"...Recessions in 1973, ’82, ’87, ’91, ’97, 2001, and now ’08. Does it seem like they get progressively more frequent? Do they now appear to be the norm, with prosperity being a temporary situation? Has stability become an outdated phenomenon? Has economic uncertainty affected our performance? Has everything-due-yesterday rendered us too stressed to do anything today? Has fear replaced hope?
Nope. Media thrive on reminding us of the dismal state of our economy … and lives. Few reports are apt to point out the opportunities and choices we still have, and still fewer to offer any real solutions. We are left with self-doubt, anxiety, and the critical question:
What is wrong with my profession, and when will it improve? When will the (good) jobs return?
This article offers advice to those seeking work in the construction design professions, particularly architects and interior designers. When job hunting, accept that the process will not be linear. Also know that there is no walk-in perfect design job. The key is to find a potentially promising employer, get on board, and then grow into the position. The cast of characters involved, employers and otherwise, is worthy of a novel; no one will make it easy for you. Those new to the design professions are the most at risk; however, they are also in the best state to land a job because the number of positions available to recent graduates is usually highest...
...School vs. Work
Sadly, employers remain at odds with education, particularly in the case of recent grads. Design schools -- if not all schools -- teach us to think outside the box. Conceptual theory and imagination are the seeds of good design, from which a superior reality flows. Architects emerge with essential analytical skills and environmental sensitivity. And they can use computers to fabricate glorious cyber-complexes, underwater cities, and second-generation prairie housing. All this mind expansion is grand.
Unfortunately, most employers want none of it. “Did you finish the egress study yet?” “What is the floor occupancy, and how many toilets do we need?” “What is the square footage of the northeast quadrant of the site?” “Have you checked the ADA requirements for a judge’s bench?” “Make me five copies of the specs, and ship them to Mumbai.”
This is what you should be prepared for. Why? The worse the market, the more nitty-gritty the work. Are you up for it?
Those with work/study experience (such as internships) can be the most conflicted of all, having gone back and forth between theory and reality. During times like these, it’s usually best to concentrate on what was learned on the job... Continue Reading for links, info, and more..."