How do you get your foot in the door in architecture?

Hi, I have been doing internships and contractural work for small architects since 2017, and to this day I still cannot seem to get my foot in the door. I got interested in architecture when I joined a class in high school for AutoCAD and Revit in 2013, and joined an Bachelor's program in 2015 for a 5-year program. 

I went back to the teacher of my CAD class in 2017, and we did small renovation projects together for a year. In 2018, I worked for another small architect and he ran out of projects in 3 months. In 2019, I worked for a small office full of structural engineers and architects but got laid off because of the pandemic after a year working there. I was unemployed from 2020 to 2021 until I joined a structural/civil engineering company that laid me off again after they were bought out.

Last month, I was working with an architecture firm in a somewhat small team office. I thought I was doing very well. I was adjusting to their standards and of course, there were new things that I had to learn. But I was laid off within a month. I was told it was because my experience was not what they had expected. This is incredibly odd, because I was transparent about my background in the beginning and that there would be areas where I would like to receive training, and even when I was working there I hardly struggled. There were learning curves, but they were quickly resolved, and I even taught some of my coworkers how to use the programs. I let it go, because there was speculation from my coworkers that the firm was running out of money and projects. 

I do not deny that I am still early in my career and that there are areas that I could definitely improve on. But I'm out of college, cannot go back to school, already have work experience in my resume, and I am still struggling after graduating to find an entry-level internship or position. 

I have been struggling to get into a "big architecture firm" for years, and even with small firms I cannot seem to stay, even though I want to. It is making my work history look bad on my resume. What would you recommend I do in this situation? Or is this something that's not really in my control and I am just at the mercy of the current economy right now? 

Nov 23, 22 10:00 pm

OP - hang in there buddy. Everyone is different in what they want to do and learning curve. In my experience smaller firms have less slack to on board and get people rolling. Now that you're done with your degree, just apple around to a bunch of firms and interview. Your background seems a bit unique and I think going from contract work to possible a larger office that will help teach you standards and workflow could be good for you.

I knew NOTHING coming out of my masters, took a brief inter ship at one of the huge corporate offices, they can handle more operational overhead and will be more lenient with your time and bringing you onboard.

Don't worry too much about the previous job history. Your portfolio, interview and personality will be enough to give them a hint and you seem like a straight shooter.

Apply, apply, apply. Also, reach out to any friends you have in the industry and let them know you're looking. I think hiring is still strong right now.

Nov 23, 22 11:14 pm  · 
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