March 12, 2011 at 12:16 am #164279
I’d approach it like a working vacation. Do your four months and if it works out, great, if not then tack on a nice Southeast Asian vacation at the end. I’ve spent a bit of time in Asia (SEA) for work, study, and play and if I didn’t have a family I’d jump at the opportunity to work over there.
I know of one firm that fits your very loose desciption and I’ve been told they aren’t too bad to work for.March 12, 2011 at 12:23 am #164278
I am leaving most everything here in storage. My grown daughter is moving into the house with a roommate.
For now, she gets my vehicle. I go over there with one very LARGE bag one smaller one, and my laptop. I am divorced and older than you with still all the hair on my head. I am resharpening and retooling my CAD and Adobe Suite skills in the meantime. I draw well, fast, furious and like a fiend. Again, with unemployment running out, getting two turn down letters in the mail today, and no other viable prospects (one headhunter trying to peddle me and a completely dead job market in my part of this country (and yours too)) what would you do ?March 12, 2011 at 12:28 am #164277
I lived out of a suitcase for years, first as seasonal worker and then in the military. It can be an odd shift but it sounds like an arrangement you’ll be able to pull off. Go for it.March 12, 2011 at 12:31 am #164276
Actually, my network is pretty scattered and minimal. You seem to be far better at it than myself. I have kind of gone into hiding and hunkered down over the last year. Not healthy (on all levels). I think you will do just fine, as for me ? I am uncertain, but this is the best thing to come my way in months. Don’t get me wrong, for the modest effort I have extended, I have gotten interviews and had a real job prospect (being flown down and toured around) on a huge project just evaporate on me in late December of last year. To say it has been a rough ride would be a real understatement.
I have read your entries here before and you have no apparent shortage of talent, drive or ambition. I almost applied to Broaddus, but thought it was a geographical longshot.
This company in Shanghai has given me an employment contract, and signed it. Do you have one of those yet ? I have only been laid off once since this Grand and Great Recession started, I don’t know if I could have handled it happening twice. Your a strong warrior.March 12, 2011 at 12:38 am #164275
I know your living in one of the only areas of the country that is producing jobs related to our dual professions, albeit at a very slow pace, but at least there are job opportunities. As for where I live, there has not been a single job that I am aware of (advertised or not) (with one major exception and I applied for that one and got asked to submit my portfolio!!) in the last two months.
Public sector planning jobs here get upwards of 60 or more applications (and that is low) Residential landscape design positions you might be lucky and get asked for interview. I have never seen it like this so there you have it.March 12, 2011 at 12:48 am #164274Heather SmithParticipant
Have you looked into teaching opportunities? It sounds like you have some great life experience that you could share with students. I am not sure if you have a master’s or not…but we did have a visiting professor my senior year that was employed at EDAW out of San Francisco and spent two semesters up here in little Moscow, Idaho. It was nice to have someone that was/had been recently involved in real world situations.
Perhaps, that could be an option if the four months is all that it works out to be.March 12, 2011 at 12:55 am #164273
Nope. No advanced degrees. Just two bachelors (one in natural resources and the other in LA) several focused certificate programs (green building and new urbanism, and now urban design and placemaking from Rutgers (underway) what else do you do when you have been laid off for an unbelievable period of time…?).
I have always wanted to visit Moscow Idaho. A very long time ago, almost another lifetime, there was some kind of shared masters programs between WSU and University of Idaho, underwritten by Robert Redford. I am not making this up. I got the info but never applied.
Thank your for your commentary, it has been very helpful and uplifting.March 12, 2011 at 1:21 am #164272
No harm intended or meant, but due to the nature of your reply, I am now going to submit my killer resume and incredibly powerful portfolio to those guys. Based on their invitation to have me come out at to Austin (at their expense) I just might see you out that way when I am walking out of their office after a stellar interview and your waiting in the foyer trying to collect yourself and your composure.
Good luck with that .
Sorry buckwheat, but you asked for it.March 12, 2011 at 1:27 am #164271
Those are very smart fields to pursue, because jobs in our profession, unless you go to other highly productive economies in other parts of the world right now that are generating our kind of jobs (China 7-8% GDP this year, 10% last year, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong slightly less) you had damn well better look into other avenues.
