Why Working Long Hours Won’t Make You A “Better” Architect

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Architects are known for pulling all-nighters. Architects are known for pulling all-nighters. This article was originally published on Brandon Hubbard's blog, The Architect's Guide. In a previous article, Should You Become An Architect?, I touched on the issue of long working hours within the profession. Since this is such a common talking point for architects, I decided to expand on the topic. First, let's define what is a "better architect." Is it being more productive? Regularly promoted? Highly paid? Someone who produces excellent design solutions? Usually, all of these characteristics tend to flow together. If you are a skilled designer you are likely to be compensated and promoted accordingly. So if being good at your job leads to fame and fortune, is productivity the key to excellence? Often the idea of productivity contrasts with the design world. The word "productive" congers up images of a production line stamping out widgets as fast as possible.
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Techniques For Landing A Job At The World’s Most Competitive Architecture Firms

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Wieden+Kennedy NY / WORKac © Bruce Damonte Wieden+Kennedy NY / WORKac © Bruce Damonte This article was originally published by The Architect's Guide as "5 Techniques To Land A Job With The World's Most Competitive Architecture Firms." As I discussed in my interviews with several firms in 7 Questions Answered By The World’s Top Architecture Firms On What They Look For In Job Applications, the quality of your application documents is extremely important. However, for some of the most competitive offices even having a perfect portfolio isn't enough. So what can you do to stand out?  The bad news is that the top firms like Gehry Partners, Herzog & de Meuron, BIG, Foster + Partners, etc. are extremely competitive. For example, most of these firms receive over 20,000 applications per year. Since they may only hire 50 people per year at most, it means you only have a 0.25% chance of getting
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Two Qualities You Need to Succeed in an Architecture Career

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© wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock © wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock This article was originally published by The Architect's Guide as "The Two Qualities You Need For Architecture Career Success."

In a survey of 104 Chief Executive Officers reported in Success Magazine a few years ago, they were presented with 20 qualities of an ideal employee, and asked to select the most important.

86% of the senior executives selected two qualities as being more important for career success and advancement than any others: 1. The ability to set priorities, to separate the relevant from the irrelevant.
2. The ability to get the job done fast, to execute quickly. There is nothing that will help you more in your career than to get the reputation for being the kind of person who gets the most important job done quickly and well. Unfortunately I encounter many people in the architecture industry that seem to ignore both qualities
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7 Reasons Working Abroad May Be Bad For Your Architecture Career

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London. Image © Route66 via Shutterstock.com London. Image © Route66 via Shutterstock.com Traditionally, the start of a new year is a time for making plans and optimism for the future. As a result, it's a time when many architects might start dreaming of moving their career to an unfamiliar and exciting country. But as Brandon Hubbard explains in this article, originally published on The Architect's Guide as "Is Working Abroad Bad For Your Architecture Career?" there are many reasons that you shouldn't be so hasty to cross borders and seas in an attempt to advance your career.

Architecture, perhaps more than any other profession, is filled with people who want to live and work abroad. 

Are you in Mumbai dreaming of New York City? In Seattle thinking about a life in Rome? Some architecture students get a taste for travel while in school. Study abroad programs in the US are quite common. Often when students finish
New York. Image © Flickr user rabidunicorn licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Venice. Image © bellena via Shutterstock.com
Kathmandu. Image © Vadim Petrakov via Shutterstock.com
Sydney. Image © Flickr user magtravels licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
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How to Stand Out in an Architecture Job Interview: The STAR Portfolio

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In his previous articles, Brandon Hubbard has discussed how to create the perfect short portfolio to get the attention of your future employer, and how to prepare for some of the most common interview questions. In this post, originally published on The Architect's Guide as "4 Reasons Why You Need a STAR Portfolio," Hubbard discusses the architect's key tool at an interview, and how to maximize its potential to impress. Perhaps the most important component of any architecture job application is the portfolio. The key is to tailor the portfolio not only to the position to which you are applying but also to the correct stage in the application process. As I covered in a previous article, The Two Page Architecture Portfolio, your first contact with an architecture firm should include a “sample portfolio” as a part of your application. This is
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5 Top Firms Respond: What Do You Look for in Job Applications?

