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August 10, 2014 / Robert Ross


Untitleddocument(1)After the last few years, things have really picked up for my practice. I’ve gotten to the point where I find myself working 6 days a week, including morning and evening overtime and I still struggle to meet deadlines. Looking ahead, I don’t see this slowing. I would rather not put people off for 2 months before meeting with them, so the only solution I can see is to take the plunge and hire a full time person! Yikes! Having been the person at a previous firm whose duty it was to do the initial sort through submitted resumes, I am not looking forward to the task. From my perspective, this first hire is going to be critical in moving forward and it has got to be right!

The good news is that this step is on my strategic plan to grow the business, but it is scary all the same. Since I work from home and they will, after all, have access to my personal zone, a good match is doubly important. For this reason, I’m taking a low key approach to advertising the position and trying to find someone through personal connections rather than message boards and such.

So far I’ve had a couple of interviews. The first was with a graduate from Southern Polytechnic State University. He blindly emailed me in June looking for a job. I told him that a spot would probably be opening up in mid August. Not surprisingly, his recent resume indicated that he had experience as a chalkboard artist for a restaurant. He followed up and we met. The interview went well and he hasn’t been totally ruled out, I just need to see more than one choice.

The second person I interviewed, happened to be a student that I was mentoring through the AIA mentor program. Also from SPSU, I was very impressed with his studio work and the thought process behind it. To be honest, I would have hired him on the spot. Unfortunately, he is still in school and his schedule for the upcoming fall semester was not flexible enough to allow it. That did not totally throw him out of the running. I still plan on mentoring him and hope he will join the firm in the future. I imagine he will, as he also shared the information with a friend.

Late Thursday I received an email that began

I decided to write a letter to introduce myself. Normally I would attach a resume, but in the past this has seemed to prove ineffective. I am still learning how to write more succinctly, but in the attempt to communicate clearly this is the best way that I know how. If time is an issue, then I believe skimming through this will give you an adequate read of my character and level of experience…..

Needless to say, I was caught by the unexpectedly creative approach and the attached work. I am in the process of setting up an interview.  I am looking forward to seeing if he matches up in person to the promise outlined in the letter…..

I will keep everyone posted, but in the meantime I am looking for an entry level graduate of an architectural school with an interest in exploring the design challenges inherent in a residential practice. I can promise a wide range of solid work experience!

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