As you can probably tell, I’m not very professional when it comes to architecture. I never received my degree nor do I have any certifications or licensure as an architect.
I also don’t work in an office setting so I can’t even pretend to be a part of The Profession. My career doesn’t look like that of most other architects’ either.
But I still love what we architects do!
We make things that people use everyday (yes, this includes houses) and we get paid good money for it. We bring joy to others by designing beautiful spaces they will use for hours every day.
That may sound vague but I’ll give some examples.
A lot of us are familiar with designer furniture and interior decoration styles such as Mid-Century Modern, Shabby Chic, or Neoclassical. Many of these styles were inspired by classical Greek and Roman design which played a significant role in the development of Western civilization.
Interior decorations often feature strong lines, proportioned shapes, and elegant materials used to create tranquil space. These qualities reduce stress and allow for relaxation. A person could sit outside and inside looking alike if the settings matched those rules.
Architects also emphasize functionality and practicality of buildings. This is why many homes have sleek silhouettes, glass doors or walls, and open layouts. People appreciate cleverly designed spaces where nothing is wasted.
It's very common for people who have lost their love for this field to get really analytical about it. They spend hours looking through books, surfing the internet, talking to friends, and trying to pinpoint the things that made them lose interest in the first place.
After analyzing everything, they usually come up with two main reasons: either the project was just not interesting enough or the architect was not friendly enough.
The first one seems pretty obvious but I've seen it done time and again. People will put in lots of effort into creating an art piece only to be completely distracted by the designer who has to deal with too many power brokers and stakeholders.
Or maybe the project got canceled before it ever started because the owner ran out of money. A lot of times, owners hire architects that are well-connected so when there is no funding, those connections keep them from finding new work!
The second reason often comes down to personal issues such as the architect being arrogant or unapproachable. Or perhaps someone did something unethical which hurt the person’s opinion of the profession.
There are many ways to drop out of an architecture program, but most fail because they're not motivated by anything. If you're seeking external validation or praise, then quitting with no plan is probably not the best idea.
If you've just lost motivation, it's time to reevaluate why you wanted to begin with in the first place. Is it because you think you'll never be able to afford a house? Or maybe you feel that going into business for yourself will always be more lucrative than working as an employee.
By asking these questions, you may find that you don't want to be an architect anymore. You can choose to keep practicing as an apprentice until you get enough experience to launch into self-employment, or you can decide that now is the right time.
Either way, know that you have our support.
Even if you are not interested in becoming licensed, there are other ways to use your architectural knowledge. You can work in corporate design or business development where you are required to know about brands and styles. Or perhaps you could become involved with designing homes or buildings.
Architects also teach at universities around the world so if being licensed is what you have your eye on then search for teaching positions online and via word of mouth.
Many architects develop their style over time by experimenting with different shapes, colors, and materials. These insights are valuable to those who want to create their own look that they feel fits them!
It is totally fine to leave architecture if you do not like it. It is a career option that does not require much education beyond high school and sometimes even less than that.
Now that you have made the decision to leave architecture, you will need to confirm your finances are stable before doing so. If money is a major concern, staying in architecure may not be the best option for you.
You should know what income sources you can rely on at this stage. This could include employment with an architectural firm, or serving as a freelance designer. You also must ensure that you will have enough savings to live off of while looking for new work and establishing yourself as an architect!
Plus, it’s always good to be prepared by gathering all of your credentials and setting up accounts for online courses and other educational resources. It sounds cliché, but being ready for anything makes things easier in the long run.
Bottom line: don’t wait until you are hungry to eat to find out if you like food! Make sure your budget is steady and your savings are adequate early on to prevent any setbacks.
A career in architecture is very expensive, which can make it hard to stay within budget if you are not careful. If you feel that your life has passed you by because of this, consider other careers.
Architecture is a great skill set but it is not necessarily the best way to spend your time. You can probably design most things from scratch without using architects’ designs as templates, so why pay heavily for a license?
If you are thinking about giving up professional architectural practice, do some research into alternative professions. There are many fields where an architect degree or certification will get you employment, such as interior designer, landscape artist, creative director, etc.
Landscape designers, for example, have similar levels of education as an architect, but they go beyond just creating pretty pictures of plants. They study soil science, horticulture, plant genetics, and more!
These additional skills help ensure healthy growth and sustainability of nature. So instead of designing buildings, people with landscaping degrees work with land owners to develop landscapes and keep them natural.
Artists also apply their knowledge to materials and techniques, but here it is focused on color theory, shapes, and creativity. It may be painting, drawing, sculpting, or something new like digital artistry.
There are plenty of ways to make money being an artistic entrepreneur, so don't limit yourself. Find what field excites you and learn its fundamentals before moving onto the next step.
Being an architect is a demanding career that requires constant education. If you are ready for this, then connect with other architects to gain knowledge from them. You can even create your own group or event to do so!
Architecture students must go through several courses that focus on different aspects of the field, such as interior design, environmental studies, and business. After these courses, they may choose to pursue their degree in one of these areas, or become licensed as an architect.
By connecting with others in the profession, you will learn more about what it takes to be successful in architecture. These people can help you get started in another area of the field or give tips on how to improve yours.
There are many ways to connect with other architects. Some groups organize events, while some have online forums where members talk about things related to the field.
It is very hard to quit your career as an architect, even with a solid plan. You will need to find a position quickly so that you can stop drawing shapes and giving people assignments.
Finding a new job takes time, but there are many ways to move forward. The more prepared you are for the process the easier it will be to look at finding a new position as a way to take a break from architecture.
You should prepare yourself to search locally via advertisements or interviews, online applications such as LinkedIn, and asking around through colleagues, friends, and alumni.
It’s also important to consider whether or not you want to stay in the field of architecture. If yes, then start looking now! Many students have employment opportunities after they graduate, which could prove helpful in paying bills while searching for a position.
If no, then begin thinking about other areas of design that you would like to pursue. There are many educational resources available to anyone at any level- learning how to do basic painting, designing furniture, etc. By starting to learn new skills, you could eventually transition into another area of design.
Starting your own business is one of the best ways to get rid of an occupation you no longer want. It’s also a great way to start investing in yourself since running your own company gives you more control over your time, money, and career path. Plus, most people are willing to give you chance after chance if you show them that you know what you're doing, which can't be said for many workplace bosses!
If starting your own business is something you've been thinking about, check out our article: 5 Reasons You Should Create Your Own Product.
And if you already have a business idea, now's the time to do some heavy research and preparation to launch! The earlier you are ready, the better.