Help me help other architects! This blog is an excerpt from the first draft of my book: Breaking the Box: Explode out of Architecture School to a Successful Career as an Architect. You can help by leaving a critique in the comment section below. And if you are just starting I suggest you check out the table of contents for an easy road map. Thx you rock! -Steve
Overtime as the Norm
I think architects often forget that working overtime is not the norm. The long hours begin in architecture school and carry on into the profession. As an architect, you will be faced with many tough choices and one of those will be: Should you work overtime?
This overtime question is studied in the next two sections:
5 Reasons You Should Work Overtime
#5 - Because it pays.
Most architecture firms do not pay overtime. However, even unpaid overtime has the ability to pay. When you produce billable overtime hours, it makes the project and the firm more profitable. Profit is essential for firms to grow and to give salary increases and bonuses. Therefore, you can improve your chances of getting additional compensation by working overtime.
#4 - You will get better faster.
Think about when you were in college. You had the opportunity to do the standard course load of 15 credit hours or you could additional classes. Some had the opportunity to take summer classes and winter term classes. By adding this extra course load, you were able to learn more in a shorter period making early graduation possible. The same is true for working overtime with your job. You will learn more skills at a much faster pace.
#3 - Because sometimes you just have to.
Architecture is a deadline-based industry and sometimes the shit just hits the fan. There have been many Friday’s when we have gotten a call from a client to make significant changes to a design before a Monday morning submission. Occasionally we have project deadlines that overlap. Sometimes we have a client who is in a pinch and needs a quick drawing tomorrow morning. These types of things happen in architecture and when they do it often requires extra hours.
#2 – That is what Team Players Do
Architecture is a team sport and when you work overtime, you are being a great team player. Not every day is glamorous and some times, you will have to do the dirty work. This dedication will not go unnoticed. A good firm rewards the best team players with promotions and additional compensation.
#1 - You Have Passion for Work
When you have passion for your work, it is not work. There have been times when I have felt ashamed for spending my free time on architecture. But I think that is silly. If you like what you do, then do more of it.
Do it for the right reasons.
In chapter 13 I talked about setting long term goals. Are your long-term goals supported by working overtime?