool.
2pm to 3pm Meeting with my co-workers, we sit down to brainstorm ideas on a new grant application. This is one for sustainable communities, we come up with a list, my supervisor gives each person an idea and asks them to prepare a quick one-page summary to present at a meeting next week.
3pm to 4pm Get back to my desk after the nearly hour long meeting. Check my e-mail, mostly informational messages. Respond back to a state agency needing more information about a grant we submitted a few weeks ago. He is asking for a map of the project site and some more pictures.

Finish up an agenda for a meeting in 2 weeks with the local paratransit advocacy group. Send out the meeting packet to the members.

Begin preparing a map for a meeting with a local county board on the Future Land Use Plan we are writing for them.

4pm to 5pm My work day officially ends at 4:30 pm, but most days I am working until 4:45 or 5:00.
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Internet, American Planning Association Online Job Board

What was the application process?
Submit a resume and cover letter electronically

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I had 2 interviews, one was a phone interview and the other was an in-person interview. The phone interview was with my current supervisor and the Senior Planner. The in-person interview was a panel interview with my current supervisor, the office manager, executive director, GIS manager and the Senior Planner.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
A lot of questions about conflict resolution and how I would manage my time. I was also asked if I could work well with others.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Originally, I did not feel that I was well prepared, but as I have been working in my position I have realized that this is a position you just have to work with hands-on, it is not a very trainable position.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Honestly I was sorta thrown in with my current position. I did have notes that the last person in my position had left. I also was able to go to my supervisor or co-workers if I had any questions.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
My educational background gave me the logical skills I needed to work in this field.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
For my field, internships were invaluable. Being able to see how things worked in the real world helped me take what I learned in the classroom and make it work in real-life.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
I have a Master’s in Urban Planning and a B.A. in political science and sociology. For most urban planning positions a degree in urban planning is needed, some schools may offer undergrad degrees, but most planning programs are graduate level.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
You have to be organized. I am often working on 4 or more projects at once, so it is very easy to get confused or side-tracked. You also have to be comfortable with working with the public, planning is a very public field as you are writing plans for a local community. Sometimes this means dealing with people who don’t agree with your ideas.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
I think a planning degree is needed to advancei n this career. It used to not be that way, but more and more employers are looking for someone with a planning degree.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be willing to learn as many things as possible. Don’t turn down any assignment. Planning is such a diverse field, if you work in a small organization you may be asked to do all sorts of projects.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, coming here was sort of a random thing. I was unsatisfied with my inability to progress at my last position. The wide variety of things I am working on will expose me to more facets of planning with will make me more marketable in the future.

What are your current career goals?
I see myself in my current position for another 3 to 5 years. After that I would like to take on a supervisory role.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
If you are curious why your city develops the way it does and you want to work on something new every day, planning is a good field to check out.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Assistant Planner 1.5 years 35500 Review development plans to ensure they comply with the Town Regulations, Zoning Inspector
Prior Job 2 Planning Intern 6 months 11.00/hour Assist the planners with their plan reviews, research property history, organize planning department files.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.4

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.29 Winthrop University B.A. Double major in political science and sociology
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
3.87 Minnesota State University- Mankato M.A. Urban Planning

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