In a recent report from U.S. News and World Report
, the job of planning meetings, conventions and events is the top business job for 2012, and 16th best job overall.
Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics projections of 43.7 percent employment growth—or an uptick of 31,300 jobs—for planners between 2010 and 2020, U.S. News and World Report
attributed the profession’s top-tier ranking in 2012 to factors including “favorable job prospects” and “strong job satisfaction scores.”
Meanwhile, a recent survey by PCMA showed a positive result in another aspect of planners’ careers: job satisfaction. Nearly 80 percent of the 418 planners surveyed by PCMA expressed satisfaction with their jobs. Still, U.S. News and World Report’s
“favorable” employment outlook struck a raw nerve.
“I couldn't believe my eyes!” wrote one online respondent, claiming 10 years of professional planning experience. Unemployed for nearly a year, this planner’s experience is of “VERY FEW jobs out there nationwide and hundreds of applicants for each.”
Such pessimism is understandable for the one in 10 planners out of work. The rate of industry unemployment was 9.5 percent as of June 2012, compared to the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.
But resurgent group bookings alone are a promising sign of turnaround. All hope, it seems, is far from lost. As conversations with renowned search specialist Dawn Penfold and several meeting planners reveal, however, the post-recession environment is one of dramatically changed career options—including leaving the industry altogether.