This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry. Visit to read about how to practice situational awareness and avoid speculating on the job. I work as an architect at a medium-sized firm in Boston, Massachusetts, and have worked here for five years if you include my internship and time spent as an entry-level drafter. As an architecture firm, we are tasked with the overall design of buildings. There is an emphasis on the aesthetics, as the structural side tends to be handled by engineers. The team I work on emphasizes the interior design and open spaces within buildings, as well as courtyards outside. We work with the exterior team as well in that capacity. Personally, I do a lot of first-run drafts and concept art for the team, which is later detailed and filled in by the rest of the team collaboratively. My job satisfaction here is around a seven or an eight. I love building design and the artistic, creative process behind a bringing a building to completion. I enjoy that I am able to focus on interiors of buildings, as they are the most defining parts of one in my opinion. I would have greater job satisfaction if I had a stronger role in the process from beginning to end, but that is reserved for higher level architects. It is my goal to land those jobs later in my career. I have always been a sketcher and amateur artist throughout high school. I preferred landscapes and buildings to other types of drawings as well. I started college as an art major, but realized that architecture was the far better option for me, my interests, and my career potential. I took an introductory architecture class and fell in love with it from there. After meeting fellow architecture and design students, plus speaking with my professors, I realized that this was the field I wanted to advance my career in. I also realized the difference between just having a job and in having a career: a job is something you just do for work and money, but a career is something that lets you define yourself and what you want out of life. I am very thankful I found an actual career and not just a job. During my junior year of college, I applied for and was accepted for an internship at the firm I currently work at. I engaged in assisting more senior architects by doing research, basic sketches, and sometimes even just grabbing tools or coffee for them. The work let me see what a real architecture firm was like and confirmed my passion for the subject. My supervisor was so pleased with my work that he also offered me a job after I was through with college. The rest is history, more or less. The beauty of the internship was that it let me combine real-world experience with my education and finally see where the two intersect. I do not encourage anyone to try getting into a field that you cannot intern in and see some first-hand work in action. That is truly the only way to know if you will really enjoy it or not. Fortunately, once you discover what you enjoy the rest of it is easy. School and work do not seem like they consume effort if you are truly interested in what you are doing, and that was the case with me. I am very proud of the work I do, and the rewards are immense. For instance, when a building I have worked on is finally completed, the moment is almost magical. Being able to tour and walk around a space that I imagined is very special. It is almost like a dream. This, more than anything, keeps me coming back to work every day. Of course, there are always downsides. My job can be immensely stressful when there is a lot on the line. Near deadlines or other obstacles things at the office get very stressful and some long hours sometimes must be put in. I consider this all part of the process, however. To be fair, it rarely occurs as it is. Typically, I am able to enjoy a good balance between work and my personal life. Given the city I live in and my experience, a reasonable salary for this position is around $90,000 or more. This level of salary allows a comfortable living and I live well within my means with that kind of cash. In addition, benefits like health insurance and retirement accounts are provided, which is very helpful. I also enjoy three weeks of paid vacation as well as a few personal days. Considering that I like to travel, the extra money and the vacation time is my favorite perk of the job, besides the job itself. If you would like to work in this field, you will need a degree in architecture or another design degree of some kind. A typical architecture degree takes five years and is considered a professional degree, separate from most other undergraduate degrees. The coursework is very rigorous and includes a combination of art, design, and even some physics classes. I considered it very worth it, however, and I imagine you will too. Career path architect image from Bigstock
July 19, 2012
Getting through to the job interview stage in the hiring process means the employer believes you have the right experience and skills for the job on paper. But now comes the real deal-breaker: whether you can communicate those skills effectively in person and come off as the right fit for the company's workplace culture.
There are typical red flags employers watch for in job interviews. Any one red flag can reduce your chances of getting a job offer, so here's what you need to avoid in your next job interview...
1. Poor Communication
This includes everything from talking too little, talking too much, or simply having poor nonverbal behavior like a lack of eye contact or making the situation uncomfortable with poor body language. When it comes to questions and answers, a job candidate who can't provide effective responses to questions that are necessary to assess their experience and skills is always a problem.
Be prepared to address every point you have on your resume. And when an employer presents a follow-up question like "Tell me more about..." they are trying to dig deeper either because they're curious, or you provided an insufficient response.
An inability to communicate well in a job interview will leave the employer questioning whether you do have the experience and skills you say you have on paper.
2. Question Of Permanency
When an employer puts out a job offer, it's going to be to someone they believe is committed to the job—not to someone who's simply looking to fill in an employment gap until a more fitting job comes along. Any reasonable job seeker wouldn't present such a front, but sometimes casual conversation can lead you to say things that are better off unsaid.
Avoid talking about challenges in your job search or how you were looking for a job in fashion marketing, but somehow you're now applying for this job in healthcare marketing. It brings to question if you're really interested in the job the employer has to offer.
Also, avoid talking about any long-distance relationships and try not to mention that your spouse and kids remain in another state. The employer will question if your personal situation may impact your job loyalty down the road if a relocation package is not going to be a part of the offer. And if they ask where you want to be in three years, answer with a position that corresponds with their growth opportunities.
3. Bad Talk
The purpose of the interview is to demonstrate why you're a great candidate for the job and effectively convey what you have to offer. It's not about letting your frustrations out about a boss you don't like or people you don't like working with. Any bad-mouthing simply sends a negative message about your character. It'll also make the employer question if you can manage workplace relationships professionally.
Often, bad-mouthing occurs when employers ask questions like, "Why are you leaving your current job?" Stay focused on answering with a positive response that relates back to the goal of improving yourself and utilizing what you're capable of offering.
4. Not Dressing The Part
Yes, it's wrong to judge a book by its cover. But in a job interview, this is what happens. If you're not dressed the part to look like you suit the job, it's going to be hard for the employer to see that, too.
It might also make the employer think that if you can't even manage to present a well-groomed appearance for a job interview that you'll be a slacker when on the job—and that's not going to work, especially if this is a position where you may have interface with customers or business partners that require a professional appearance.
5. It's All About The Money
Salary is a factor in determining whether the job offer is ultimately right for you, but bringing it up too early in the interview process comes off as though you're only in it for the money. And when you're the one to bring it up, it puts you at a disadvantage. You create a situation where you need to reveal your desired salary before the employer offers insight to what they're considering, which may end up being much lower or much higher from what the employer has budgeted.
The point is to first make the most impressive mark you can. If you're the one they want, they'll bring up the topic of salary and you'll have an idea of what they're offering, which you can then further negotiate so it meets your expectations.
Employers take into account many factors during the job interview. It's not just about the experience and skills you put on paper. Now, you can avoid all the typical red flags to keep yourself in the running.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
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