I know everyone is curious about my job situation as well. No, I have not found a job yet, but I am putting forth my best effort. I am slowly learning how difficult it is to find a job here, not solely based upon my experience, but from what I hear from locals. As easy as you would think it is to obtain a job at a coffee shop or restaurant, service jobs are more highly valued than back at home. Unfortunately, I do not have the knowledge of the organic and local foods and don't hold a UCCL card, so I don't know if I met the requirements for the restaurant industry. But, I am still going in and trying….I am going to an interview session this Wednesday. I just want to find a job where I can make some money while I am waiting for firms to start hiring. Of course, my first choice is to obtain a job with a firm, but there aren't any hiring at the moment. Business is slow during the holidays, but I am preparing a special Christmas package to personally hand out to some of the firms. I am excited because I think it will grab there attention. Since I have better printing options here, it is going to be well designed and professional. I am also writing each firm a more personal and direct letter to help show my special interest in their firm. It is really important for me to make a good first impression, because I'm not going anywhere! : ) Applying for a position with firm's here is different now than it was in July, because I'm not just visiting…..I am living here now. So, I have to start following projects that firms are working on right now, share my interest in learning about their sustainable practices, and become involved in the architectural community. Although some of the firms I am interested may not be hiring now….I will be back, I will become the fly on their wall until they have a position available. So I am going to do whatever it takes to get their attention and show them how committed I am to architecture. After talking to someone at the AIA office, I learned about committees and volunteer opportunities I can start becoming involved with to help me meet local architects and start networking. I have to start building my foundation from the ground up, and that is the best place to start. So I am going to join the Committee on the Environment (COTE), Women in Architecture and Related Design (ForWARD), CitySCAPE (non-profit organization put on by a local firm), and attend meetings fro brainstorming ideas for Oregon's Design Conference. I also plan to volunteer for SCRAP and Habitat for Humanity's ReStore; both in which are large warehouses that buy-sell reclaimed materials.
Im excited to start my foundation here in Portland. I love it here so far and I am enthusiastic about building my network and start meeting members of the architecture community while building relationships with people. I feel like this is where God wants me to be and I know He has a purpose for me being here. In the meantime of attending committee meetings and volunteering, I am still putting together some of my photography and art pieces to display and sell at local coffee shops. I know I can make some good extra cash off of some things I enjoy creating. I also check Craigslist daily, looking for work, and I will continue to pop into restaurants, coffee shops, or other places I feel like I would be a good fit to work in! Keep me in your prayers! I love and miss all of you so much!