So what do you do? As many of freelancers/ self employed people in what ever capacity could tell you know this is a dreaded question. Worse than doing a job that no ones heard of and you know trying to explain will make them mentally switch off. Is probably doing multiple jobs in multiple fields and thinking where do I start or which answer do I give today. Worse still is forgetting what you previously told the person. Speaking to others working with multiple hats this a recurring theme.
Since graduating last summer, I have ended up doing a mix of things away from the traditional post Part II architecture path. And it’s been brilliant but when some asks me what do you do? I’m stumped. I usually have to pause and assess the context and conversation and choose the answer. I currently start with “I studied architecture but…” Then the options range from the short “I am part of humanitarian design organisation Orkidstudio,” to the mid length “we’re setting up a social enterprise and I also do freelance work”. With the long version in exceptional circumstances “I do freelance graphics with an online fashion company Unineed, research for project for a events and space management agency TAKTAL and I’m doing a course in community arts with Impact Arts, and also doing front of house work at a theatre.” As you can see that is definitely a mouthful.
So I thought I would try to come up with a simpler answer to the “what do you do” question. Asking instead what do I do and why do I do what I do? The best I’ve got so far is “I am a recent architecture graduate, working on local and global projects that use design solutions to affect positive social and economic change.” I’ll give it a try and let’s see what the feedback is. If you have any tips let me know 🙂