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Thread: Florida and planning positions

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Florida and planning positions

    After reading this article today about the dire situation most of Florida is in, I was wondering how many planners who are looking for work are considering Florida? I personally have avoided the Sunshine State due to personal concerns over the future of the ability to keep planning departments funded and staffed. I do not want to be in the situation I am currently and I fear going to Florida will be like playing with fire. I have seen many openings in central FL for planners and economic developers, pretty high positions compared to other states, but I'm not taking the bait. What are your feelings and are you considering Florida?
    @GigCityPlanner

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Tide-

    Florida is a horrible place to be looking for a job right now...I left over a year ago and haven't looked back. I personally know at least 5 planners in Florida right now that have been laid off over the past year or unable to find planning work after finishing their masters (and these people have experience too!). Actually just the other day I emailed a former supervisor from an internship who works at a private firm there and he told me that their office is down to 27 people from over 60 just 2 years ago. Things will eventually turn around, its just going to take awhile with so many projects on hold. With state mandated growth management, there is always work for planners to do in FL, its just being done by the remaining public sector planning staffs instead of being farmed out. I'm sure other Florida planners will chime in...hopefully they have better news.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    No BB That's the news I expect to hear. On a recent interview where I was one of the final two, obviously didn't get the job , I was told there were over 100 applicants, and over 15 of them were from Florida.
    @GigCityPlanner

  4. #4
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    Sorry to hear that Tide. I'm still struggling to find interviews, let alone work in the field of planning. I had completed a telephone interview for an opening in Florida in August, but since I haven't heard back from them I can only assume that they went with someone else. Not sure if I want to try my luck in Florida again but during these tough time we have to be open to anything.

  5. #5
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    Not unique

    I read the same article but am not sure how much Florida is different from the planning field in general right now. It is true that south-south central FL is facing touch economic times--esp. in local government. Still, up in the Panhandle, there hasn't been near the type of layoffs or cutbacks as the rest of the state. Sure, nobody's gotten raises and buyout packages are offered, but we still have jobs and (so far) no furloughs. Once somebody leaves or retires, perhaps the position is not being filled. Certain places always have a high turnover rate for planning anyways (you start seeing the same positions advertised every 6 mo).

    My thoughts--if you want to come to FL, try going for a private firm somewhere outside the state with offices here. Perhaps you can transfer in the future. Tax revenues are so down that this 2010 FY will not be especially fun for the public sector.

    I'd like to get back to the midwest--any suggestions about the job market there?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by H2O View post
    I'd like to get back to the midwest--any suggestions about the job market there?
    Don't be fooled by the lower salaries - cost of living is much cheaper. AND Christmas with snow is always better.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have read many articles about how bad the situation in Florida is, and know pwoplw there who have been trying to sell their home for over a year. The problem I see is that it is really no different here or anywhere else. At best, governments have imposed hiring freezes. Most state governments are laying off and fuloughing employees. Local governments are about to go into a budget season with less revenue and higher costs. I don't see much hope there. I guess I would say that you should not exclude Florida just becasue of concerns that you might be laid off again. That could happen anywhere.

    As for me, there are next to no positions being advertised where I live. The firm I worked for did not just cut staff. They eliminated the planning group. Consider what I did, and start your own consulting business. Hmmm... a Cyburbia Associates looks better all the time.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    I work for a private AEP in Florida, and honestly, the private sector right now is struggling at best. Just last week, we laid off people for the fourth time in the last year and half.

    I don't see where the public sector is a good refuge, right now, either. For instance, some of the larger cities are creaking under the pressure of funding everything it takes to keep the wheels turning. Jacksonville, for instance, is in a budgetary mess, and is discussing everything from layoffs to furloughs and pay cuts.

    Many cities whose websites I've glanced at to see what is happening with the jobs posted, indicate they are either in hiring freezes or hiring only "critical" positions.

    I think the bottom line is that finding employment in Florida is going to be very limited to either very specialized functions (water resources planning, sustainable practices, transportation planning, Economic Development), or virtually non-existent. Development is at a virtual stand-still, which translates into not a whole lot to do for far too many people.

  9. #9
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    Read the article too.....

    To really get a sense of the outlook for planning jobs in this State, look at the FL state APA website. DCA has been laying off planners since 2007 and hasn't stopped since. It's a really tough market here, but with all the problems here, I think Florida is no worse off than any other state, in terms of planning jobs. Though it could certainly be better.

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