Working the Market– Dating and Job Searching

With being single and not currently employed in architecture, I couldn’t help but recognize the similarities in rectifying these situations.

Efforts in dating and job searching relate better than you would think. Here are my top ten.

1-       It’s best to know who you are and what you want.
* Example A: “I want to work endless hours for a starchitect with the hopes of one day being the next Frank.” Gehry or Wright…same difference.
* Example B: “I want a trophy wife, 2.5 kids and a dog named Lassie.”  I’ve always wondered…Exactly how does one acquire .5 of a kid?
My point is you better know exactly what you want so you don’t settle for less.

2-       Make sure you’ve got great pickup lines to catch the potential date/firm’s interest.
* “I’ve got what it takes to help make your vision a reality.”
* “The only thing your eyes haven’t told me is your name.”

3-       The First Date is The Interview is The First Date.
* What’s THE WORST is when the first date feels like a dry interview.  Stale with the seemingly endless questions by the only one at the table who’s interested, where time slows down and not in a good way.
* What’s THE BEST for both dating and interviewing is when that first hour goes by too fast and both parties are interested in more.  *wink, wink*

4-       It’s best not to get too attached too early. In dating and job searching, nobody is attracted to desperation.

5-       Rejection will happen.  Don’t let it discourage you from your dream job/partner.

6-       Timing must be right.  You may want something that they can’t give you right now.

7-      If expectations aren’t clear, both parties will be unhappy.

8-      Once you’ve landed the job/relationship, it’s daily work.

9-      It’s also important to periodically asses the job/relationship to review performance, evaluate points of weakness and set goals for improvement.

10-    Feeling unfilled within the job/relationship?  Can’t get all your needs met?  This is when the wandering eye begins, which may lead to infidelity.

There are of course a few differences between dating and job searching, but for some reason I could only come up with three.

1-       The internet seems more effective for dating than for job searching.

2-       Networking seems more effective for job searching than for dating.

3-       But the critical difference is that the job market is inevitably run by the dollar while dating is run by the heart (or hormones).

What’s hard is that most of us in architecture put so much heart and energy into our career that when something out of our control happens and takes away the object of our affection, we are awaken to the fact that it’s just business, there’s a bottom line. This realization feels like a really ugly break-up and makes me wonder, how many architects are romantics?

This is not an original comparison.  Sadly for some of this insight I can’t take the credit. Below were the best websites I found when I typed “job search and dating” into Google.  And the pickup line site….that’s just for good fun.
Career Chatter
San Francisco Noobs
The Most Complete and Most Useless Collection of Pick-Up Lines

4 thoughts on “Working the Market– Dating and Job Searching

  1. Mr. Principal Architect,

    Things are changing fast. According to the latest data from and other online job search engines the amount of openings is increasing at a rate never experienced before. There are jobs out there, and companies must realize that a few years of pent-up demand is about to be unleashed!

    So, I am writing you Mr. Principal Architect, to think together about what can you do now to stem the tide of my fellow designers shouting “I Quit, enough is enough!”?

    Stop taking advantages of the recessionary employment situation to exploit your designers. As quickly as you can, make meaningful adjustments to salaries and work schedules.

    Stop threatening and lying to your designers. I know how you like to describe how evil another firms might be, or how bad their projects are. Typically this backfires when your designers realize later that they were misdirected.

    Think about respecting your designers! As a reminder: Pay is always far down the list of reasons why people quit. “Soft” things like respect, culture, and environment all affect the employee who is daydreaming about greener pastures.

    Show gratitude to your designers! Be sure you make the effort to keep your key people instead of getting rid of them. Sometimes in the frenetic pace you all keep, you often act careless about your best performers–the people upon whom you depended so much. Of course, doing so sends bad messages and creates all sorts of problems for you with the people who will stay at your firm and would like to remain “loyal” to you.

    What else can you do? I think now is the time to start new projects and do your job Mr. Principal Architect. New ideas should be increased and more people included in the process. Nothing excites designers more than belonging to an organization that is always investing the future and trying new things. And if you feel you don’t have enough energy to take new architectural ambitions, just be happy in retirement.

    Obviously, by behaving taking advantages of your designers during this crisis, and with that management style pervasive among senior leadership, you are going to have some designers shouting “I Quit, enough is enough!”. And for you, I have a simple question: What did you expect Mr. “Architect”?



  2. @RandomArch, So have you quit yet?

    There’s definitely some pent up frustration in your comment.
    Have you communicated with your employer about these issues and offered solutions?
    What are some solutions to being overworked and underpaid. Layoffs? Furloughs? Higher Fee Percentage?
    How about the lack of respect and gratitude you’re feeling? Is it your employer’s management style or are you feeling entitled to something you haven’t really earned?
    As for “now is the time to start new projects and do your job Mr. Principal Architect,” have you been at the table with prospective clients? Have you been out there trying to get the work? Being proactive to help solve your firm’s problems gets you noticed in a good way.

    Or did you just want to get these frustrations out in writing on the internet under an anonymous username and email?

  3. Pingback: It’s Time to Move On. « AIA Colorado EP Blog

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