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Old 06-25-2015, 05:36 PM
1,640 posts, read 2,051,521 times
Reputation: 2543


I like how the OP describes himself as "corporate," yet posters keep suggesting cities like Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville.

Surely, you jest.

I think those three cities deserve the award (Orlando-1, Tampa-2 and Jacksonville-3) for being the LEAST corporate major cities in the entire country. The economies of those cities are largely driven by the hospitality and tourism industry, which offers low, non-competitive salaries and wages, limited non-wage benefits and abysmal opportunity for career advancement and upward economic mobility.

Because the service sector dominates the economic landscape of Florida, the professional services sector, especially "knowledge industry," is very limited relative to other highly populous regions of the country (e.g., California, the BosWash corridor, Texas Triangle, etc.). Florida also has one of the lowest rates of F1000 per capita, so it's hardly a "corporate" place.

So, you must be wondering what college-educated employees in Florida do for work.

Well, aside from those in healthcare, education and human services, most college-educated people in Florida end up working in one of the FIRE industries (i.e., Finance, Insurance and Real Estate), averaging $35-$45k/year. Pretty abysmal, IMO.

And if you work in private enterprise in Florida, be prepared to deal with some pretty shady stuff. Lots of "back-office" businesses and glorified call centers in Florida with tremendous turnover and employers who feel as though they're doing you a favor by hiring you at $12-15/hour with a bachelor's degree, years of relevant work experience and stellar references.

Corporations know that Florida is a "no-man's land" because of its service-driven economy and largely uneducated workforce in addition to a few other things such as its lower workforce participation rates due to its elderly population, limited rights and protections for workers, etc.

Florida is also a RTW state, too, so in addition to limited rights and protections for line-level employees, salaries and wages are inherently low in all professions and fields due to the diminished collective bargaining power of laborers' unions. This affects corporate employees as well.

Problem is, Florida's COL is completely disproportionate to salaries/wages, especially in the southern part of the state (i.e., Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach). For example, some of the highest auto insurance premiums in the entire country, highest utility bills, highest food prices. But there's no state income tax.

IMO, all of these factors have created a "perfect storm," so to speak, for lazy employees. And you can ask anyone who has lived and/or worked in Florida about this--employee morale and productivity is among the worst in the entire country. A worker who would be described as "lazy" in Connecticut would probably be among one of the hardest workers in an equivalent work environment in Florida. Very low standards for work ethic and worker productivity.

That, plus if the OP describes himself as "corporate" and--I'm sure--"educated," then he's going to have a lot of difficulty meeting quality people and cultivating meaningful, long-lasting friendships in Florida, whose population is generally unsophisticated, apathetic, complacent and anti-intellectual. Not to mention that it's difficult making and, more importantly, *KEEPING* friends in Florida, regardless of your interests or how you describe yourself, since it's so transient and all.

And if the OP is trying to escape the "cold, distant" vibe of Connecticut, then I would really hate to see him move to Florida and experience a very similar vibe coupled with the transience factor, which only exacerbates that issue. Not to mention the "tough" factor. LOL, "tough" (AKA shady, argumentative, combative, aggressive, shrewd, rude, ghetto, etc.).

Oh, yeah--no good waves in Florida, either.

Honestly, OP, I really think you ought to look into somewhere out West. Based on how you describe yourself and your preferences/interests, it sounds like the LA area is calling you--some of the most gorgeous weather on the planet, great surf, plenty of corporate jobs/professionals, generally laid-back, friendly and approachable locals (depending on where in the metro you are, definitely not the Westside), a general orientation towards health and fitness, endless outdoor recreational opportunities, no hardcore "sports nuts" like in New England, lots of single females, a generally attractive culture and no one in a rush to the alter.

FWIW, I grew up in nearby Providence, RI, lived in Florida for 12 years (including my late 20's), and now living in the LA area (Long Beach, to be exact). In other words, I ain't whistlin' Dixie.

But please, whatever you do, just don't move to Florida.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:52 PM
Location: West of the Rockies
1,112 posts, read 1,872,443 times
Reputation: 1086
Any Sunbelt city would probably give him what he's looking for. Charlotte, NC would be my first rec
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:44 PM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL and Orlando, FL
1,011 posts, read 933,002 times
Reputation: 857
I would recommend Orlando. I grew up in and went to college in the Orlando area, based on what you are looking for this area would be a very good fit for you. Orlando is an up and coming city with a booming young adult population, Downtown Orlando (especially Thornton Park) in particular is an up and coming young urban neighborhood with lots of nightlife/nightclubs, bars/restaurants, a thriving local arts scene, nice outdoor parks/recreation, and very walkable by Florida standards. In addition to the nearby world-famous theme parks and attractions in the Orlando area, you would also only be a 45 minute drive away from Florida's world famous beaches with Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral National Seashore being the nearest.

In regards to jobs, do not let the PP scare you away. Yes, obviously Orlando has a strong tourism/hospitality industry being one of the top tourism destinations in North America, HOWEVER, contrary to stereotypes, Orlando also has a growing diverse economy in other sectors including Aerospace/Aviation Technologies, Medical Research, Military Simulation & Training, Healthcare, and Digital Media Arts just to name a few. There are also several major corporate headquarters in the area including AAA, Darden Restaurants, CNL Financial, Tupperware, Golf Channel, and Hard Rock Café just to name a few. In addition to these companies, major employers (outside of tourism industry) in the area including UCF (University of Central Florida), Orlando Health, Florida Hospital, Lockheed Martin, JetBlue Airways, Orange County Government, Orange County Public Schools, Electronic Arts, Hewitt Associates, SunTrust Bank, SIEMENS, Nemours Foundation, and Reed Elsevier just to name a few.

In regards to the people, in general, Floridians are very friendly and laid-back, and of course you have an abundant selection of beautiful females of all types and walks of life. In regards to wardrobe, you would also fit right in with t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, especially on hot summer days.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by MrKnight; 06-25-2015 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:58 PM
6 posts, read 4,014 times
Reputation: 13
It is true I would not want to commit career suicide or take a large pay cut or demotion. I currently have a background in finance/insurance. I would be in the experienced corporate worker category and really at the entry level manager level now. That was one of the few benefits of being in CT, the companies have to throw you more to keep you around. I am motivated though and my long term goal is to launch a traditional small business of my own in the future.

It does sound like LA and CA may be a strong option. I will keep the door open on some of the mentioned Florida spots.

For LA, I am assuming there are some non-trendy upscale spots to hang out at ? Any specific areas to avoid? (as in not worth even taking a job in)

Even if I visit these locations I always prefer to hear from people who live there. I know there is a huge difference between being a tourist and someone who is immersed in the local scene. I will have some decisions to make.
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