For most of us in the architectural profession, this past year has been painful. Many have lost their jobs, and a good amount of us have had pay cuts, which is equally stressful with the amount of strain it puts on our families. However I have taken the attitude that even though the time is difficult, you just need to push through it. Because even with the few jobs that are out there, the competition is fierce. I interviewed for a new job a couple of weeks ago to try and get my salary back to normal just to be able to provide for my family better, and I was up against 15 other people. That was just how many they interviewed, who knows how many resumes they actually received. Because I think the latest statistic that I heard was that close to 30% of the architectural profession is without a job.
I also believe you need to prepare for the worst. Now for a lot of us, stashing money in a savings account is not an option. But there are other things that can be done. My local AIA chapter (AIA Columbus) recently held a seminar for the recently unemployed on various issues to consider if you decide to work for yourself. Believe it or not, a lot of architectural firms get their start during a recession (article). Attend AIA meetings and other events and start networking with colleagues. Let them know who you are and what you are up to. Even though they may not have work to take you on at that time, keeping an open line of communication with others will put you in the loop when new jobs are available and that personal connection may help you get your foot in the door. Because it truly is not always what you know, but who you know.
So you may be asking yourself at this point what does this post have to do with the title “INTERN”. Well I find myself to be in a diffulcult sittuation as I came to realize after my recent interview. The position that I interviewed for was an intern architect position. However I am a mere four exams away from becoming a registered architect and have been out of school for a little over 7 years. So in a lot of cases that makes me overqualified for the postition that they want to fill, which also translate they will not want to pay me for that experience.
Now I know what you are thinking what took so long? I am not going to go into that (However I do blame NCARB for a full years delay just to get my authorization to test). So I am going to take advantage of the down time in the office to get a little extra studying done on a daily basis as well as getting back into my routine of studying after the kids go to bed at night. Because with my first 4 exams, I learned pretty quickly what is successful for me to study and pass the exams. For those of you who are concerned about hitting the books again, here is a good post I found to help you find your study style (Three rules for studying for the ARE). So my goal is to complete my last four sections of the ARE by the end of the first quarter of 2010. Which should allow me more opportunities to work for offices looking for registered architects or even start my own firm if I so choose to, or even forced to do. So wish me luck. In the meantime my blog posts are going to be much more sparadic than they are now. However when I get back into full swing again, I hope to have a new look for the blog as well as my website (Sym-Home) with updated content to actually show some of the projects that I have completed around the house. And lets not forget a new title Registered Architect!