Career Refresh


Hi, looking for some practical advice on how to go about my job search for a junior/associate level architect.

I graduated in 2013 with a B. Arch but basically haven't landed a design-oriented role since. I worked as an estimator in a GC company and currently as a production associate for a large engineering consulting firm. I have gained a lot of competency using Revit/CAD, organizing milestone issuances from SD-CD and training juniors fresh from college in company drafting standards. Also have decent on-site experience and project management exposure. What I do not have is any design work since I graduated school.

I have taken a look back at what I had when I graduated and it does not make me proud. I am trying to update that old work but do not feel it best expresses who I am today. I am looking into doing some competition work just to add some fresh ideas to my portfolio but that will take time to flesh out.

My biggest question would be how I stack up in the industry trying to find a job in an architecture firm? Is being technically adept at BIM (juggling multiple projects ranging from 1000SF - 200,000SF) a decent enough place to get someone to open the door for me or am I just SOL without current design experience?

Apr 10, 19 12:06 pm

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You will be fine. Your work history actually sound very marketable. This experience is contrary to most people in this bracket, who do not have the leadership or construction experience.  

Apr 10, 19 12:40 pm  · 
atelier nobody

Good news: Yes, you are definitely employable with good technical skills.

Bad news: If you are hoping to move from production to a more design-oriented position, that will be a lot harder. In my experience, once someone's career has branched to either production or design, it rarely changes.

Apr 10, 19 12:43 pm  · 

You may want to look into a smaller firm where the roles aren't so separated.  You would get a chance to design, but also your more technical skills would be a big help.

Apr 10, 19 1:27 pm  · 

Now is the time to go after a job.  Lots of people are hiring.  If you can get in now, and prove your worth, you might survive the next down turn. 

With your experience, you're definitely employable.  You may just have to work your way into roles other than production. 

Apr 10, 19 1:56 pm  · 
Featured Comment

I second the suggestion to focus on employment at smaller firms where design and production are more blended.  I would not consider your previous experience a handicap at all.  You need to get started immediately looking for a new job.  Don't burn up the next 3-6 months on portfolio refreshing.

Apr 10, 19 2:15 pm  · 

Thanks everyone! This has really helped give me a direction to move in. I'm based in NYC if anyone has any places they think I should look into.

Apr 10, 19 3:19 pm  · 

I recommend a smaller office where you can join the project from beginning to finish would be beneficial. As some others said, medium to large firms would likely to have a clear division between Design & Production, which makes it difficult for you to jump back and forth. In small offices (lesser than 10 people), you may have more opportunities to work on different things. I was in an opposite situation where I did too much of front-end design work and not much of production works, so I changed my jobs couple times to develop myself in different areas.  You have BIM skills down, so you should be pretty good shape. 


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