I am new to these forums. My primary reason for joining was to ask for help.
My problem is this: I am very frusturated with the planning profession in general. (I received my Masters Degree from UF in 2001). I have held three jobs since then, each with larger A&E firms. I do not have my AICP yet. My main complaint with each job is that I am majorly stuck behind my desk and chained to my computer. I became a planner in the first place because I thought I WOULDN'T be stuck at my desk. I wanted to get out and help people by making their cities a better place to live. I am passionate about planning, particularly CPTED. It seems though that planning, at least at the private firm level, is more about money, time, and meeting deadlines. I know there are nuisances like these to any job but I can't seem to find the silver lining. I refuse to believe that I spent 6 years in college and a lot of money to be worrying about billing my time to the correct project and not worrying about the neighborhood pocket park that needs more lighting for people to use it.
I think I need a mentor also. I am a woman planner that knows no other women in the profession. At my job I work with all men.
I have comtemplated going back for my PhD. This certainly appeals to me in many regards, especially the flexible schedule and the interaction with students and peers. I am want to explore my other options though. Which is why I am seeking the group's advice.
So the questions are these:
1. Should I stick it out since I relatively new to the field?
2. Should I change jobs, find that perfect firm?
3. Go back to school?
4. Change careers altogether?