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Often, all that is needed for that big break in your career is getting experience at the right firm. But getting your foot in the door is daunting, especially if your ideal firm is one where thousands of other architects are applying constantly, regardless of whether a vacancy has been advertised. In this article originally posted on The Architect's Guide, Brandon Hubbard reaches out to some of the world's top architecture firms (Zaha Hadid Architects, Snøhetta, Perkins+Will, BDP and Callison) to find out how you can maximize your chances in the application process. I recently reached out to several of the world’s top architecture firms and asked them a series of questions on what they look for in potential architecture job applicants. After my discussions with these firms I discovered a common theme in how they acquire many new hires. As I covered in a previous article, Want a Great Architecture Job?
Heydar Aliyev Center / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Iwan Baan
Oslo Opera House / Snohetta. Image © Snohetta
Shanghai Natural History Museum / Perkins+Will. Image © James and Connor Steinkamp
City College Norwich / BDP. Image © Kilian O'Sullivan
Mix C / Callison. Image © Callison
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6 Tips on Creating the Perfect Two-Page Portfolio to Win a Job Interview

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When it comes to applying for a new job, in any field, often the most difficult part is standing out from the crowd at the first stage. Fortunately for architects, in our field we have a tool that can help you to do just this: the portfolio. Unfortunately, according to Brandon Hubbard, many architects are getting it wrong when it comes to application portfolios. In this article, originally published on his blog at The Architect's Guide, Hubbard outlines six tips on how to create and submit a two-page portfolio that will increase your chances of getting a callback. When applying to any architecture job I advise applicants to use the shortest portfolio possible. I have successfully applied to the top firms in the world with only a resume and a TWO PAGE portfolio. Most people are surprised by this, since the typical portfolios I see are in
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4 Reasons Why You Need a STAR Portfolio

Perhaps the most important component of any architecture job application is the portfolio. The key is to tailor the portfolio not only to the position to which you are applying but also to the correct stage in the application process. As I covered in a previous article, The Two Page Architecture Portfolio, your first contact with an architecture firm should include a “sample portfolio” as a part of your application. This is usually two to five pages long and just like the resume it is a snapshot of your greatest work and experience. This is the approach I recommend at the outset, while at the other end of the application process - the interview - I advise a different approach. This is where the STAR Portfolio comes in. What is a STAR Portfolio? If you’re not already aware, STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. The STAR Portfolio is Continue reading "4 Reasons Why You Need a STAR Portfolio"

Top 5 Architecture Job Interview Questions

The architecture profession has been steadily recovering since the downturn of 2009. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards has released NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring a positive trend for the architecture profession. This means more jobs for architects, assuming you can get through the interview of course... So you have made it through initial job screening to make it to this point. Congratulations! The interview questions I discuss below come up in almost every profession. However, as an architect I am primarily focused on how to best respond to these common questions in the context of an architecture interview. As you go through each of the questions below, think about your response. WHY is the interviewer asking this question? Put yourself in his or her shoes. This will help you to understand that they are not trying to stump you but rather get an idea if you Continue reading "Top 5 Architecture Job Interview Questions"

The Top 5 Questions to Prepare for in an Architecture Job Interview

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It's that time of year when many graduates across the Northern Hemisphere are searching for jobs or internships - the time of year when many realize that there's a lot more to landing a solid position at a good firm than simply being a great designer. One of the largest hurdles they will encounter is the job interview, and while there is plenty of advice out there about job interviews in general, little of it is aimed directly at architects. In this post originally published on The Architect's Guide, Brandon Hubbard tackles the top five most common questions in an architecture job interview - and how to ace the answers. The architecture profession has been steadily recovering since the downturn of 2009. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released “NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring a positive trend for the architecture profession. This means more
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