End of the year 2010 commentary

Christmas has come and gone, and 2010 is about to come to a close. In 2009 my employment was spared. I continued to work into 2010 with hope of exciting projects to materialize and when they didn’t, I was let go. To be quite honest, I was relieved. I was not upset. I saw the signs but it wasn’t any better out there so I stayed until the moment arrived. I had to keep myself from smiling when I sat face to face with my boss as he explained the situation. Although I did not agree with how he practiced, I did appreciate the opportunity to work on some interesting projects and having been exposed to a world characters I would never have access to.

I worked on a schematic design for a night club venue for that would be part of a huge development in Southeast Asia.There was a hospitality development that was set in the south but drama ensued with the negotiations and that deal fell through. It is a shame as a lot of time and effort was put into making it a reality. I also developed a prototype for a health conscious convenient grocer. And I even worked on the design of an immense beach house.

As I mentioned earlier, I was relieved to have been let go. Though the projects were interesting, they did not have the steady momentum to keep me motivated because I knew these were not going to be realized. It did not make sense to extend myself beyond what was needed to get the task completed. I know when my efforts are appreciated and it was not fully appreciated there. I miss being appreciated. I miss giving it more than 100%. I miss extending myself for the benefit of the project, the client, my employer, and most importantly, for myself. I found it frustrating and at times stressful to work in an environment where I could not be as professional as I could possibly be. I felt underutilized for my experience and skill set. When I decided to join this practice, I was hoping to grow but instead, I leveled out. So when I was let go, feelings of frustration and stress evaporated.

On top of being rendered unemployed after 2+ years of disappointment, I found out to my dismay that my years in the work force counts for nothing with IDP. I was not devastated but became briefly frantic about getting whatever eligible hours/points submitted to IDP. Becoming an architect is now my goal for 2011. I have no excuses and actually have my disappointments to inspire me to finally complete this chapter of my professional career.

I remain hopeful about employment prospects in 2011 but I have a feeling the economy will not spark any surges in hires. The market is not in favor of the “looking for work” candidate. Employers have higher expectations and requirements from their prospective candidates.These are requirements I would not have even developed had I stayed in any of my previous places of employment. It makes me feel out-dated and my experiences obsolete. I can easily learn these additional skills but I know I will be professionally abused because I’ve been there and have little interest in doing that again. Besides, where I want to go with my professional career, in my opinion, does not require these skills.

I also bumped into a former employer who I do keep good relations with. It was great to see him and catch up. I was also touched when he expressed how much they appreciated my professionalism. Their practice is getting by and he explained that they had hired someone but informed the new hire that their employment was a trial and is contingent of projects coming in. Yet, he has inquired with me (more than once) of any possibilities of freelancing with them. I can’t help but think about the trial status of the recent hire while I was being courted for freelance work. Of course, we continue to remain friends.

And speaking of friendships, I have to say that I have had great fun making friends in the architectural community on Twitter. I know that may seem strange but if you’re reading this, it’s really not all that strange to you. What a bunch of supportive people! I certainly appreciate the many kind and encouraging words here on La Femme Architecte and on Twitter. It means a lot and helps me to push on with what I want to do with this blog and continued endeavors with writing and architecture. To these people, I want to thank you and wish you a Happy New Year!

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