“Architorture” should not sound foreign to any of us. Whether we learned it pulling all-nighters at University; or whether we suffered through insurmountable deadlines at our place of employment, we all have one thing in common: though architecture is a passion, it rears its ugly head more often than we would like.
Being an emerging professional submits us to more issues than just that of the beast’s head. In today’s market, we have to fight to secure a job and fight even harder to keep it. Employers are not looking only looking at our alma mater or GPA, but also for a solid foundation in Building Information Modeling (BIM), an understanding of what it means to build sustainably, common sense of interdisciplinary relations, public speaking capabilities, and personal motivation and proven initiative to become a licensed professional. As if rigorous work hours and low monetary compensation were not enough, treading to stay afloat in today’s marketplace is “architorturous.”
I fell into the trend of attending a high profile university to secure my Masters in Architecture. Little did I realize at the time of acceptance, that I would be paying a mortgage in loans for a decade after I graduated. The stark reality hit when I considered my first job offer and realized that I would be going further into debt every month, rather than even struggling to stay afloat. Once I found a job that would grant me the ability to pay my loans down, I continued to return to work every Monday morning in battle mode-wondering what challenges will face me in the upcoming week.
Utilization as a young professional is solely based on a tenacious attitude and sharp ability to grow with emerging software. Having taken the LEED exam on more than one occasion and finally passing has also proven to be a slight help in remaining professionally valuable, but success in passing the test was based on one’s desire to do so. Being invited to meet a client or attend a symposium is of the greatest honors a newbie can have bestowed unto her. Through years of Toastmasters to enhance one’s ability to speak with poise in public, and through attending numerous networking events and learning how to hand out a business card when appropriate, are mandatory steps to better oneself in the field, but can only be achieved with personal dedication.
If the aforementioned was not enough, licensing still remains at the forefront of the emerging professional’s mind. It is the classification that separates the non-members from the members. Achieving this credential is a huge burden. Parties of jurisdiction demand it; clients expect it; and bosses want it. Documenting hundreds of worked hours and then studying for hundreds of more is a burden all on its own, without outside influences. To survive the field is a testament to each individual, but especially those that are hit with the mandatory traits of a future architect all at once.