Negotiating human resources during the lean times is an ongoing challenge for many practices. This is where a few practised strategies can help.
By its very nature, the architecture and design industry experiences periods of feast and famine. It is an industry filled with creativity, imagination and hard work, but it is also one that is incredibly fluid and ever-changing with many hiring contractors or working as contractors. The industry can often be unpredictable and dealing with anxiety and stress has become a reality for many architects.
While this may sound quite doom and gloom, the silver lining is that there are practical and real solutions to dealing with the unpredictable nature of the industry. Simon Rountree is the founder of Change Ready and an expert in change leadership and workplace wellness. He has provided some top tips on how to navigate challenges such as redundancy, contract work and the need for a career change.
Unpredictable nature of contract work
Creating routines are an important element of dealing with the unpredictable nature of contract work, says Rountree. Having routines when working and when looking for work allows individuals to be their best, most productive self.
Rountree says that routines are a stronger and more enduring motivator than willpower, as the latter requires effort, which is a finite resource. Once established, however, routines are more enduring as they don’t require much effort and they provide you with the framework to work efficiently and effectively to achieve your goals.
Whether you have been made redundant or you’re between contract roles, being out of work can be an emotional and difficult time. It is human nature to crave stability and security and not knowing what the future holds can create uncertainty and stress. Rountree suggests the following strategies to assist you in making the best out of a difficult situation.
Dos and don’ts of redundancies
Owning a business is never easy, let alone one in the ever-changing architecture and design industry. Being a boss also means making tough decisions, such as making staff redundant or not extending someone’s contract.
Dealing with redundancies as a boss is never easy or pleasant and Rountree says the most important thing is to treat your employees as human beings and not as numbers.
Having a ‘career change’ without changing your career
Have you lost a zest for the work you do? Or have you just reached a point of no return? If this is you, don’t worry! The good news is you may not need to change industries to get your career back on track. Rountree points out that by using your industry expertise you may be able to create new opportunities and possibilities that can enhance your career. He suggests some of the following job titles:
The unpredictable nature of the sector can sometimes be quite daunting, but with Rountree’s practical solutions to deal with change, you can certainly be the master of your own destiny.
Image: 123RF’s Sean Prior © 123RF.com.
A version of this article first appeared in AR162, on sale now.