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Am I Still Screwed?

MrlwDesigns

Just posting to ask what the hiring environment is out there for people that aren't located immediately in your area... Is remote work still possible or done in your firm? 

My Story: 20 years in the game, and I've been unemployed since the beginning of all of this. By the end of the month - I don't think that I'll be able to maintain living in the Twin Cities without a source of income. 

I've picked up a couple things here and there - documented existing conditions for firms I've worked for in the past and setting up projects as they didn't have the staff to make it happen - but its not enough to cover, well being alive. 

I've really got nobody left to ask about the overall state of the industry, so I'm posting in here. (hoping that someone might be able to shed some light.)

I know material shortages are still a thing, and the project pricing has gone nutty, and projects starting lately don't have expectations of starting being under construction until into/after next year. But how bad is it REALLY? 

Some firms are so busy they don't know what to do. A lot of places seem to be going full steam without issue... but for reasons beyond my understanding - I'm not landing gigs, and leads are sparse even though my background covers a lot of varying project types. 

My overall reason for posting this at all is this: I may have to bail out of this area to stretch the savings and take care of my family. If I do head down that path - its likely going to be to a tiny ass town that time forgot - without much call for what it is that I'm good at. 

I'd like it if that wasn't a career-killing move, and need a little insight into whether or not anyone out there, is being hired without the ability to sit in the office? Remote work is about the only thing that I'd be able to continue with in that setting. I'm not finding that option being offered in any job ad that I've seen. 

Anyone with news that might shed a little light on the situation? 

 
Aug 5, 21 7:01 pm
b3tadine[sutures]

Are you licensed? I'm seeing a lot of jobs on the local aia site? 

Aug 5, 21 7:18 pm  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Yes, and at the same time... not in this state. It's a long story involving the initials NAAB. It's all entry-level. They see 20 years in the work history and my resume goes to the bottom of the pile. 

Aug 5, 21 9:10 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Did you let your certificate lapse?

Aug 5, 21 10:27 pm  · 
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MrlwDesigns

No lapse. I'm NCARB certified. But I also don't carry a degree with an NAAB certification - so a lot of states say that I'm not allowed to carry the title. MN is one of them.

Aug 6, 21 11:47 am  · 
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SneakyPete

So much for the value NCARN brings to the table. That sucks.

Aug 6, 21 11:48 am  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Oh yeah - it carries ZERO weight against the education standard. Thought that it might, but I got slammed. Cost for the NAAB thing? $20-90k when I last looked. Thing is - to get anything changed at the state level - you have to petition your legislature to change it. Given that architects aren't a key voting demographic - the chances of that are slim. 

Aug 6, 21 12:06 pm  · 
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kjpn

can you be more specific about your expertise?

Aug 6, 21 12:05 am  · 
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MrlwDesigns

25+ years in the design, development and construction admin management of Commercial, Retail, Industrial, Hospitality, Med Research,

Aug 6, 21 11:48 am  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Ok - attempt #2. Reply didn't post on this one.... Anyway. I've got 25+ years in the design, detailing, and construction management of everything from a deck addition to a mega mall, including self-performing 180+ key hotel projects (& BIM dev for same), super-green residential. I've written contracts, specs, RFP responses, and everything in between. I'm a non-specialized (worked hard to stay out of the various pigeon-holes one gets placed in at larger firms) licensed architect. Just the NAAB thing holds me back from being stamp-qualified in all 50 states. 

I'm a mid-career tech nerd who appreciates a solid model to convey design intent and detail to the GC and to the rest of the team for collision detection. I've got a foot in both the tech side and the make things with pretty colors design side. 

Aug 6, 21 12:02 pm  · 
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flatroof

For your family's sake I would find a new career path or job that can put your experience to work immediately. Get some income in and look for more stable career options. Other licensed professionals are rarely at the precipice of being priced out of where they are living and houseless. And I include hairstylists.  

Aug 6, 21 9:42 am  · 
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MrlwDesigns

I hear you. The problem is where and what. I did all this in 2008/09 and couldn't answer that question then. Coding is cool, its just not where my brain goes when problem solving.

Aug 6, 21 11:57 am  · 
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If you're willing to relocate to Duluth or Lake Elmo I know DSGW is hiring.  I worked with them for a decade - great people, good firm.  They aren't going to care if your licensing situation, just that you have experience. 

