New Year’s Resolution: CAREER

Last week, the focus was on New Year’s Resolution; more specifically, the focus was on an academic goal — Gain academic success by obtaining straight As in your courses for the coming semester.


New Year’s Resolution 2022


Also, SMART Goals was introduced; goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

For this week, the goal is career oriented.


Obtain a career-related architecture position for this coming summer by the end of March.


Below is a description of the process of succeeding with your new goal; note, it spells out A.R.C.H.I.T.E.C.T.

By applying your talents as an architecture student to the search process, you will be able to design your own career, rather than just letting it happen.  You will want to be more creative in organizing your job search and selling yourself to prospective employers.  They are:


The first step in any search for a position involves assessing yourself.  Assess what aspect of architecture inspires you: programming, design, interior architecture, construction management, etc.; what is it that you desire to do within an architecture firm and what are you able to offer a prospective employer.  Ask yourself the question — Why should this firm hire me?  What would your answer be?  Constantly evaluate your interests, abilities, and values and how they match those of your current or a prospective employer.


Research is critical to the search process.  What positions within an architecture firm can best utilize your skills and knowledge?  What employers have such positions?  Do not limit your job search to the architecture profession; the best employment opportunities for you may be with an interior design firm, a construction firm, or an engineering firm; again, be creative in your search.


Connections are crucial for a successful job search.  Regardless of the career field, over 60% of all openings are obtained through networking.  As a novice job-searcher, you should be adding five to ten names to your network monthly.  Local monthly AIA meetings are one of the best places to perform your networking by talking with principals of your local architectural firms.  Listen.  Learn. Talk.  Remember, every conversation is a possible job lead.  The more ears and eyes you have looking for you for the positions you want, the more likely something will materialize.


Help with your search can be gained from a variety of sources. A good place to start is the Career Center; touching base with a career counselor can be a great place to begin as they can help you target your job search.   Most local AIA chapters have position posted on their website.  Public libraries are another valuable resource; they have a multitude of resources that may be of some assistance.   As well, you should seek support from others, especially family and friends; talking to them can be a big boost to your job search.

Interim Jobs

If you were unable to secure your ideal position after graduation, consider an interim job.  An interim position provides you with a regular income but is only a stopgap solution; you have no intention of staying on a permanent basis.  Ideally, interim jobs allow you to continue your job search, connect you with a wide variety of people for networking, and build upon your skills.


Critical to the search process are your resume, portfolio, ability to write cover letters and to interview; they are very important tools to communicate your “self” to potential employers. Are your tools in top form?  If not, practice your interviewing skills, rework your resume, or have someone critique your portfolio.


At this point in your career, you may feel as if you have little experience.  This may be true, but recognize that, in many cases, employers are hiring your potential.  If you do not have the experience needed, consider trying one of the following to obtain it: 1) part-time work, 2) volunteer work, 3) informal experiences, 4) temporary work.


Searching for a job is a full-time job which means 9 to 5.  As a former architecture student, I recognize that you are too busy with various commitments, but devote every possible minute to your job search; doing so will pay off.  In fact, if you have not already done so, start your search now!  Do not wait until next week or next month.


Realize that you are going through a major life transition, that of entering the profession of architecture.  In addition to your new job, recognize that all aspects of your life will be affected. Summer vacations are a luxury of the past.  Finally, there are financial adjustments as you begin to receive an annual salary and have new expenses.

It may be a tough market, therefore, be assertive, learn the job search process, and do not be afraid of rejection.  Searching for a position is a skill you will be using throughout your life.


The answer, in a nutshell, is:

Thru your research

and then thru your contacts.

–  Richard N. Bolles


We wish you well in your quest for career success and do let us know how we can help you.

Next, we will focus on a EDUCATIONAL GOAL.


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