Career Advice - Difficulty choosing a better path..


Dear all,

I recently received job offers for intermediate level position from two entirely different companies.  I feel that they both have strength that appeal to me, so I'm having difficulty choosing which path is a better move for me.  I hope that i can gain some good insights from seasoned architects who went through similar situations.  

I have about 6.5 years of experience worked in broad project types - transportation, high-rise commercial, tenant improvements, sport/leisure venues, and lots of urban design/master plan projects in international locations.   For the majority of my experience, i have worked on early, front end of the projects and have not been able to work much on CD and CA Phase.  I had spotty CD experience from my current employer just to provide some hours for IDP.  I am still thankful for that but I was never given an opportunity to work from SD to CA.  I have been looking for a place that i could be a part of project team from the beginning of the project to the completion.  So, I had interviews with several places and received offers from companies i like.   This is is a happy dilemma but I am afraid of making a move that I would regret in the future.  


Company 1 is large, international corporation that has many offices in different countries. They do high profile international projects and I like their designs.  I would have opportunities to participate in projects from beginning to finish.  I feel that this company is more aligned with how I developed my career and am familiar with typical tasks they ask for.  It is design oriented office and the fact that they are large, my major concern would be it'd be highly competitive to survive and thrive in this setting.  I would expect to work over time frequently to meet my expectations.  It is both exciting and scary challenge for me.   

Company 2 does lot of healthcare and laboratory projects.  it's much smaller than the company 1, even smaller than my current company but they seemed to be well known in health care field in the city i live in.  This place seems to have much more casual environment and cares about employees' life.  I've never done any Healthcare projects, so i would have steep learning curve to catch up and contribute to the team.   I am concerned that this company only does healthcare projects that might limit my career opportunities in the future.  i feel that i can only find works in healthcare sector..  Also, i was told that healthcare projects are pretty boring and there aren't many design opportunities.

Both companies are equal in compensation and benefits, though company 2 has profit sharing program and bonus.  

Just to recap, i think i'm having difficulty choosing between familiarity in terms of role and tasks (company 1) vs. New project types and learning curve (company 2);  potentially stressful environment (company 1) vs casual but possibly boring environment (company 2);  more job opportunities in the future (company 1) vs. limited options in the future (Company 2 - i think i might be wrong about this).  

I hope you can understand my dilemma and provide some insights.  I would be very grateful.  

Jul 31, 14 1:52 pm
Go for #2 if they value you're real world life then go for it....I work for such a company and when time crunches happen I'm more than willing to do what it takes...quality of life outside of work is what makes you a better me the rat race of competitiveness ends up with heart attacks and bitterness...just my two cents but I've been doing this for 20 years, by the way I'm in healthcare and there are many opportunities to design. The $ will come, show up, be more diligent, and ask for opportunities. And last, do you're job well....if you mess up, be up front and own it...there is nothing that can't be most cases. I guarantee you'll be happier in the end. Been there, done the the dirty, but what do I know, I'm just an old fart that is fulfilled with a great firm that pays me well. If I keep it up I can make partner then I'm screwed.....
Aug 1, 14 12:50 am

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