Some Unexpected News

Afternoon in Madison Square Park

Afternoon in Madison Square Park

This week started off pretty rocky to say the least. Over the weekend one of my bosses sent me a text to see if I could come in a half hour early to work on Monday. I decided not to be my usual pessimistic self after 30 seconds and figured she scheduled a meeting and needed things printed. When I arrived on Monday both bosses were there and one of them is never ever there that early, so I knew something was up. Turns out they had a meeting with the accountant on Saturday. Since the new year only one new project had come in, a major project had finished, and a third was stopped by the client before the completion of the bidding phase. Bottom line, they didn’t have enough work. I was the only person who hadn’t been there for five or more years and as much as the didn’t want to, they had to lay me off.

I really hate it when my pessimistic side is right. I really do. I typically end up pleasantly surprised. In this case there was surprise, but it wasn’t so pleasant.  I was kind of numb, for lack of a better word,as they talked about how sorry they were and that they didn’t want to do it. They said they would put my name out to others, give me the highest recommendation, and would call me if anything new came up.  I packed up my stuff, said good bye to the one colleague who had shown up like I was just headed out to a site visit, and walked out the door. It was a perfect drizzly, terrible day to be laid off too.  I called my mom and walked to the coffee shop I knew Melissa would be picking up her morning drink. My mom couldn’t believe me, neither could Melissa. I was thinking how I wished more than ever that I had been offered the job in Santa Fe so that I wouldn’t have to deal with whatever this phase of my little life was going to be.

Fast forward to later in the day after a couple long conference calls for Architecture for Humanity, setting up unemployment, a few conversations with family members and emails with friends, and I realized that I wasn’t really that upset. The only thing that I actually cared about was making sure I had enough money to survive. Was it a job I liked? Yes. Was I learning something new? Sure. Did I work with and for nice, normal people? Most of the time. There was nothing  really to complain about as far as the job went. I was enjoying it for the most part even it is not exactly what I want to do. Did the timing of this suck? Yes. I was just starting to reach out to contacts in Austin and Minneapolis about opportunities and firms that I should look into in those locations. Am I ready to move tomorrow? Not really, but I guess this was just the thing to get me going.

Truth be told, I have been very busy with work, Architecture for Humanity and life in general. I have been talking about moving for over a year now. I have been active in applying to fellowships and making connections in other cities, but haven’t really started the search. New York is excellent at keeping you here. It has found ways to keep me from sitting down and really committing to the task at hand, which is why I have often referred to it as planning my escape. Was I going to get it done before the end of the year? Yes. But finding time to search for the kind of job I want in the more public interest design side of architecture has not been easy to carve out. So in all reality, this lose has just given me the time to really search for what I want.

By the end of Monday I had a plan in place for my next steps. I have reached out to people in New York asking them to let me know of any part time/ temporary positions they hear about so that I can continue to pay the bills and stay here. If I can find something full time great, but instead I want to focus my efforts on finding a position outside of the city. I have already kicked it into high gear reaching out to those people I know who are connected in the cities I want to end up in, but I am open to pretty much anywhere. I think the job is going to trump the place, as long as it’s not New York. I plan on staying here until the end of June at least. If things are going okay for the month of May, I’m finding work to keep me afloat and conversations about work in other places is going well, I’ll plan on staying through July. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will have something lined up somewhere else. If things are not going so well and I am just burning through my little savings, then I will head to Wisconsin and stay with my brother while I continue to search for a job sans living expenses. I am hopeful that through all the connections I have made here, through Architecture for Humanity, and all those friends and professors from MSU, that I will be able to find a job I am really happy  and passionate about.

I guess what I’m saying is that I am fine with this. I am hoping this is actually a little blessing in disguise. As much as I have loved New York, it’s time for me to leave. On to new adventures. I’m going to try not to stress out about the money issues, enjoy the weather, snapchat with my little sister on the regular, and have faith that the right job is going to come up. So wish me some luck and if you have any suggestions on where to look, let me know!


5 thoughts on “Some Unexpected News

  1. Majo Tinoco (@MajoTinoco)

    Sorry to hear about the suddenness. That’s always tricky. But you’re right about it being hard to make real changes while being stuck in the New York grind. Best wishes finding the job and the city you’re searching for!

  2. megankillian

    Whoa. This:

    Seek new adventures. If you find anything interesting in STL, you’re welcome here with open arms.

  3. Jamie

    Sorry to hear, Jen! You are amazing at what you do and I know your bosses will miss your great work- and dry humor- when you’re gone :) They say when god closes a door he opens up a window. I’m confident that a great company will snatch you up in no time!


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