Saturday, August 9, 2014

Transition back to Architecture

I was hoping you could help me make the decision of whether to try to return to architecture or stay in my present position.

My background is pretty disjointed and I have been away from architecture for quite a while. I finished my M. Arch program in 1997 from a top ten program and was able to find work easily. I never stayed at any one firm for more than a year however. For several years I would take jobs, work for a short while and then leave.  I was recently able to go back to work full-time in accounting however, I can't see working in this field forever. I wanted to go back to architecture several years ago and took classes in Revit and construction management. Unfortunately, the economy did not cooperate and I had to make alternative plans.

Now that the market is picking up, I am hoping to reverse ten years of lost time. My portfolio contains two projects that I designed completely in Revit and I am learning how to use Sketchup.

Do you think it is possible to sell myself to a firm (any firm) when I haven't worked in the field for such a long time? Are there markets that are hungry enough for someone like me?

Based on what you have shared, I do think it is possible, but it may take a little longer than you might think given you have been out of the discipline for many years.  In some respects, you need to build your skill level as much has changed in the profession.

One source is Black Spectacles - - it has training videos for architectural software.

Can you connect back with the firms you were with previously either for employment or mentoring?  Have you joined the AIA to network and connect?

Have you considered employment in a related field to architecture to transition back?  Can you bridge your accounting and architecture?

Ultimately, it is NOT a matter of the firms being hungry for you, but rather how hungry are you for them.  Having graduated in 1997 you have plenty of worklife left.  If accounting is not excited for you, go for it, but develop a plan for the transition. 


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