Breaking the Box: Explode out of Architecture School to a Successful Career as an Architect
What Architecture Firm is right for you? The Importance of Location
Congrats! You are about to graduate from Architecture School!
You are engrossed in your thesis project, scrambling to pull it all together. As one chapter of your life is ending, a new chapter is beginning.
In addition to all of your school pressures, you are also dealing with the monumental task of finding your first real job.
You are already working for an Architecture firm but have decided that it is time for a change.
This firm is just not the right match for you or maybe you are moving to a different location.
In either scenario you should be asking:
What Architecture Firm is right for me?
This question will likely hover around you for your entire career. “What Architecture Firm is right for me?” As you gain experience in Architecture and your life evolves your preference of Architecture Firms is going to change as well.
That is how life works. We change.
But make no mistake, this is a big decision. Your time as an emerging professional will be the most formative years of your career therefore the decision of where to work should not be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, there may be times in your career where your choice of architecture firms is limited by factors such as your geographic location, your skill level or even a down economy.
But what if you did have a choice?
There are many factors differentiating architecture firms and each person will have their own personal preferences. I have created a list of what I think are the most important factors to choosing an architecture firm:
2. Type of Work
3. Firm Size
4. Firm Culture
Location, Location, Location
This is the first decision you need to make when choosing an Architecture Firm. Where do you want to live?
Renzo Piano may be your favorite architect but unless you are willing to move to Genoa, Italy or Paris, France then you will have to just remain a fan. Actually, both of those options sound awesome but this is not about me.
Location is very important.
As an emerging professional in architecture, you should always focus on maximizing opportunities.
Architects will find greater career opportunities in urban areas. There are many more architecture firms in the city than in suburban and rural areas due to the greater density of people and buildings. In addition, selecting an area that is experiencing growth will also provide for an abundance of work.
Think long term. You need to be thinking about the firm that you want to work for now and the ability to find a plan B should plan A not pan out. Your career will be a marathon not a sprint.