Must Love Dogs
JOB OFFER FOR AN ARCHITECT
- Degree in Architecture.
- 22-27 years of age, with at least 5 years’ proven experience in international projects.
- Excellent command of AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max with V-Ray, Photoshop, Illustrator, Presto, CYPE and SketchUp
- Own computer with the above programmes installed.
- Own vehicle.
- High level of Spanish, English and French. Knowledge of another language (especially Chinese or Russian) would be an advantage.
- Work hours: Monday to Friday, 9-21 h. Saturdays, 9-14 h.
- Salary: 300€/month (gross).
- Ability to work under pressure and adhere strictly to deadlines.
If you’ve ever looked for a job as an architect on Internet, an offer like this can’t come as any shock to you. But you might be wondering what such an offer is doing in a place like this.
It’s not actually a real job offer, but, despite its Kafkaesque requirements, it’s been pieced together, Frankenstein style, from extracts of real jobs for architects advertised on Internet.
And my parents were so proud that I finished my degree in five years! I only hope they never find out that there are 22-year-olds who already have five years’ experience working as architects.
And if you’re capable of having five years’ experience when you’re only 22, I bet you also had plenty of time to master all the software that can be used in a studio. And if the studio can’t afford to pay decent wages, buy equipment and pay for licences, forget it: you’d better bring them already installed on your own computer. Maybe they forgot to add that you should also know how to make coffee. You never know how long the working day might be.
Or you do. Because, in this case, the working hours aren’t bad if they say you have to work until midday: what they actually mean is you can’t go home until you’ve worked half a day – 12 hours. But don’t worry. On Saturdays you only have to work five hours, and you don’t even have to go in at all on Sundays. That must be to give you time to revise your Chinese and Russian grammar.
Speaking Spanish and English is almost indispensable these days, but if you don’t speak more languages than they have at a UN summit, you can forget about this job.
And all that for just 300€ a month. Gross. (The “gross” refers to the 300€: the people who placed the add deserve stronger adjectives). Because let’s face it, you don’t need much more than that. Who needs to pay rent if they “let” you spend your life in the office? And if you’ve got no free time it’s hard to spend your wages on leisure.
If you still haven’t made your mind up, it might help you to know that you’ll be working under pressure and will be expected to adhere strictly to deadlines. If you’re going to earn 300€ a month, working under more pressure than the bolts in a submarine is child’s play!
Seeing how we’re making a wish list, I’d add “Must like dogs”. Like in the film of the same name where a woman searching for a partner on Internet describes her ideal man and sets that condition as the “icing on the cake”. For her, it wasn’t enough for him to be perfect – handsome, intelligent, fun, courteous, romantic, etc., etc. If he didn’t like dogs, he was out.
If this is what we’re offering young architects seeking to enter the labour market, we can’t expect them to feel motivated. And if we ourselves don’t value our work, it’s too pretentious of us to expect customers and society in general to value it.
And to tell the truth, if that’s the price we’re going to charge (or pay) for our work and training, maybe it would be best just to adopt another film title and spend our “Mondays in the Sun”.