Thursday, 26 August 2010

Part 1 Year Out: Diary Entry 2


Occasional articles refer to a practice I am yet to contact, I immediately write an email, attach my CV, send, and then wait. The quick rush and thought of an opportunity is almost simultaneously diminished as I return to waiting for any reply that may come my way.

Degree is finished, amazingly gained a first, something yet to reveal it’s true benefit, still to graduate, and undoubtedly waiting. I have countless lists of architects, ones for Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Scotland, London, and all others. The lists contain contact details for each one, and the current status. The lists probably amount to around 250 practices, each one has a flurried “sent” written next to their name, reminding me that I have contacted them. The lists fill my desktop and as I sit waiting emails begin to come through. Although the majority of them are straightforward “ Thank you for sending your CV, unfortunately…” they are still replies none the less, and may qualms about the existence of architects are resolved.

Something that people keep asking me is whether the perpetual rejection is demoralising, the answer; no. I’ve always known that finding a job would be hard and all I can do is carry on searching. So as replies trickle in to my email box I simply acknowledge them, happy for the polite reply, briefly seeing a secretary’s name, or sometimes a directors and updating their status on one of my many lists. All you can do is try,

The most frustrating part of job searching process isn’t the waiting, or in fact the rejection, it’s the not knowing. I resorted to moving back in with my parents, as it seemed the most financially sensible option, and pursued my life in Leeds. I do not mind the return to my old pre-university life, rather if someone could just tell me what my future beholds. It could be that in a weeks time I get offered an interview, then a job and suddenly find myself living in London. Where I live, or the practice, I don’t mind just someone please tell me.

Out of nowhere I received a phone call from a firm, inviting me down for an interview. At last an opportunity. However the date they wished to see me I couldn’t make and the lady on the phone politely said she would call me the next day with a new date. Looking back I should have taken the original set day then and there, but I asked to change it, and again I started to wait. She didn’t call back the next day, or in fact the day after that, nor the next. I tried calling her but she wasn’t in. I began to give up, but thankfully at 5:30pm on a Friday she rang. She apologised and set about arranging a new date.

The date set was my graduation, and the day before I went on a 2 week holiday. But I couldn’t say no again. I attended my graduation ceremony, threw my mortarboard and then jumped on a train to Birmingham. Arrived in a city I had only ever driven past, and entered the Bullring immediately outside the station. Thankfully the practice was situated near by and their rather prominent logo helped me to discover their office.

The interview went well, I think. They spoke, I spoke. We casually discussed each other’s approaches to architecture, what we were interested in, and was finally given a tour of their practice. They said they would let me know once I returned from my holiday. When asked how it went, as I returned back home, I replied; “Really well”. The truth is I don’t know, it was my first, I have no precedent to go against, and I received no feedback. I guess all I can do is, well wait.