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Old 09-29-2012, 09:48 PM
 
138 posts, read 204,467 times
Reputation: 151

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Greetings!

Moved to Orlando several months ago, after living in a big city up north. 27, with a degree in finance from a decent college. Worked for 3 years up north in a typical 'office' setting as a financial analyst type job at an insurance company. Pretty typical office job. Was making mid-50s in salary.

Moved to Orlando in the middle of summer in order to be close to parents, who moved to Orlando a year ago.

First off, here are my non-job thoughts about Orlando.....

It's an extremely relaxing city.

The traffic is much lighter than many other cities (tolls are bad, but there also is no state income tax).

For $40 a month, you get unlimited access to all four Disney Theme Parks, and also included in that is unlimited golf at Disney's solid 9-hole course "Oak Trail". As a golf nut, the prospect of playing unlimited golf year round for only $40 / month is AMAZING. .... additionally, there are lots of other good courses in the area. Plenty of bars / restaurants to chill at in Downtown Disney.

Much cheaper housing than any of the major US cities.

Universal, University Citywalk, Seaworld. All something fun to do.

Driving distance to Cocoa Beach / Daytona Beach / Tampa / Miami / South Florida.

An NBA team in town (Magic), and a soon-to-be Big East team (UCF). Also, supposedly Orlando will soon have an MLS soccer team.

Driving distance to 2 MLB baseball teams (Marlins and Rays), 2 NHL teams (Lightning and Panthers), 3 NFL teams (Bucs, Jaguars, Dolphins), another NBA team (Heat), and multiple D1 college teams (U-Florida, USF, Miami, etc.)

Downtown Orlando is solid enough, though fairly "fratty". Other areas for the 30+ crowd (Winter Park, etc.). .... And a new performing arts center is being built downtown. Downtown is very walkable and has some cool restaurants, and the new NBA arena borders the center of the downtown social area.

Enough interesting restaurants in the area to keep someone happy, if you're willing to drive 30+ minutes in any direction. ..... If you're into authentic Asian food, there's a long street (Colonial Drive) that has authentic cuisine from many nations.

All your shopping needs met (minus Trader Joe's), good outlet malls.

Some cool local resorts for a random night away from home (Grande Lakes, Gaylord, etc.)

The weather, obvs. Stupid-hot in summer, but everyone says October - April is amazing.

A local "food truck" scene that seems to be growing.

Plenty of churches of all varieties ... big / little / traditional / contemporary / old people / tons of young people (Summit is one that has tons of 20somethings).

Roads that are nice and new (drivers in pothole-filled cold cities would greatly appreciate this, no money wasted on unnecessary car repairs). ... And parking in downtown Orlando is quite cheap.

Apparently a lot of social groups, based on what others on the board have said. "The Citrus Club" is a high-end social club (think the Union Club in old cities, etc.) that seems like it might be valuable for long-term networking. Apparently there are some young professionals groups.

----

That's all off of the top of my head. There's plenty in Orlando life to keep you entertained, yet it is much more peaceful and quiet than most major American cities. And IMO there doesn't seem to be the clear divide between city / suburbs that a place like NYC or Chicago has.

People that love the trendy culture of NYC, London, etc., might be bored out of their minds in Orlando. But if you don't care about that, and are more of just an 'average Joe' (or 'average Jane'), you'll find plenty to do in Orlando. ....... Also, FWIW, there are very few people in Orlando that graduated from "elite" universities, so, if you like being around that crowd, Florida in general is not a great place to be.

----

So, here is my MAIN issue with Orlando .... it seems to me that for the typical 20-something corporate climber, there does not seem to be many jobs at all.

There are plenty of people in Orlando with good jobs, so you might be tempted to say that I am the problem. However, in my few months in Orlando, I have gotten a handful of job offers in the greater Miami area, yet I've had zero offers (let alone any interviews) in Orlando. I put an equal amount of focus into job-searching in both areas, and I definitely met face-to-face with more professionals and recruiters in Orlando. .... Because I had multiple instances of success in terms of job-searching in Miami, I genuinely don't believe that the issue was with how I was approaching the job-search. I think it had a lot more to do with the fact that Orlando is a small city, and that a high number of jobs in Orlando are hospitality-based (I know that this observation isn't groundbreaking at all).

Here's a list of the biggest employers in Central Florida, fyi. A lot of those biggest employers are primarily lower-wage jobs (Publix / many Disney jobs / Universal Orlando (Comcast) / McDonald's / Best Buy / Marriot / Hilton / Winn-Dixie / SeaWorld / Target / Walgreens). There are some solid companies on there. Disney is good, but so many people apply for their professional jobs, so they can be really hard to get. Siemens is a tremendous company, but they've been on a hiring freeze for quite a while. Lockheed Martin is a great company, though I imagine that many of those positions are engineering positions.

