(james benedict brown) on the road

Time to justify myself

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 14 October, 2005

Time to just to update everyone in the James/money/work situation… my first month in Montréal is just about up, and it’s time for some decisions. On all my previous visits to Montréal there never seemed to be any doubt in the minds of the architects I met and spoke to (knocking on doors unannounced is still my favourite method of career research…) that it would be difficult for a student architect to find work here. Even with only a smattering of French and a desperate wish to improve, everyone said it would be fine to find someone who’d employ me and help me along when I couldn’t find the right words, tense or intonation.

Hmm… ok, well that was then, this is now. The fact is I’ve pounded the streets with my portfolio for long enough – I’ve visited about twenty firms and called twice as many more. But the construction industry appears to be slowing, and people are much more reticent about employing an architect who can’t walk straight into a job and take up the baton. It’s not just a bad time for students; a lot of firms seem to be contracting and relying on speculative competitions.

So here’s the plan. A certain young lady whom I miss greatly in so many ways is coming to Montréal in mid-January. She will act as my reward for a winter of relentless money-making in a shameless and potentially soul destroying customer service job downtown. I’ll be taking calls from Americans who want to cancel subscriptions. I will be paid $11.25/hr plus commission to persuade them to stay.

I intend to do this for as long as I can bear, taking advantage of our favourable rent conditions right now to save as much wonga as possible. Then in December/January I will send out more reminder CVs and see what happens. I want to do something architectural or design related, and I look forward to finding something then, maybe even thinking laterally and using my skills elsewhere.

So just so you know, I’m well, financially stable and looking forward to a long cold winter. Sort of ;-)

*j*

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