Aug 6, 21 10:45 am  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Just checked out the site. They are REALLY hiring. I'll check in and see. Everything on the list includes the phrase 'registered professional' and the state says no to that.

Aug 6, 21 12:18 pm  · 
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As I said, I wouldn't worry too much about the registered professional aspect of the posting.

Aug 6, 21 12:34 pm  · 
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Jay1122

Minnesota. Look at Archinect job post for that state. 3 Jobs from 1 single company. Hold on until a local job opening comes up is difficult in that market area. I bet most senior level jobs are quite permanent in those states. Finding remote work is not that easy. You either have to move, or find another industry. 20+ year experience is pretty valuable to any firm. Simply ditch that experience to find another job is kind of a waste to me. Maybe try the construction or CM industry? Any reason why you can not relocate?

Aug 6, 21 12:18 pm  · 
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MrlwDesigns

I'll give Coen a look-see.

Aug 6, 21 12:29 pm  · 
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Jay - You're not going to find many job posting for Minnesota on Archinet except for huge firms. The best online resource will be MN's AIA job board.

Aug 6, 21 12:36 pm  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Been all up and down that board. 5-10 years experience translates to 30-40k less a year. And I've had places directly tell me that they don't like hiring people for positions below their 'status' so they wouldn't do it.

Not sure the best way to phrase that so it doesn't sound horrible. Station? Level of achievement? Seniority? AIA Bracket? As it is, the profession has a naming problem... half the time I've got no idea what level of involvement I'm applying for because someone in marketing got creative with job descriptions.

Aug 6, 21 12:52 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

You probably have already, but in case you hadn't thought of it, you might inquire with the MN Board about whether you can appeal directly to the Board itself (i.e. get on the agenda and attend a Board meeting to make your case) - I know this is possible in some states even with a "no license without degree" rule, but I'm not sure about MN.

Aug 6, 21 1:26 pm  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Tried that. Appealing to the board is only to verify that they processed the application by the rules as written, and even that takes a lawyer to go thru. Large firm, that's no big deal like has been said. Smaller firm in a senior position - you're probably stamping drawings.

Aug 7, 21 12:40 am  · 
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I get the feeling you're too hung up on specifics, whether it's in the years of experience range or registered professional vs. architect vs. architect licensed in MN. No firm should really care if you're licensed in MN vs another state unless they are going to have you signing drawings (maybe MN is just different though ... if they are, fair enough). Years of experience is just something they do to weed out people who might not be qualified or indicate a salary level they expect to pay. If you can convince them you're worth it, they'll find a place for you.

My advice is to work your network and see what falls when you start shaking the trees. Surely with your experience you've got former coworkers or people who know you all over the twin cities and MN in general (I mean Chad is in CO and knew of something ... your network has to have more leads than this). Start hitting them up for lunch or coffee and asking if they know of anything. You'll find more this way than waiting for job postings to show up on the AIA boards or Archinect. Those are the places the firms go when they don't have direct referrals for new hires. With your experience, you should be getting directly referred for potential positions. If not, there is probably something else going on. 

Aug 6, 21 2:39 pm  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Thanks EA. Sadly I have been. Network is a little weak because things are really cliquey here... out of sight out of mind - so once I was out the door - I basically stop existing. No idea why this state is that way, but I was warned when I moved here. I've got alerts set up on every platform imaginable. I have a lead here or there - but it never materializes and I'm running out of time. 90% of the stuff I've been doing was all in-house project swapping and didn't really generate a whole lot of outside contacts. Projects all over the U.S. but always as the guy behind the guy.

Aug 7, 21 12:44 am  · 
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MrlwDesigns

Best I can tell - this cut off a good 60% of my reply. Crapola. Well anyway, the last bit of it was me thanking anyone who's participated in this discussion. 

One thing on my list of things that need to remedy is not being a ghost/lurker on social media nearly as much as I have been. Appreciate the insight. 

Aug 7, 21 1:18 am  · 
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archiwutm8

Did you say you have BIM skills snd knowledge? If you're desperate you could probably land a BIM coordinator or Manager role.

It's kind of my specialty and I've got a few places calling me up once in a while. I can see quite a lot of posting for it as well. Maybe even BIM consultancy.

Aug 7, 21 3:09 pm  · 
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