Finding a “Home”


Hi all, 

There be layoffs brewing in the office and everyone who survived is still staring at very low utilization rates. So I don’t know how long the charade of “we’re fine now” will last. The market is booming however and this is the result of a bad hand off from the original retired principals to the new ones who attempted to take a technical firm and go after starchitecture. So once again I’m firing up the resume and once again I only lasted around a the 2 year mark, mostly silly sketchup and very little practical experience. My first job was great, very knowledgeable architect took mentoring very seriously paid really well but he retired and since then every firm I go to is a joke. Either heads up their asses designers or drafting factory. My first job seemed to get it, clients wanted solid built work with less headaches, we were really busy and sought after and respected by the clients and contractors. It was a business. Is anyone familiar with firms like that in Southern California? Possibly San Diego, I’ve wanted to move down there for awhile. I’d like to find a good place to stay for long term this time around and job postings all seem to include the “must enjoy fast pace environment, tight deadlines and have sexual attraction to buildings.” No thanks, I want another architecture business not firm.

Apr 14, 18 10:35 am

hah, who doesn't like tight deadlines.  Good luck to you from the other coast.

Apr 16, 18 12:49 pm

I used to live in SD, and studied arch there, moved to SF after graduation - I see where you are coming from - architecture is becoming more of a sport now - it's all about how quick you can bust it out and heaven help you if you create to many RFIs in the process

Apr 16, 18 4:30 pm

Sympathies, _dude.  Starting your first job at a great place unfortunately sets a high bar that other places often won't live up to.  Best of luck.

Apr 16, 18 5:18 pm

The difference between working a job and running your own firm is the difference between renting and owning. The chance of a rental being your home is near zero.

Apr 16, 18 8:51 pm

Once again Miles with the amazing wisdom. That is something I’ve been looking at as I am recently licensed. However, the fear of wasting more time is a pretty big road block. There’s a quote you say to a lot of people who post on here asking if they should switch. I believe it’s along the lines of “i hope you can find the right path and if not I hope you have the confidence to give up turn around and find the right one.” Might have butchered it but that’s weighing pretty heavy on me. Would I just pushing forward because I don’t want to back track.


“Choose the path with heart” I believe will be your response. But the path with heart is also the path of annilating the small savings I’ve managed to accumulate.....


Sometimes you're better off renting if you're not yet comfortable with the quality of the neighborhood.

I didn't say which path to pick, I just tried to point out one of the differences between them based on your metaphor. As to wasting time, every moment on the wrong path is wasted. As to money, it's a tool, use it to invest in yourself.


I hate to say it, but at least you know the competition is kinda weak (the firm you are at now and all the rest who are similar). Really, the bar is low, probably far lower than you might think. Just look outside to see how high the bar is. (for starting your own thing.)

Apr 16, 18 9:50 pm

Very good point. I know you do your own thing tintt, is it worth it? Or do you kinda wish you had pursued something more stable in a different industry?


It is the right choice for me. I do have another career tho and I do both part-time... I can have more flexibility with where I derive income.

Which serves as great example of how to start one's own firm: jobbing, consulting, joint ventures, etc.


Yup, that's how I did it. I took odd jobs, did consulting, did some joint ventures. It isn't easy, but neither is working in a firm.




And remember only have to piss one shithead off to lose your job, but lots to lose your firm.

San Diego has postings now, during the boom, but historically it hasn’t got a ton of work as LA tends to eclipse it. But who knows maybe you get in at one of the smaller operations down there doing things for developers. I’ve read there’s quite a lot of urban densification going on, and the city certainly needs it. Even if it lasts only 3-5 years, could be a worthwhile experience and something different.
Apr 16, 18 11:19 pm

Thanks everyone, especially geezer, Miles and tintt for some good humor and advice. Was feeling a little low earlier but your comments helped. I think I’m leaning towards trying something part time with some side gigs, now how to deal with healthcare.......

(cue Sequiter with some blurb about Canada)

Apr 17, 18 12:17 am

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