I myself have done everything inventive from non-profit land trusts to soil and water conservation districts to environmental planners (you have tried that too) to doing entitlement work for telecommunications providers and come up empty handed. I have been incredibly resourceful and creative, just like you have. So far, that makes us both still unemployed.March 12, 2011 at 2:39 am #164270mauiBobParticipant
It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind, so what’s the point of this questionaire? Trying to find validation for the decision?
Here’s a story. You are floating out there in the middle of the ocean and clinging to a tire tube for survival. A Chinese boat comes by and offers help to pick you up and take you to a temporary shelter. You declined the kind gesture, because you feel the tube is adequate enough and anxiously await for an American ship to take yourself to safety. How long do you wait?
Do you hear me clear enough? You take what’s best available for your situation. This is not about quitting a job or because of management you hate. Too many people are afraid of the unknown! It is in my opinion that if you want to expand your design palette and become a better overall designer, you need to venture out of your comfort zone and experience different places. See how they do things in Italy, England, Malaysia or China. Additionally, you never know who you might meet along this journey which could lead to greater pastures. Or you may actually love it there and decide to stay if offered a permanent position. Take the four months as a learning vacation. Travel only with 2 suitcases of clothes, bring along a few books and burn a dvd containing your work samples. Take the leap of faith. Trust your instincts. You may not make it to retirement age.
Read my post in the “How did you get that job?” and realize if I didn’t go on a vacation (a real one), I would’ve never found my current position. I hate to bring this up, but its true. Much like my Roth IRA stock investments…No risk, No reward! No way it is a 7 figure financial portfolio today had I not took the risk 10 years ago or in some cases, March of 2009.
Next time we hear from you, you are in China or I’ll get you on the plane myself by force.March 12, 2011 at 4:45 am #164269Thomas J. JohnsonParticipant
Yeah, my hair started abandoning ship when I was 18, so I’ve had plenty of time to become comfortable with my cranium. I can’t imagine having hair anymore. It would look ridiculous… This is how I’m supposed to be…It’s the guys who start loosing it in their 30’s who are really distraught about it. When you lose it later it makes you think you’re old. I didn’t have that problem… I knew I was young and still am. Glad you still have your hair though… Is it real or did you go to hair-club for men? You sound pretty old, like you should be worried about other things working besides your hair 😉
My AutoCAD skills are still solid, through ACAD 2010… Adobe is solid through CS2 but I could use a tune-up on CS5… SketchUP is still solid… I’m not “working” but I still design and use my skills to stay sharp…
What would I do? I’ve already played that game. I left everything and moved myself across the country on my own dime for a position that lasted 4 months and it was 2-3times the production rate of a normal LA firm. 70 hour weeks were standard… Would I do it again? Nope. No way. I’d stay in Colorado, get a job doing anything I could find, stay with the great girl I had, snowboard, mountain bike, hike, camp, fly-fish… and not give 2 damns about some b.s. big name firm who treats people like *^#% and flips them like burgers.
Would I go to China for 4 months? Sure why not… as long as they pay for my round-trip flight, housing, insurance, an attractive personal guide and I’m well-paid. Am I going to crack-out on AutoCAD for 70+hours a week for them? No. That’s what we import Chinese students to the US to do… You’ll get 50hrs/wk out of me, max and then I’m going to live my life… I used to live to work… not any more. I learned my lesson, thanks. Now I work to live… I can do what I can do in 8 hours and thats it. That’s your 8 hours. Then I get 8 hrs for myself and 8 hours to sleep. There’s a 24 hour day… take it or leave it. I’ll do more in 8 hours than most people do in two days… and I can draw like a fiend too… I’ve got a natural eye for design, color and materials and I’m not a whiny primadonna.March 12, 2011 at 5:16 am #164268Thomas J. JohnsonParticipant
Got any hot stock tips…? I just got my IRA statement and there are some things I’d like to change… I’m gonna sell a few of the funds and invest in stocks of my choosing.
