#Architalks #28 #Moonlighting

This post is part of the ArchiTalks series where a group of us (architects who also blog) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. The Topic ‘Leader’ for this post ‘Moonlighting’ is Michael Riscica…

This post is on the topic of Moonlighting for architects and not the TV Series in the ’80’s starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis (well that’s aged me and I suspect other bloggers of a similar age will use the same joke).

So what is moonlighting? Here’s (the paraphrased) definition:

verb informal
gerund or present participle: moonlighting

“To have a second job, typically secretly and at night, in addition to one’s regular employment.
“he had been moonlighting for a rival architect”

I’ll qualify this a little in that as well as moonlighting for other architects – IMHO it also applies when undertaking commissions for your own clients in the evenings and weekends.

So here are my thought on Moonlighting:

1. I did it. A lot.

As soon as I knew how to do a bit of design and could draw it up – I was working. I started during the college years and then continued through the practical training years whilst working. As soon as I could do it. I did.

2. It’s a good sign that you could be self-employed

I have a theory that although some people move slowly into running their own business. Others are born to do it. I fall into that latter category. From the moment I could work I wanted my own business.

Remember that working for yourself is a big jump from doing a few jobs in the evening as well as your main job during the day. If you’re going down this Moonlighting route then you may want to wait until you have a substantial amount of work before heading out on your own. There is also a lot to be said for a stable job with a stable income and then doing the odd job on the side to bolster the salary a little.

3. Don’t let your boss know

If you decide to do a bit of Moonlighting then I wouldn’t let the boss know – it just creates resentment that you are doing a job that he should be doing.


4. Without insurance you are personally liable for any negligence

Now this is a big one. When you Moonlight and make a mistake you will be personally liable for any claims of negligence against you. And if you don’t have insurance then this could be a lot of money.

In the UK recently a building failure in a school resulted in a bid to recover damages of more than £7 million.

Thinking about not charging that much or even doing some work for friends and family for free? Think again:

‘Architect faces negligence claim despite giving services for free’

In the above link; the key part is that:

“…the architect still owed a common law duty of care because she possessed a special skill and had assumed a responsibility on which her friends had relied…”

Be very careful out there. It’s a jungle. There are some clients that will jump at the chance of getting their day in court rather than sort out a problem amicably.

To read how the other ‘blogging architects’ have interpreted this theme click the links below – I’ve posted mine early due to time differences and I’ll update this list as they come on line:

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Should Architects Moonlight?

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
The Ironic Blasphemy of Moonlighting and what Architects are Missing Out On

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
moonlighting more than an 80s sitcom

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Moon(lighting) changes with the seasons

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
hustle and grind: #architalks

Michael Riscica AIA – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Moonlighting for Young Architects

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@BuildingsRCool)
Architects do it All Night Long

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Starlight, moonlight – tick tock

Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Is Moonlighting Worth It? Probably Not, But We All Try.

Kyu Young Kim – J&K Atelier (@sokokyu)
Dancing in the Moonlight

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
The Howling

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Moonlighting: or Why I Kept My Dayjob.

Tim Ung – Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
An Alternative to Moonlighting as a Young Architect

Gabriela Baierle-Atwood – Gabriela Baierle-Atwood (@gabrielabaierle)
On Moonlighting

Ilaria Marani – Creative Aptitude (@creaptitude)
There is no moonlighting. It’s a jungle!

Jane Vorbrodt – Kuno Architecture (@janevorbrodt)
Crafted Moonlighting

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