A Quick Guide To Choosing Your Next Architecture Job

It’s time to become a detective

Your first task as a job seeker is to adopt a temporary identity as a detective. Every detail moving forward is a new piece of information that will help you discern the inherent character of the firms you are investigating. Naturally, most employers will (hopefully) put up an appealing front in the form of their website, job posting, Archinect firm profile, or social media presence. Your goal is to look at the underlying qualities. To discover who they really are under the surface.

Cast aside your assumptions

We all tend to have preconceived notions about what certain firms are like: “That firm is too corporate, I don’t want to just be a number,” or “their work isn’t rigorous enough, I want to work on real design projects”. Some of these points might be valid, but you must first cast aside your assumptions and be open to whatever it is you might discover in your research. Often you will come to learn that the rumors you’ve been hearing aren’t actually true. The horror of overlooking a perfect job opportunity can be easily avoided through this simple shift in thinking.

Release the emotional kryptonite

Emotional baggage in regards to work can come in many forms, often most of us commence a search for a new job because something is lacking in our current situation. As a result, our motivation can tend to place too much focus on escaping where we currently are and less on the positivity of progressing in our career.

Whatever your reasons for taking this next step, it’s essential to set aside your emotions so that you can make clear and rational decisions. The need to support your family, pay your bills, get out of a bad situation, or go to the next level in your career are all completely legitimate drivers and going in with a level head is the best thing that you can do to help you achieve them.

The Grand Strategy

Start with a list of some firms that you are interested in applying to (even if they aren’t currently hiring). If you aren’t sure where to start, a good approach is to gravitate toward places with projects that inspire you. Once you have a good list of about 5 or more employers, it’s time to start researching.

Most of us tend to want to work at places that provide good opportunities for growth, work-life balance, interesting and exciting work, and positive office culture. These are the inherent characteristics we’ll be looking to learn more about.

Just Do It

In the end, you’ll eventually have to take a chance, get out there, and see where the chips fall. There isn’t any amount of data, research, and investigation that will replace personal experience. Embracing the techniques we’ve discussed will give you a solid grounding in your process, but the most important thing to remember is to not cripple yourself. If you sincerely believe a particular place is where you should be, then send over your materials and put your best self out there. If it ends up being the wrong place, it’s okay, you can learn from the experience. But if it’s a perfect fit, then you will have been justified in taking that chance.

You’ve got the tools. Start your investigation, embrace your inner general, and get ready to play your part on the world stage.

When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-USand improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.


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