I’m currently unemployed due to lack of work. My boss informed me of this news on the last Monday of September. I was not surprised by his announcement. I was very much aware of the situation through overheard conversations and noticing proposed ideas not being developed into real projects. Even though the signs of collapse were obvious, I deliberately chose to stick this out to the end. I was caught between bad economic times and even though I did not always agree on my boss’ practices, I didn’t want to bail on him; plus, I was working on some interesting projects.
I have been weighing my career options of whether or not to become a licensed architect while looking for that one ultimate architectural experience that would inspire me to become a noble architect. In the past decade, I’ve been presented with lots of disillusionment, disappointments, and pretense of the profession and yet, I refused to give up my career in architecture.
Instead of finding positive reinforcements to become an architect, I was exposed to more disillusionment, disappointments, and pretentiousness. It turned out, my boss is not a licensed architect. I took it for granted that he was when I interviewed with him. Then when I agreed to work with him based on the position we had discussed, everything surrounding that discussion crumbled around me and revealed the ugly truth regarding the staff and projects. I was replacing two people, as opposed to working along side them. And the projects that we had discussed that I would be working on were not as glamorous as described initially.
It seemed like I had hit a real low in my architectural career. And despite this, I continued to plow on and drudge through the mess that was left when the office reduced to just me and the boss. Eventually the mess cleared but there always remained a presence of uncertainty even though my boss tried to be upbeat about the projects that were coming in as quickly as they were disappearing.
I also had a couple of conversations with people who I had worked with over the years through different offices and projects. Our conversation reminded me of the architect I was already becoming when I decided to shift my career to another office where I thought I would continue my professional growth and pursue my license. Instead, I was stalled for a little over two years. And now that I have been laid-off, the courage to pursue my professional license has returned.
Since the beginning of October, I have renewed my NCARB records (I’ve let it lapsed). I have been aware of the changes that have been made with regard to the exams, and recently became aware of the changes with IDP. I have been researching study materials and classes for the ARE. I’m also actively looking for work; the exams and preparation materials are not cheap. And of course, I continue to write for La Femme Architecte.