Hello everyone ! September is here, so I have been thinking that we can accept that month as a season opening, because most of us apply or start schools, jobs in this time. So, let’s get into step after graduation, finding a job as an architect.
Congratulations, you made it ! You are an architect, officially. However you don’t know what to do now, feel like you are the only fish in the ocean. Don’t be afraid, we all did. As far as I am concerned, in life there are going to be so many (let’s hope won’t be many) moments like that. The only thing that matters is how to welcome it, how to react and keep improve ourselves without lose our ambition.
Well, first thing you need to do is, you should know what do you want to do. If you don’t know you can imagine yourself in future, in your career path, where do you want to be ? It is not only a question people ask you when they want to hire you, it is really important. Do you visualize yourself as a owner of an architectural office or a freelance architect who travels much more than others and choose his/her client as he/she wants ? Or you can realize that you don’t want to be an architect, you are more interested in art maybe, who knows. There might be many options, I just tried to give you that ideas to make it understood.
Let’s suppose that you have decided to apply jobs. Perfect, but if it’s your first time, the hardest thing to do is being patient. Because it might take time to get that response, even if it’s a negative one. Actually, if you get a negative mail from a company you applied, don’t be upset because that means they are kind. I wish all firms can be like that but mostly they ‘ hesitate ‘ to let you know about their negative decision we can say. So, don’t forget, it can take time to start, but never too late.
Of course if you have doubts about your portfolio, don’t hesitate to reconsider it. Maybe you really need to make a new one. Keep in mind that for architects, our portfolios are our keys to open doors, give that effort, it’s worth it.
Care about your texts that you write in the mail. Care about each office and please do not copy – paste texts ! Show that, you really want to work with them and care about their projects. You can even reference one of their projects, which has a connection with you or your projects. For instance, you can say, ‘ As you taught X as an inspiration and transform it into Y in your Z project, I tried to follow that steps to improve in my T project and get that resolution. ‘ That will definitely give them a sparkle, means that you have enthusiasm about your work.
What if, you had so many positive and negative responses, you went interviews but still you are unemployed ? You must never stop learning new things. Don’t ever say, I am searching for jobs now, this is my only thing to do. If you do that, it will be a huge mistake. Nobody can know how long it is going to take find a job as you want. So, you should keep researching, learning… etc. There are so many architects at your age, they always will be, and the competition is real.
If you would ask me, I worked with big (80-100 employees) and small offices (3 – 10 employees). Due to my experiences, if you work in a small office, you learn more. There are only a few people to do all work, so you need to do things you don’t know or have never seen before. That makes you reach another step. Also it is ironic that even if there are less people with much work, that people are happy to teach you new things. If we consider about big offices, you can feel the competition more. Even if the number of employees is huge, you have to be fast, as fast as you can. Most of the big firms have departments like technical, conceptual…etc. So it is a good thing if you are doing what you like but there is a disadvantage, you do what you know, nothing more. Also, it is weird that nobody has that time to teach you things that you don’t know, you need to submit your project as soon as possible, that means, stress does exists. On the other hand, you have an opportunity to see how it works with so many people, how do they organize things, how do they work separately and together at the same time.
To sum up, it is not an easy path to walk. Mostly, it can be different from what you taught a year or two years ago. But there will be ups and downs in your career life and each one makes you reach another level. Care about being patient, hard worker. Focus on your target and never give up.