Don’t Quit Architecture. Quit Your Job.

  Quitting Architecture   Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. I will only ever promote the products and services that I trust and 100% recommend. You may read my full  disclosure policy  for more information. Thanks for supporting my business in this way.

Quitting Architecture

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. I will only ever promote the products and services that I trust and 100% recommend. You may read my full disclosure policy for more information. Thanks for supporting my business in this way.

I have seen more than a few people posting the same question in the forums and website comment sections: "should I quit architecture?"

I have also noticed a common theme, they are often just starting out in their careers and have had very few jobs or this might be their first "real" job. 

To help you with your architecture job search, I've created a mega-pack of free resources that includes architecture resumes, cover letters, and an extensive collection of application documents. Click for a free download:

The Routine

The typical path for most aspiring architects is to attend architecture school as an undergraduate, then perhaps pursue a Masters degree.

Depending on the program type this means approximately four to eight years of schooling. There may be a few summer internships sprinkled in there, but for the most part they don't get a full time architecture job until after completing a degree. 

Quarter-Life Crisis

The post-college Quarter-Life Crisis can set in as you say goodbye to your responsibility-free years and step into the real world. This transition time can be quite overwhelming for some. Possibly changing cities, moving away from your friends and family, or simply going from an academic setting to a professional environment. 

All of these changes converge on your first day in your new architecture job. Obviously this is true for all professions, however I think architecture gets a bad rap.

I Want To Quit! 

exit.jpg

It is no secret that when you start out in your architecture career, you aren't exactly rolling in cash. You can be sitting there in your cubicle thinking, "is this really what I have been working towards?"

All of this can lead to resentment. "I paid a lot of money and spent a lot of time getting this degree and I am making what?! I hate architecture and I want to quit! I am going to go back to school and become a software engineer." 

Take a deep breath. Don't panic. We have all been there. It may be the case that it isn't the entire architecture profession that is the problem but rather the firm.

Make A Plan

The typical career is a 40+ year journey so don't expect to have it all figured out in the first few years. 

Take some time to assess your situation. If you are not satisfied with your current job make a list of why.  This can help you to determine whether the problem is architecture, the firm, or you...

Questions To Ask Yourself

signs.jpeg

Taking a rational approach to figuring out your career is always a great step.

There are so many things competing for your attention at this stage, by breaking it down into simple components can help you pinpoint the major issues.

What don't I like about my current job?

  • Co-workers?
  • Supervisors?
  • Projects?
  • Pay?
  • Responsibility?

  • Commute?
  • Office environment?
  • Size of the office?
  • Lack of benefits?
  • Location?
  • No potential for advancement?

I addressed a lot of these in my architecture job survey.

Notice that none of these include "the entire architecture profession?"

There are approximately 17,500 architecture firms in the United States. What are the chances you just happen to be at the one firm that is the best fit for you, especially within the first few years of your career?

Once you have identified the main areas you have a problem with you can begin to solve the issues systematically. Take some time to explore your options and see if you can find a firm that will be a better fit to your needs and wants.

Keep in mind that it is a marathon and not a sprint. Don't give up on architecture just yet. We need you.

Want to find your dream architecture job?
Check out The Architect's Guide Resources.

To help you with your architecture job search, I've created a mega-pack of free resources that includes architecture resumes, cover letters, and an extensive collection of application documents. Click for a free download:

Thanks for reading, see also my posts on:

The Top 5 Architecture Interview Questions

Where To Apply For Architecture Jobs Online

The Two Page Architecture Portfolio

Good luck!

Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C

Have a suggestion for a future blog post? Please let me know in the comments below.