Confusion often arises from a lack of a defined purpose. A lot of architecture students I have met come from the perspective of “I want to design a building.”
It’s enough to get you through your pre-professional degree, but you might not have the skills and the experience to push your career to the next level.
Some people want to work for a certain design firm because “I was impressed by their work,” but they have no way of knowing whether or not the work that firm produces is the type of work they want to produce. It’s a short-term focus if you’re coming into the profession at a stage where you only want to work for one firm or on one type of architecture!
You need to have a clear idea of what you’re good at, where you want to go, and what you can contribute so anyone can evaluate your current career progress.
While there are many ways to research and write a professional portfolio, the first draft of your professional summary is extremely important. Your professional summary is basically your mission statement for your architecture career. It should tell people who you are, where you want to go, and why you want to go there.
Blaming outside variables
This is a rather concerning factor that plagues so many architects and designers. It is incredibly easy to blame the economy, or the state of the business. It’s easy to blame what’s not working in the market as the reason that you’re not getting a job, but they’re not actually your problems.
Instead of blaming external factors, take a look inside and ask, “what can I do better?” Are you able to communicate your brand and vision? Are you able to develop working relationships with a range of stakeholders? Are you able to meet and exceed your client’s expectations? Are you so busy designing that you’ve forgotten to network and tell people about your work? If you want to see success as an architect, you first need to be proactive and conscious about what’s going on within yourself.
Everything from seeking out new clients to reaching out to former colleagues is a matter of you deciding that you want to take action. This is the first, and often the hardest, step to getting a job.
Thinking a degree (or an advanced degree) is the answer
To getting a job in architecture? You might be surprised to find out that you’re doing it all wrong.
This may not surprise a college professor (or an unemployed architecture grad), but if you want to go into architecture, you’ve got to understand how the industry works. Architecture is not some traditional career based on a liberal arts education and professional licensure. It’s a business. In order to succeed, you need to learn how to design a business strategy.
There are many reasons you won’t find architecture work, but it all comes down to business. This article lists the most common reasons you’ll never find an architecture job. In order to have a successful career, you need to know the business. And business is all about sales.
Only applying for advertised jobs
If architecture is something you truly love and have a desire to make a career out of it, you should be prepared to do little else.
Don’t expect to be also doing part-time jobs. You need to go all in and dedicate yourself fully to the architecture world if you are going to stand out.
Auditioning for architecture competitions, volunteer work, and internships are all great ways to get noticed. But they are still only part of the picture. You still have to hustle for a full-time job.
The competition is tough. So identifying opportunities for yourself should become a daily routine … especially when you can’t always rely on the advertised jobs.
Not knowing yourself
I learnt a lot about myself in the process of applying for architecture firms. I have learnt the above reason: I want a job that pays right away, no matter what the job is.
I applied to some architecture firms, and they gave me a long list of work to complete. It was mind-numbing and time-consuming. was it really worth it? I would have taken a job at AT&T, because I would have been making money right away. I took aback by how much money AT&T was willing to pay me as an entry-level employee.
Now I know. I don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t appreciate the value of money. Perhaps they are just greedy.