If I had a specific "certifiable" skill (engineer / programmer / accountant / teacher / nurse / doctor, etc.), perhaps I might have been able to get a job in Orlando. The other big thing that hurt me was a lack of a network in Orlando. My parents don't know many people here, so apart from recruiters (who are trying to help tons of candidates), I really had no one on the inside of a company trying to help me land a job.

I am now doing a good-paying temp job in Miami. I really did need the income, and I couldn't afford to spend any more time hanging around Orlando, waiting for a job that might never come. I'm keeping in touch with people in Orlando, so perhaps I'll eventually land something there.

Even if I had a good job in Orlando, it's not necessarily the best to live for someone trying to climb the corporate ladder.
___

I didn't write this thread to rip on Orlando. I wish that I could be in Orlando right now with a comfortable typical office job, like I use to have. I'm not a nightlife / trendy-art person at all. I'm an average American pretty laid back, have no problem eating at chain restaurants, and I loved all that Orlando had to do in terms of social life.

I just wrote this post to share my perspective with others who have had strong corporate experience and are considering relocating to Orlando without first having a job here. Be aware that you'll probably have a lot tougher time finding a comparable "office job" in Orlando, compared to .... NYC / LA / SF / Miami / Chicago / Atlanta / Houston / Dallas / Boston / Philadelphia / DC / Seattle / Charlotte / St. Louis ... you get my drift.

Orlando is a great place to live, especially for families, but, in my opinion, it is not a great place for a young "office" professional trying to advance their career.

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:43 PM
 
291 posts, read 442,323 times
Reputation: 235
I've only been in Orlando for roughly two years for school, but I hear a lot about how bad the job market is around here... My friend moved from Chicago to Orlando for her internship, but after she finished, the best job she found was a $10 an hr job. Needless to say, that's not very much for someone with a Bachelor's degree, and so she moved back home because she just couldn't afford it anymore.

At first, I honestly thought the complainers were just lazy people who didn't put in the effort to find a decent job, but I realized it's more than just a few people that's having a tough time... Now I'm afraid for my future!
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:26 PM
912
 
1,531 posts, read 2,769,657 times
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Why do people feel the need to "blog" about places? We KNOW what's here, thanks. I just find it strange.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:08 AM
 
138 posts, read 204,467 times
Reputation: 151
@912 - The piece was written for people considering a move to Orlando, not written for Orlando residents.

@Bloopers - It's not laziness. Considering how well my simultaneous Miami job search went, it's just a sign that there are far fewer "professional jobs" in Orlando than there are in Miami, and even more professional jobs in Tampa as compared to Orlando. ...... Depending on your goals, etc., you quite possibly might have to considering other cities for a career.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:26 AM
 
12,022 posts, read 12,232,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping322 View Post

@Bloopers - It's not laziness. Considering how well my simultaneous Miami job search went, it's just a sign that there are far fewer "professional jobs" in Orlando than there are in Miami, and even more professional jobs in Tampa as compared to Orlando. ...... Depending on your goals, etc., you quite possibly might have to considering other cities for a career.
I wouldn't say that about all professions here. You nailed it in your first post......not as much for your type of job, but plenty if you're a specific "type" like healthcare, defense, hospitality related professions
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:27 AM
 
626 posts, read 862,494 times
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Ping322, Good blog. I'm going to pass this on to one of my sons, that I would like to have move here.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:44 AM
 
4,167 posts, read 8,393,771 times
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Good honest post, I'm sure other similarly situated people will find it useful.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: America
765 posts, read 2,451,694 times
Reputation: 239
Orlando is a service based economy that caters to tourism. If you are looking to climb the corporate ladder, Orlando is not the best place to start.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:32 PM
 
626 posts, read 862,494 times
Reputation: 374
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdpop View Post
Orlando is a service based economy that caters to tourism. If you are looking to climb the corporate ladder, Orlando is not the best place to start.

Depends, there are restaurant "managers", hotel "managers" the list goes on. That's climbing the ladder.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:21 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 57,159,551 times
Reputation: 13091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping322 View Post
@912 - The piece was written for people considering a move to Orlando, not written for Orlando residents.

@Bloopers - It's not laziness. Considering how well my simultaneous Miami job search went, it's just a sign that there are far fewer "professional jobs" in Orlando than there are in Miami, and even more professional jobs in Tampa as compared to Orlando. ...... Depending on your goals, etc., you quite possibly might have to considering other cities for a career.
I disagree. Finance isn't a field with much activity in Orlando, but there are a ton of fields with in demand professional skills in the area--particularly in health care, defense, engineering, and logistics.
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