Arkitekt ved egen hĂĽnd ///
Finanskrisen byder os med sikkerhed store omvĂŚltninger i 2009. Jeg spurgte i sidste uge AAK (Akademikernes A-Kasse), hvor mange dimittender (nyuddannede) der stadig ikke har fundet arbejde her i KĂ¸benhavn, og svaret var 71. Et tal der vil stige til 120-130 nĂĽr Arkitektskolen kommer med et nyt kuld til januar. Bliver ikke bedre af de flere hundrede , allerede arbejdlĂ¸se, erfarne arkitekter der ogsĂĽ vil blive med selskab af de ihvertfald 70 opsagte arkitekter…bare her i hovedstaden.
(FĂ¸lg lĂ¸bende statistikken pĂĽ deres AAKÂ´s website – De har pt. knas i teknikken sĂĽ tallene kan endnu ikke bruges).
JobsĂ¸gende arkitekter har officielt samme Â´problemÂ´ som fx. forfattere, nemlig, at et muligt manuskrift eller konkurrenceprojekt ikke anses som jobsĂ¸gning, men som reelt tid hvor du ikke er til rĂĽdighed for arbejdsmarkedet. SĂĽ skulle man vinde en konkurrence sĂĽ er vil AAK kunne krĂŚve tilbagebetaling af ledighedstimer … i virkeligheden skal man lĂ¸bende angive om man har brugt tid pĂĽ andet end at sidde pĂĽ sin flade og skrevet ansĂ¸gninger – men kunstere lever ikke altid i virkeligheden, vel!?
I 2002/2003 var der ogsĂĽ, om dog mindre, nedgang i byggeriet. I hovedstaden var der ikke meget arbejde til dimittenderne , og mange gik uden arbejde i ĂĽrevis. Men, det skabte ogsĂĽ en ny tendens hvor de unge arkitekter proaktivt forsĂ¸gte at gĂ¸re tingene pĂĽ egen hĂĽnd. Det samlede sig i kontorfĂŚllesskaber, vĂŚrksteder og egentlige grupperinger, med PLOT som omdrejningpunkt. Mange er senerehen blevet til de unge arkitektvirksonheder vi idag ser rundt omkring.
Men arkitekter er som udgangspunkt dĂĽrlige kĂ¸bmĂŚnd – kompromislĂ¸se drĂ¸mmere i en af de mest professionelle og turbulente industrier, og dem pĂĽ toppen kan Â´tjene kassenÂ´… specielt hvis de kan snĂ¸re arkitekterne. Her er det vĂŚrd at huske, at det faktisk er i projekteringen at pengene tjenes, og ikke i et betalt skitseprojekt til 15.000 kr, som der sĂĽ er brugt 2 x 218 timer pĂĽ!
Jeg faldt over en udemĂŚrket artikel: ” 11 Tips To Get More Out Of Your Freelancing“. For her er der nemlig ingen af punkterne hvor arkitekterne har speciele fĂŚrdigheder – tvĂŚrtimod! … Tro mig – IÂ´ve brooken them all!!
1. Get rid of dud clients. Your âdudâ clients are not necessarily bad people. But youâre running a business and if youâre working and not getting paid (at all or on time), then dud clients need to go.
2. Increase your rates. The math is simple, the decision to raise rates is harder. Start by charging more for new clients and for old clients who come back to you after a time. Leave the current rates for clients alone for now unless you think theyâll accept. A strong component to making rate raises work is to have emergency funds and savings. When you have a secure feeling about your finances, this is projected in your communications, whether by e-mail, chat or voice. Youâre not worrying and thinking, âWhat if I say my rate is up and they say ânoââŚ what if they all say noâŚ how am I going to pay my bills.â
3. Increase your revenue streams. My brother, co-owner of a successful ad agency, said to me recently, âDonât think of yourself as a freelancer. Think of yourself as a business owner.â Wise advice. What do (successful) business owners do? They come up with other ways to earn income.
4. Become an entrepreneur. This is really an extension of the last point, but becoming an entrepreneur usually involves working with other people, even if itâs collaboration as opposed to hire. I know âsynergyâ is an overused word, but when you work on something with a compatible colleague, it’s amazing what can come of it. And having someone passing on work to you, and vice versa, is a prosperous feeling. If youâre not going after all forms of prosperity in your work and personal life, what are you doing?
5. Leverage the past. Use what you know and what youâve done before, whether itâs a bit of research, a sketch or partial design, a snippet of code or a few lines of text. Build upon the knowledge you have, to save you time now. Reuse what you can, when you can.
6. Leverage your creative/productive periods. You know those times when youâre on fire, getting more work done than you might have expected? Donât waste those times just planning. Use them to get ahead of your workload, so that if you hit a creative âdowntimeâ in a few weeks, youâll be prepared. This isnât always easy, depending on the kind of freelance work you do, but it does apply to writing, photography, sometimes even coding or design. You donât need to produce finished work, if you donât have a buyer. However, do âsketchesâ or samples as preparation for work that you are anticipating in the future.
7. Make the effort to plan. Planning really does make the difference between being a successful freelancer and one who is always chasing his/her own tail, trying to get work done. If youâre researching when you should be writing, or writing when you should be sourcing new clients, youâre contributing to a negative sense about your abilities. On the other hand, getting preliminary research and initial tasks for a project out of the way means you can work on remaining tasks with a peace of mind that you have enough time to finish everything.
For example, if I have 3 articles to write for a client this week, but I start scoping/planning on Saturday evening for 15 minutes, then do a bit of reseach for 15 to 30 minutes on Sunday, I now have all three articles prepped. The ideas can brew in my mindâs background processes while I work on something else. Then when I do start writing on Monday, I often have a full or partial article âwrittenâ in my head. Because this is such a magical feeling, it means I do my work with confidence, and leaving enough time for edits, should they be necessary.
8. Manage your tasks. While itâs nice to track and manage your gigs and keep a total of how much youâve earned today, donât forget that larger gigs will throw you off. A gig that pays, say, $500 will possibly be spread out over several days. If you can, put a separate dollar value on each of the subtasks you perform for this gig and track these values. Itâll give you a bigger sense of accomplishment on a daily basis. This beats looking at your task log and seeing a big zero while working on this project.
9. Enjoy life now. Donât lose yourself in your work. While itâs good to focus and be productive on client projects, if you have to work day and night all week, you canât possibly be getting all you need out of life. Now, not in a few weeks or a few months, but now. Otherwise, before you know it, a few years will have passed by, gone forever.
10. Give yourself less time. Set your own work hours and stick to those. Force yourself into efficiency. If you have your workstation set up in your bedroom, itâll be very hard to separate your work and personal life.
11. Use the snowflake method. This is a method that some personal finance bloggers write about as an option for paying down loan and credit card debt. Instead of paying down the loan with the highest rate, you pay down the smallest loan, to gain a sense of accomplishment. This translates directly to your own client work: Do the smallest, easiest project and get it out the way. When youâre feeling good about yourself, tackle the next smallest project. However, the difference is that you do have to concern yourself with deadlines. If not working on a project NOW means losing a client, then youâd better think twice.