Saturday, January 15, 2011

Work - Life Balance

I am currently looking into a career in Architecture, however I do have some questions concerning this career.

1. Work-life Balance: Do careers in Architecture allow one to have a normal social life (having a family)

2.  I currently know some drafters and would like to see what they do, will having some experience in drafting help me understand architecture (I currently have no experience in anything related architecture)?

1) If you were to ask this question of 100 architects, I am sure that you would receive 100 different replies; let me try to answer you based on my connections to architects, but I will encourage you to continue to ask architects to obtain a variety of replies.

Certainly, architects have lives away from office, but it is also a time-demanding career.  Architects do have families, but most probably do not only work 40 hours per week.  It is not uncommon that when their are project deadlines to work longer hours and weekends.  The trick is to secure employment within a firm that values their employees to the extent that balance is important.  An out-of-balance lifestyle is more prevalent while you are in school; many students do all-nighters, etc.  Of course, there are some that do not realize this balance especially firm owners or principals.  If work-life balance is important to you, you can still choose architecture, but you have to make it a priority.

2) Knowing drafting may be of some help but not as much as you would think especially now because of the computer.  25 years ago, many firms relied on drafters, but now, many firms use BIM - Building Information Modeling that requires the user to know how a building goes together.  Think of secretaries; in the past, a corporate executive may have dictated or handwritten a letter to have a secretary type the letter -- now, the executive can word process the letter quicker or use one previously used within the need of a secretary.

Most importantly is an ability and desire to creatively solve problems -- communicating your ideas from your brain to your hand to your client. 

Dr. Architecture

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