January 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm #176035Daryl McCannParticipant
Be it late in the conversation I whole heartedly agree with your thought. Have you checked with Habitat for Humanity? I am thinking of joining the local chapter here in South Florida.January 13, 2009 at 2:22 am #176034
Hi Daryl, I haven’t checked with them yet; I am still holding out hope that I may get a ‘real’ job next summer. But as my graduation gets nearer, I may be forced to start exploring these other options more seriously. The irritating thing is that in these grim times, with so many landscape architects out of work, we are at a point where we really need good design so that we aren’t making things worse in the long run. Let’s hope that things will turn around soon.January 22, 2009 at 9:44 pm #176033Vance W. HallParticipant
nrschmid’s is on the money.
Now is a time to diversify and improve your skill sets so that you are competitive when you graduate in May. This site is a great way to find graphics styles that you like, and use these styles to modify and enhance your graphics. Draw those trees, rock and squiggly lines until the are second nature. Look at such firms such as EDSA, EDAW, SWA and TBG and mimic them. It is all you seem to do the first few months as a new graduate anyway. Make sure your a very proficient in the major software(CAD,Photoshop/CS3-4, Sketchup). Getting LEED certified before you graduate couldn’t hurt. Best of luck to you Claudia.January 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm #176032
Thanks to you all. I really appreciate the comments, and I am sure there are plenty of other recent or near-future grads that also appreciate any suggestions and insights.
The bottom line is this: I have been waiting for 15 years to become a landscape architect. I want to start my new profession in 2009. I don’t have the luxury of wasting a few years on other semi-related disciplines until the right job comes along. I am 37, with two children and no money saved for retirement, and a bunch of debt. Not to mention that I really, really love this profession and want to practice it and become the best landscape architect that I can be. I cannot do that while working at Lowe’s in the garden center. I don’t want to put myself where the money is flowing. I want to put myself where the landscape architecture is flowing.January 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm #176031
These are all really great comments. Thank you so much for taking the time to address my specific concerns. In answer to some of your questions, yes I have been in touch with several firms, in fact I started sending out resumes last year and have already met with three firms in the city I am relocating to. I am hopeful to have a job by September. I really do believe that our economy will be on the upswing by then, so I remain optimistic about the September goal. I am now of the opinion that, along with networking, the best thing we can do is be patient and wait out the worst of this economy. Luckily for me I still have a few months of school left!February 4, 2009 at 12:04 am #176030
I am intrigued by the non-profit idea. I have been tossing around the idea of opening a more hands on business and wouldn’t mind it being a non-profit organization. I have no clue about non-profits though so I am attending a seminar on starting one at the local business school on Monday. I will report back with any insights.
Although I am still gainfully employed I am hoping for the best and planning for the worst. I understand your desire to jump right in and start changing the world through landscape architecture, I am somewhat an idealist myself. I also have realized that ideology won’t put food in my mouth.
I agree with the other posters that networking is crucial but its seems that most of the attendees of all the social hours, ASLA meetings and other groups I attend are recently laid off professionals who are out plugging themselves. Lattely I have taken to putting lots of stock in the idea that President Obama will create lots of public works projects and get everyone back up and running. Right now that is my best case scenario. My worst case scenario is me helping my neighbors create community gardens so we can all eat this spring and summer.February 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm #176029
I know, Gil…I am thinking about doing volunteering to keep my portfolio fresh, too. It just seems like there has to be a way to fix this situation. Landscape architects are creative thinkers, generally good at teamwork and unique problem-solving strategies. I started this thread because I thought maybe we do a little group-self-analysis and come up with some solutions together.
I am not a complete idealist, I am practical too. But I do believe in the power of self-fulfilling prophecy: if all we do is sit around and complain about the economy, and we all have negative attitudes and doom-and-gloom projections, then that is exactly what we will get for our time.February 6, 2009 at 6:55 pm #176028
Well I definitely consider myself an optimist! But, with the current financial meltdown, the environmental crisis the rest of the world has recently opened their eyes to, and all of the bad planning & design (urban sprawl and places with no sense of place) and poor judgment on the part of financiers, real estate developers and many others, that has lead up to these two issues, I have become a doom and gloomer as of late. I don’t usually outwardly project these views but I often convey this attitude as a precursor to the solutions. Otherwise, many people would discount and often reject the “radical” ideas that are needed to get us out of this debacle. Ideas such as homesteading, urban farming, creative reuse of buildings, public transit and so many others.
It is clear that we landscape architects and designers are the knowledge workers of the green collar workforce. This, in my mind makes us the most likely to benefit from governmental spending reform away from foreign war and towards domestic infrastructure. If that infrastructure where to be green infrastructure (one of my favorite topics). I think the charge is now to convince the powers that be (senate and congress) that green infrastructure is the way to go because it has the potential to solve our environmental crisis as well as our financial crisis while weaning us off of oil (foreign and domestic) and giving old blue collar workers from the gray industries new and fulfilling work in the new green collar economy.
As for the self fulfilling prophecy, there is a parable that Michael McDunough told of in one of his lectures. To paraphrase… Two gentlemen arguing over the fate of the world, the doom and gloomer convinced of imminent peril and the optimist convinced otherwise, made a bet as to the outcome after 20 years. The optimist continued as if nothing was wrong. The doom and gloomer work furiously to solve the problems ailing the world. After 20 years the Earth was still thriving and the optimist won the bet, not even realizing that if it were not for all the work the doom/gloomer put in things would likely have ended up much differently.
I know doom and gloom is negative in general but the answers that come out of that mentality are essential to forming solutions to the problems that cause the worry. I view community projects and involvement not so much as a way to polish my resume but to raise awareness of the multiple benefits of the green industries, perhaps creating demand for such solutions in the future. Thus raising the demand for the services that we landscape architects and designers provide. So it is more of an investment in the future of both the community and my career and profession.
Warmest regardsFebruary 8, 2009 at 6:17 am #176027
According to some estimates, the war in Iraq could end up costing us 3 trillion dollars when all is said and done.
We are debating less than a third of that cost right now, in the senate, to save America from financial ruin and a complete depression…and many people don’t want to spend that money.
Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?February 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm #176026
America needs a green new deal. With the knowledge and skilles landscape architects have, we are best equiped to lead the charge.February 9, 2009 at 3:12 am #176025
I’m ready when you are. I love a good charge now and then.February 9, 2009 at 3:15 am #176024
Hmmm…well, if you are trying to convince me to “go negative”, it won’t work. But I guess I can grudgingly admit that scaring people into action may be effective at times.February 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm #176023
Unfortunately I was laid off last Thusday and could not justify paying the fee to take the “starting a non-profit” course. So nothing to report on that. In the mean time I plan on plugging into an existing local nonprofit to try to achieve some mutual goals.February 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm #176022
Wow, Gil, I am so sorry to hear that. Best of luck to you, somehow we will all weather this storm.February 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm #176021ncaParticipant
Easy there Andrew.
I would say all three of those things you listed played a significant role in the reason your office had to layoff those two people.
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