This is not a question I get asked often by students (because that’s rude), but it’s something I know they’re wondering. I know because I was a student once, and I really wondered about this. While I’m obviously not going to tell you how much I earn (again, none of your business), I did touch briefly on what you can expect in a previous post.
Here’s something no one tells you in school. After years of being a Planner, all the technical words you use at the office will creep into your everyday vocabulary… and best of all, you won’t even notice you’re talking like some weird Planning robot (though your friends/spouse will surely remind you).
It makes sense. Planners write. We write a lot. And we generally write about cities, buildings, streets, transit, cyclists, and a bunch of other things that we see everywhere we go. It’s hard to turn this off.
And of course when we write, we want to sound smart. So instead of using everyday words for things, we use smart-sounding Planning lingo.
When I’m asked about the biggest difference between school and work, my answer is always the same… Money and politics!
Early in your career, you’ll discover that money and politics influence every aspect of a project. This can be a bit surprising at first, since you likely won’t learn much about either in school.
University degree. Check. New job. Check. Business socks. Check. Okay, you’re officially a Planner, great work! Now comes the fun part – telling people.
Lucky for you, this has gotten better recently, but you’ll quickly find that no one knows what a Planner/Planning is. Hell, I was most of the way through a Masters degree before I knew (hence this blog to keep you from a similar fate).
To be honest, when someone asks me what I do, I’m still not sure what to say. City Planner? Urban Planner? Urban Designer? But regardless of what you call yourself, be prepared for one of the following responses:* Continue reading
Hi, I’m Matt, a Planner and Urban Designer in Toronto, and I want to be your mentor!*
Since finishing school six years ago, and starting my career, I’ve spoken with many (hopefully) future planners and urban designers – from high school students with a fleeting interest in Planning, to recent graduates knee-deep in the job hunt.
I’ve always really enjoyed these talks, and have noticed that most students share the same feelings I had when I was in school – a mix of confidence and fear, of feeling like you’re really getting the hang of this, but also like you may not know anything at all. Continue reading