About 6 years ago I put together a list of companies related to the military industrial complex that I called “The Pure Evil Fund”. If you can’t beat’em, join’em. I didn’t have any money because I was in school but it’s doing quite well… I also called the housing collapse in ’06 and told everyone I knew to buy gold and oil in Nov. 08 when gold was $800 and oil was $45 a barrel… as usual, they all brushed me off… crazy Tom doesn’t know what he’s talking about… it’s not easy being able to see the future…
So, what do you think? Rare-earth minerals? Natural Gas? Pot-ash? Phosphorus? Helium? My theory now is buy the things we need for manufacturing/living that are running out… key ingredients for batteries / circuitry…? So what’s the next Netflix / Apple MauiBob!? The market operates on fear or optimism. Right now, every body is scared $h!tl3$$… I think we’re gearing up for something big… I have the feeling that “The Pure Evil Fund” is going to do well in the near future…March 12, 2011 at 6:14 am #164267Heather SmithParticipant
Robert Redford? We will definitely be looking that up.
Good luck in Austin. 😉 Hire us after you become principal. I’m networking.March 12, 2011 at 7:35 am #164266
I’m not Mauibob, but here’s my $.02.
Rare-earths are good. Google rockwood holdings. Guy I know bought at the bottom of the stock trough, ~$6/share and told me to do the same. He’s happy now. They control most of the REMs outside of China.
Forget natural gas – saturated. Oil companies are good, but not the “blue chips” (BP, Shell, etc.). Look at the smaller, ballsy companies being traded. I did some enviro work for a small firm called Pioneer. I spent the 4th of July 2006 in a blizzard on their manmade island in the Arctic Ocean. I thought about buying some of their stock then (for like $10/share) but was in grad school and didn’t have the cash. Wish I had. Energy is going to get crunched further and these are the guys who will be opening up new fields, not the big boys.March 12, 2011 at 11:36 am #164265mauiBobParticipant
YES!! Thomas, now that’s what I’m talking about! Discuss real issues, the financial markets and not landscape architecture. The problem with 401k is lack of freedom to purchase individual stocks. They offer you a list of mostly horrible losers such as American Growth Fund. We’ve had this discussion before and you mentioned you had no money to invest. So Thomas won the lottery or found himself a lady cougar? If you visit the Univ of Idaho site, you can read a comment I posted for Andrew. He and I were classmates and he knows all too well about my love for Apple products during school. I suggest you start to watch “Squawk Box” on CNBC for some stock tips. Occasionally, I also watch “Mad Money” with Jim Cramer. My morning reading is Fool.com and Yahoo finance section. Read all the books written by Peter Lynch and the biography of Warren Buffet. Watch the movie “Wall Street” the original with a young Charlie Sheen. Drop those LA design books into the sewer. Time to make money work for you.
Swallow your pride and listen to my advice. In 5 years or more, I will make you wealthy enough to get listed on Forbes magazine’s richest people on earth. Just believe! I live by a simple rule: I never invest in any products or company I know nothing about nor interested in. For example, retail – Macys / Abercrombie & Fitch or Biotechnology. And I personally do not invest in any war making machines / Defense, like Halliburton, Aegis and Armor Holdings. Let’s not forget the gun makers…also a No Go!
I divide my investments into two distinct groups: Long term and Short sells. LT usually hold for 10 years and longer as in the case for Apple and Ebay. There are 12-14 fluid companies in my LT group. I sold a few recently and only to replace it in the Spring of 2009 (shown w/ *). These are my gold stocks: AAPL, EBAY, NFLX, DIS, GE, F*, SIRI*, VG*, ERTS, EOG, BAC*, DRYS, BZH*, COST and AA. One mutual fund in TRRDX. I’ve lost money with Nokia, Starbucks and Kmart.
My Shorts are usually 3 years max or less to hold and around 4 to 6 stocks. At the moment: LVS, VLO, THC, BYD, AKAM, PRMSX, HD, and PCS. Do not invest in any of these stocks if not familiar with their products. I don’t drink coffee, hence, my Starbucks debacle. Boy-ohh-boy was I wrong on Nokia too.
My advice to you is look at the home builders (DHI, KBH, SPF, LEN, CTX, RYL) LOW, TSO and SPLS. Want risk? Try LVLT, ODP, ENA, JOB, VVTV, KOG, SIRI, and VG. Natural Gas is a great long term buy. The upper east coast has tons of supply and when America finally figures it out and gets its head out of the sand…watch out for UNG. But, can you stomach the roller coaster ride? Do you think the market is headed for a crash, and then buy FAZ. A bull run…FAS. There are plenty of other quality stocks to own, but what I listed for you are affordable with huge potential payoff. “Wake up and Get to Work!!” – Gordon Gecko in Wall Street.
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