Unemployed Recent Graduates

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    Roland Beinert

    Here’s a link to an article from Mother Earth News titled “Living on Less and Loving it”: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/2007-10-01/Live-on-Less.aspx . I realize the majority of us wouldn’t actually love living on less, but I think it’s important to understand how to do it. I wish I’d known some of this stuff in college, and it is definitely helping me now. Not everything they talk about will be practical for everyone, but it’s nice to know you can get what you need even without a lot of money.

    Jon Quackenbush

    I have just been laid off from my first job out of school due to the slumping economy. It seems as though there is very little work anywhere to be had, and I am quite frustrated by this fact. I am a designer, and am best suited in that realm of LA, so I do hope things turn around soon…

    Kate Lynch

    I’m getting ready to enter into an MLA program in the UK in September and I have such mixed feelings about taking on this new adventure in life. After reading the thread I waiver from being discouraged to slight encouragement (chad crutcher!) about the prospects in this field. I am conflicted about whether or not this is a good decision considering the economy and if the next few years in school and out of the job market will be enough time to let the economy recover and re enter the workforce. I have 10 years of experience in the conservation field and I am hoping I can build on my skills and be a well rounded, desireable candidate when I’m finished with school. Sometimes I think I should just keep my boring, unfulfilling job here in the states and just push through. I am eager to get the heck out of here and really start to learn what I love and gain some real definable skills. I’ve done my share of random jobs to get by and i thought by gaining my MLA that it would put an end to that because I would be much more marketable however most people have mentioned having to make sacrifices and not use their degrees for a while. Those prospects are what make me question taking on this degree. I can only hope that the market picks back up and LA’s are once again in demand.


    Well the Mayan’s indicate the end of the world as we know it in the year 2012, plus there’s the housing thingy…I don’t know about you guys, but I’m investing in gold.



    I agree and see your point completely. I think there are also alot of people at my level that are just trying to sustain a balance in ideologies and respect both. I truly wish our program employed more working or experienced professionals. i think the other side of the coin is that professionals develop their own philosophies and become more devoted to it the longer they are out of school. i think it’s difficult territory to navigate between theory and practice, but back to your point, I agree.

    Josh Perkins

    I just went back to work after being laid off all winter. I work for a small design build company and it isn’t what a I want to do, but everyday I have a small list of items to focus on besides designing, running crews, writing proposals, and meeting clients. I come home, play with my dog and choose between studying for the LEED exam, reworking sketchup models, improving and diversifying my drawings, and I am trying to pick up some Spanish. But, sometimes I just watch some TV. But it gives me focus and allows me to do the designing I enjoy and keep my passion for this work.

    I too, graduated last year and have been looking for a new job. It’s difficult, but not impossible. I am being proactive and I just started contacting companies and sending them my work, regardless of job postings. I have found that sometimes it is more effective just to invite a principal or project manager to coffee or lunch to talk to them about their job and their company. My thought is that if I can speak with someone face to face, I have improved my situation at possibly working with them, or they may refer me to company that is about to hire. I don’t know if this works for everyone, but I believe it will work for me and I am just thankful to have a good, dependable job right now.


    I read this statements very carefully as I am considering a move to the US for study purposes.
    I’m a Portuguese Landscape Architect and I graduated from college 4 years ago. I’ve been practicing LA in different fields since I graduated, planning, design, management, already experienced it all. Of course the economic crisis isn’t only affecting the US. Here in Europe there’s been a lot of layoffs in these last few months, and the situation is getting pretty bad for a lot of companies.
    There’s no construction and people are very suspicious about the near future. As long as things don’t change in the global economy, it will be very hard to find a designing job this year.

    We definitely have to be prepared to work in different areas. I think we as Landscape Architects have a significant role starting now concerning other areas outside design. Development and environmental issues are more and more on the top of the table and we have the expertise and knowledge that has to be applied and discussed in a broader picture. We have to have a word in political and decision making strategies about land use, urban and regional planning.

    Hopefully things will be better next year and all of us will have plenty of work to discuss instead the lack of it.



    Stay the course! you have worked too hard to turn back now! There is nothing wrong with geting a liitle experience in the field, in fact, I know that seeing how things work away from the desk will help you be a better LA in the future… I started my own firm in November 08 and 2 weeks after I left, my former employer he informed me that he was cutting the others hours. I couldnt hve left at a better time for him or for myself. I am starting to see a little action on the residential front in some isolated coastal areas in NC… I will leave you with a good woe that should make you feel a little better about your situation; I have a wife and kids to support!!!

    Keep your head up, think positive and things will get better!


    I might be wrong, but it seems like the local govts. in the South East are looking more favorably at environmentalism. I am not saying to put all eggs in that basket, but that is a niche that could possibly be worked in some areas. I also would suggest that people in our profession should take this slow down as an opportunity to research a specialty and try to create a market.

    Michael Watkin

    Hi Brittany, just curious, what large firm were you with? Give initials if you wish

    Mike Mitchell

    I was laid off after working for a little over one year here in Denver for a great firm. I realized quickly that I was not going to be able to land a job in Landscape Architecture here in Denver. So, I decided to branch out and I am now working for a large engineering firm that does work in many areas, but specifically my office works on wind energy generation, transmission lines, and substations. I have been polishing my skills in AutoCAD and 3D rendering, photoshop, and the like while learning something completely new. The more you can diversify to get through these tough times the better off you will be in the long run. I just hope I can get back to designing something that is not behind a security fence…. Good luck out there!

    Vance W. Hall

    To the unemployed. I feel your pain my mom and brother were both just laid off.

    On a positive note there are many short term innovative competitions out there with cash awards. Get a group together in your area that are in the same boat and create a design team. This will allow you to work on design projects with others in related fields and stay sharp for when things do pick up. If nothing else it will help to fill the blank void with noteworthy action.

    Best of luck to you all. Especially the ones around me in Denver…….

    Vance W. Hall

    Andrew G you are always full of great advice. People reading – take notes.

    Part time work is still work with a foot in the door. Pride can make you walk around with blinders on.
    I am doing dishes, maintaining the property and being an all around work horse for whatever and whoever around my office.

    Guy Stivers

    SO MUCH DOOM AND GLOOM! Hey this recession shall pass. I’ve live through three of them (1975, 1981, 1991) and they don’t last for ever. It’s time to be creative. Back in the 1981 recession (I’m really old) I packed my pencils, “T” square, portfolio, and headed down to Australia/New Zealand. I found work as a LA and had the time of my life. After a year down-under, came back to the States and found work no problem.

    Look at this as an opportunity. Landscape architecture is a journey not a sprint.

    Guy Stivers, Old timer


    Thanks Guy for the injection of optimism and wisdom.

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