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Hired for a job you are under qualified to do?

Archi-nerd

They say that if you don't shoot you don't score.

Perhaps you took a rather brave and risky step forward in your
enthusiasm,you were 100% sure that you will be disqualified during the hiring process, but one thing led to another and eventually you found yourself hired at a job you were under qualified to perform?

Perhaps the company did not have a thorough recruitment process, a junior HR employee wasn't careful enough, or there things were not well communicated?

Now you got a role you sense you cannot fulfill. How do you handle this?

Discuss.

 
Oct 14, 21 3:28 pm
archanonymous

Fake it til you make it. 

Oct 14, 21 3:41 pm  · 
6  · 
Non Sequitur

Hope you're a fast learner.


Oct 14, 21 3:43 pm  · 
5  · 
reallynotmyname

As long as you accurately represented yourself and you didn't exaggerate or lie about anything as part of the hiring process, take the new job and give it your best effort.

Oct 14, 21 4:26 pm  · 
5  · 
citizen

^ This. There's an important difference between (1) finding yourself in a position that turns out to be more than you thought, and (2) deliberately misrepresenting your skills and experience.

Oct 14, 21 5:47 pm  · 
2  · 

Sounds like you got yourself in over your head - that just means you're going to learn a lot and be outside your comfort zone. Embrace the challenge.

Oct 14, 21 4:31 pm  · 
4  · 
Wood Guy

The Peter Principle is real--people tend to be promoted until they reach a position they can't do effectively. But a more positive spin is that growth happens when you're in unfamiliar territory. My entire career, from making furniture to building homes to designing Passive Houses to now writing a book has been living a bit ahead of my ability level. Identify what you need to learn, then learn it. 

Oct 14, 21 4:39 pm  · 
5  · 
chris-chitect

Actually I heard someone explain the same thing, but a little more harshly. You rise to the level of your incompetence. That means you were promoted because you did your last job well, but no guarantee you can do the new role.

Oct 14, 21 5:29 pm  · 
1  · 

Judging from experience many people rise well above their level of incompetance.

Oct 14, 21 5:34 pm  · 
6  · 
archanonymous

Have you considered that perhaps you are qualified but your self-doubt is getting the better of you? Just go for it, what's the worst that can happen, you succeed?

Oct 14, 21 4:48 pm  · 
2  · 
RJ87

1.) Learn on the job & eventually figure it out

2.) Ride that higher paying job until the wheels fall off.

Oct 14, 21 5:27 pm  · 
4  · 
Archi-nerd

Interesting set of responses.

Just curious, how many of you can identify as having experienced the imposter syndrome during your career in architecture?

Oct 14, 21 5:50 pm  · 
4  · 
citizen

Great place for this reminder, along with archanonymous's comment above.

Oct 14, 21 6:03 pm  · 
1  · 
archanonymous

Yeah, I certainly have.

Oct 14, 21 6:12 pm  · 
1  · 

Haven't we all?

Oct 14, 21 6:19 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

me. i think one of the pervasive harms of studio culture is it leads young architects to start with the sense nothing they do is good enough.

Oct 14, 21 6:45 pm  · 
3  · 
reallynotmyname

The meanest and most hypercritical studio instructors are often imposters who lack technical knowledge and built work.

Oct 15, 21 2:39 pm  · 
4  · 

Confidence is key. If you don't think you can you won't. 

Oct 14, 21 6:55 pm  · 
2  · 
RJ87

Being confident enough to say that you don't have an answer off the top of your head but will look into it & get back to them is really important imo. Nothing good comes from making up an answer most of the time. I respect people an awful lot more when they get back to me later in the day with a correct answer than when they give me a wrong answer & something gets messed up.

Always loved the saying "I'm not nearly young enough to know everything" & I've tried to embrace being open to asking questions.

Oct 15, 21 2:35 pm  · 
2  · 
Archi-nerd

I once read in a thread on here about one of the 'most highly sought skills for an architect' being 'bullshiting people with confidence'.

Oct 22, 21 5:05 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

Start asking a lot of questions! Just cause you don't know about stuff doesn't mean you can't learn about it.  It's nerve-racking, stressful, tense and part of growing. It was/is the best part of growing as an architect. Being a professional doesn't mean you know everything, but it does mean you know how to go about solving / resolving the problem or situation. It is design in the truest sense.... part discovery / part execution and part refinement and adaption to the circumstances .


Oct 14, 21 8:52 pm  · 
2  ·  1
JawkneeMusic

At least u answered a personal non-arch ? I had, which was y i was on here anyways

Oct 14, 21 8:59 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

I agree with whistler but also try to figure things out. Maybe a little off-the-clock learning/researching that you can do help you figure out some stuff including asking colleagues in similar roles for some tips so be careful to not be annoying your at work colleagues with questions after questions. Strike a balance of taking reasonable effort to figure things out and research with questions. You're supervisors have probably done this before and moved up and why you are now hired into this position. Since some aspects of this job is new to you, you would like their advice and insights to help you learn the job and improve your skills in doing this job. Don't be afraid to ask questions but also try to figure out what things you should ask questions about to your colleagues and what you can figure out yourself or ask your colleagues in the profession abroad in similar roles. Sometimes you will learn the most by doing the things that challenges you otherwise, all you'll do is what you know and that can be limiting if you don't take the challenges that will expand your knowledge and skills. You can either be the perpetual intern or you can learn to develop and expand your knowledge and skills horizon and expand on the world of what you can do and will do in your career.

