Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sum Up...too much to sum up

Let's start with the present work situation, shall we? And I'll bring things up from the past few months as they are relevant.

Without a clear course to follow, I feel somewhat weird at the moment. My whole life up to this point was generally about knowing what the next "thing" was. As I completed each grade, there was another grade that followed. Then college, then my first architecture job, then a serious boyfriend, then a house, marriage and kids. My career was about whatever job my firm gave me to work on next along with completing IDP (intern development program), taking the architectural registration exam, getting my license and then passing the exam to be a LEED accredited professional. There was some progress in my level of responsibility at work, although it somewhat purposefully slowed during the pregnancy, maternity leave, infancy years. (That is a subject for a whole other post.)

When I graduated from college, things were good economically, and even without doing a very thorough job search I had three job offers that spring. Given my love of designing theaters and designing for them, I ended up at the best fit for me in the area. Not that I can't find a good fit somewhere else...but there aren't a lot of firms that would hire someone just for my theater design skill set. I think that it is applicable to a lot of other project types, given the challenges of coordinating the building systems and the flexibility needed, but I don't know whether other firm owners see those skills translating as easily as I do.

I am also fairly confident that having fluent Microstation skills in an industry mostly dominated by AutoCAD is a hindrance as well. I have made it clear that I am learning AutoCAD and that I don't think it would take more than a couple weeks to feel completely comfortable on new software...but given the firms that have completely ignored my application, I think this is hurting me. Not to mention that many firms are looking for younger (read: cheaper) employees who are also fluent in BIM software (Building Information Modeling = drafting with objects that have data embedded in them) and my resume looks even less attractive. I can argue that my experience is a terrific asset and that I can learn new software in a much shorter time span than someone with 5 years of experience can be ready to manage a project themselves...but I can only argue that if I can get in the door for an interview.

So I continue. Sending out resumes with well-argued cover letters. Sending emails to firms that seemed interested in me but didn't have enough work 6 months ago to hire. Responding to job posts online. Reminding everyone I know that I'm looking for a full time position.

In the mean time, I'm offering classes at my local yarn store, Natural Stitches. And I have just begun training to work in the store part time as well. I'm working on a few submissions for knitting/crochet books and magazines as time allows. I'm also trying not to put too much pressure on myself to keep a neat and tidy household since I am pretty sure that I could turn that into a full time job if I would let it be.

And did I mention that the kids are back in daycare full time? Because of my 2-week stint as a full time employee (yet *another* story for another time), we switched them back. And due to contract/teacher ratio issues we have kept them that way at least for the time being. The end of the summer probably brings a time for "big decisions" if my situation hasn't substantially changed by that point.

Day to day, I am doing my best to make lemonade from the situation in which I find myself. I hope that somehow the outcome, whenever it might be, finds me once again in a full time job that I enjoy or doing a mixture of part time and freelance work that has the same effect.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I'm sorry this is taking so long for you, Amy. I'm glad you are staying positive, I'm sure some days are easier to do that than others. You will be in my prayers. Maybe we can meet at the zoo sometime this summer!