5 year expectations


When are the expectations of an office that says they are looking for someone with 3 - 5 years experience - what are they looking for? I see many variants on this - I have 5 years experience of BIM production at the  2.5 year exp. level and don't want to get in over my head and get fired if I shoot for a 3 - 5 year experience position. - It turns out my only selling point is as a fast RevitWrist - 

Aug 18, 13 4:44 pm

why would they fire you? I would love to see how it turns out for you ,maybe I could get there one day...and good luck on you application.

Aug 21, 13 10:53 pm
3-5 years is where you begin to separate production from middle management. The difference between a project architect/project manager and a production architect/senior designer is the ability to drive schedules, manage staff/contractors/clients and understand budgets.

Depending on the position offered they will be looking for either someone who can move into a senior designer role or someone who will start the transition to management. 3-5 years is the "sweet spot" for employment now because it's in demand and allows you to choose your path in the profession.
Aug 21, 13 11:16 pm
Also having 3-5 years of recent experience implies that you stayed gainfully employed through this downturn...another highly marketable trait.
Aug 21, 13 11:18 pm


I agree and although I'm totally against it, the others in my office refuse to look at resumes from somebody that was not employed the entire time since 2009. They think something is wrong if they could not find employment. I think its a missed opportunity to have very highly skilled architects on our team...but I don't make all the shots!

Aug 22, 13 9:18 am

I was unemployed the entire length of 2009 -, then working steadily since 2010 as a Revit modeler/production/drafting type - Whenever I go for an interview, I am asked why I was laid off - why were you chosen to be laid off when others were kept?  - I am told that there are "way too many of you modeler types" long term unemployment is a black mark. 


Aug 22, 13 12:11 pm

LITS4FormZ i agree

Aug 22, 13 2:05 pm


Could you elaborate more on what the interviewer meant when he told you that there were "way too many of you modeler types"? Would it have looked better if you were more the type that managed teams, wrote emails and spend hours on the phone, basicaly any other kind of work than producing deliverables to the client, which is what the modeler types are responsible for?  In my experience I found that they tried to hold on to people who were more PM types as long as they could while letting go of staff who produced the drawings, models and renderings. Apparently such skills are easy to replace?

Aug 22, 13 4:26 pm

Yes, drafters, techs, and 'modeler' types are easy to replace - excellent ones less so.  With those job descriptions, you'll always be working with and competing with fresh graduates, as drafting is all they're really trained for and capable of during those first couple of years out of school.  

Revit / modelling / amazing drafting skills are great to have and will serve new grads well to get their foot in the door - but for many that's just a means to an end, whether they know it or not.  If you're applying to a designer position, you may be a little underqualified...

On the other hand, this industry needs GOOD senior / experienced technicians, no matter the tools, whether Revit, Acad, etc.  There's no shame in that - not everybody wants to, or is cut out for management.  Just make sure you're focusing your efforts on where you want to be down the line, not necessarily limiting yourself to your current skillset.

Aug 22, 13 5:24 pm

A distinction that may help your case:  In the BIM world, there should be no such thing as simple production like what drafters do in the old days.  Because everything you model means more than just lines, and everything affect other things, modeler are rapidly forced to know the consequences of the things they model.  If you’ve worked in BIM in the last 2.5 years, you should also have decent technical knowledge (technical as in how to put building together vs. technology as in Revit, CAD).   You really should be on track to become a project architect.  

Aug 22, 13 5:48 pm

 you should also have decent technical knowledge (technical as in how to put building together vs. technology as in Revit, CAD).  




I learned about this today because the building that I am modeling has complex widow details that are recessed behind the rest of the walls on one floor and not on others ( many intricate details all over and soffits in some areas because of the fifth floor being extruded in front of the below floors) . Buildings are very complex when you can see them up close and in 3d.

Aug 22, 13 7:24 pm

anyone who discards a resume based solely on someone having lost their job during the worst recession in modern time must be a complete moron.

i have been in the fortunate position to always have a job in the last 8 years - part due to specialization, part luck. however there have been sooo many around me on both sides of the atlantic and on all levels who since 2008 lost their jobs for a myriad of reasons related to the downturn but in no way related to their skill or performance. reasons have ranged from local labor law (last hired, first fired) to cancelled projects (middle east, anyone?) to gross incompetence in management ( two people i know lost their jobs at the same 7 people firm on the same day since one of the partners needed to take out a large sum of cash to pay the contractor who was remodeling his house at that time). foster and partners laid of such a large portion of their london workforce in early 2009 that they had to pay up to 6 months' severance in accordance with british labor law. when "things pickedup" some months later several of these people were rehired by F+P while they were still collecting severance pay from the same company.

in very few of these cases has the layoff had anything to do with the employee's skills, personality or general usefulness. it's almost always only circumstance. they were hired once, weren't they? it's an insult to job seekers how anyone who fails to see this should be in charge of any hiring decisions.

Aug 24, 13 2:12 pm

its not fair but its the way of the world empea. the real world seriously sucks in so many inexplicable ways.

3-5 years means contracts, contractor negotiations and management, design, site running, etc. should all be within your reach even if you are not able to take complete control yet. You shouldn't need much direction for a project to move forward.

You can always apply anyway, explain you want to move out of BIM and modeling and this is a step.  Having goals and not just looking for a job is attractive to employers (it is to us at least).

Aug 25, 13 7:01 pm

"Why were you laid off"

If someone asks that stupid-ass question then you don't want to work for them to begin with.

Aug 28, 13 10:22 am

yes - from 12/08 - 12/09 - recruiters ask - some firms ask too - I don't get the job either - I have 5 years exp - but am competing with people with 1 - 2 years exp. 

Aug 28, 13 5:47 pm

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