Oct 19, 21 5:43 am  · 
 · 
JawkneeMusic

this isnt even some show, show vs. too cool phil

Oct 14, 21 8:54 pm  · 
 · 
zonker

arguably in a large firm, you can figure it out as you go("fake till you make it") in a small firm, no way, 2, 3 weeks tops and you're done

Oct 14, 21 9:00 pm  · 
1  · 
reallynotmyname

I worked with a faker that bluffed their way into a senior job in the office and then covered up their lack of skills by attacking everyone else's work on a daily basis.

Oct 15, 21 2:41 pm  · 
 · 
greenlander1

Most jobs Ive had at least initially was not qualified to some degree and some I was ridiculously underqualified.  Those instances were also periods where I learned a ton.  Its a growth opportunity.  If youve spent more than a few years 100% qualified, you are not developing your career.

Oct 15, 21 3:10 pm  · 
3  · 
Abie

It’s a matter of confidence and the willingness to fulfill the role and responsibilities that are given to you. You might be doubtful about your capabilities and skills, but all it takes is a bit of luck and trust in yourself. 

Oct 19, 21 4:26 am  · 
 · 

Pffft.  I'm not qualified for the position I have.  At least I feel that way.  Just do your best. Be honest with your teammates about your abelites and ask for help when needed.  

The worst thing that will happen is you'll learn a lot and get fired.  You can then use the new knowledge to get a new job.  

Now if you lied in the interview to make yourself look more experienced . . . then you're fucked. 

Oct 19, 21 10:13 am  · 
 · 
randomised

I’m quitting my (quite recent) job in two weeks time because there’s a severe mismatch between the job I thought I was going to do and the job that I am actually forced to do. It happens, I learned a lot even though I missed all my deadlines...and guess what, the world is still spinning. I just don’t like to work in a sweatshop. Should’ve seen the red flags, as the office exists for 15 years and the employee that’s been there the longest has been there only 2.5 years and has currently a burn out...

Oct 19, 21 1:08 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

Fascinating and unfortunate. I do recall you writing excitingly about this new gig a few weeks back. Sucks tho.

Oct 19, 21 1:13 pm  · 
1  · 

I'm sorry to hear this Rando. I'm glad you're getting out. Best of luck with your next endeavor! Be sure to deliver your resignation letter in a wooden shoe. ;-)

Oct 19, 21 1:56 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

It's all good and for the best...already have another gig lined up :)

Oct 19, 21 4:52 pm  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

This sounds like an office I used to work at. All the senior hires would leave in an year max as they couldn't keep up with the BS. The ones that would stay would be the visa-dependent kids that would work for a minimum of 12 hours per day ... bad times.

Oct 19, 21 5:20 pm  · 
 · 

Eeep sameold . . .

Oct 19, 21 6:10 pm  · 
 · 

random - what happened to your hush-hush art gig?

Oct 20, 21 12:10 am  · 
 · 
midlander

was this the office full of women led by someone who didn't wear shoes? not what i pictured from that really... good luck for the next thing.

Oct 20, 21 12:22 am  · 
 · 
randomised

Miles, the art project has been shipped to New York and is being installed for exhibition, had to redo some of it though as a hurricane caused some serious damage along the way...don’t want to know the carbon footprint of that thing.

Oct 20, 21 1:58 am  · 
 · 
randomised

And mid, yes this is the all-women office, with the boss walking around in sweatpants and socks, now there’s a male intern too but he has the most luscious hair so that is quite confusing...totally didn’t see it coming, with all the governmental commissions and all. But it is all the type of work the government could easily do in-house until a few years back, guess their cutbacks also means cutting back on budgets so only offices with a very small overhead and cheaper graduates and interns can take those on. Lesson learned...

Oct 20, 21 2:04 am  · 
1  · 
midlander

i am in a "job transition" right now too, as i've figured out i like commercial work (and clients) much better than the government projects my office has shifted to targeting. basically i told my boss i wanted a raise and he furled his brow sympathetically and said maybe this isn't the right office for me!

Oct 20, 21 4:02 am  · 
 · 
randomised

sorry to hijack the thread, please continue archi-need :)

Oct 20, 21 2:05 am  · 
 · 
Archi-nerd

No worries at all.

Oct 22, 21 4:59 pm  · 
 · 
CrazyHouseCat

As many of the responses has provided ways to rapidly become more qualified, perhaps an important question is: are you interested in what this position entails?  Do you wish to learn what it requires?  Is it a position you actually want?

If the answer is no: run away as quickly as you can, before your reputation is damaged by your underperforming in this role, and leverage this higher position to get a high one in the area of your interest.

If the answer is yes: there's no better place to improve in the area of your interest than being dropped in the "deep end".  Enjoy it!

Oct 20, 21 7:54 pm  · 
 · 
Archi-nerd

Reputation damage is the worst thing that one can suffer in this industry, isn't it?

Oct 22, 21 4:59 pm  · 
 · 
burgerbarn

Try being sued.

Oct 22, 21 5:15 pm  · 
 · 
Archi-nerd

Worst case scenario: being sued = reputation damage + money loss?

Oct 22, 21 5:22 pm  · 
 · 
Archi-nerd

My point is that being successfully sued is essentially reputation damage plus money loss.

Oct 22, 21 5:23 pm  · 
 · 

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