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Architecture Profession in NYC particularly stressful (?)

DTElmore

Does anyone have experience working inside of NYC and then working somewhere else? How do your experiences compare? I have worked exclusively in NYC for small to midsize firms, and feel like most of the difficulty derives from having to deal with challenging personalities within the office, rather than inherent issues with the design profession itself. Is it less stressful to be an architect outside of the city? 

 
Sep 24, 20 3:10 pm
square.

i've worked with said personalities. the key is to find an office without them- they exist, and your life will be infinitely more enjoyable so you can interrogate your love/hate relationship with nyc without the pathetic, miserable architects that make up too many of the firms here.

Sep 24, 20 3:15 pm  · 
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proto

i moved to a smaller west coast city and the aggressiveness abated by about 2/3, not just in the office but on the sidewalk too

nyc is a cool place that i miss in many ways, but the daily assertiveness required was fatiguing

lot less stress now

Sep 24, 20 3:19 pm  · 
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sp429

I've worked in the SF Bay Area and in NYC. Like square said, it's possible to find an office where people are reasonable and kind. They might be difficult to find, but they do exist. Even in NYC. 

Sep 24, 20 3:45 pm  · 
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thisisnotmyname

The need for some NYC types to be loud, mouthy, and dominating (regardless of if they actually know what the f*ck they are talking about) is definitely a thing.   There are lots of places in the USA where people do business in a less stressful and tiresome way.

Sep 24, 20 3:47 pm  · 
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randomised

The firm I worked at in NYC was great, cutting edge but relaxed, the owner and one of the directors even had dogs they’d bring into the office!

Sep 24, 20 3:49 pm  · 
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lower.case.yao

What’s the firm?

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randomised

I’m not at liberty to disclose ;-)

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I worked for a firm with an NYC office. I didn't work in the office, but I worked with them on a number of projects. There were the personalities that you had to deal with and I suppose there might have been more in that office than in the others in that firm. It never really stressed me out that much because 1) I didn't have to deal with it day in and day out, and 2) they needed me more than I needed them, so they were nice to me when it really counted. Of all the satellite offices I worked with at that firm, I feel like the NYC one was the most upset when I announced I was leaving. 

That said, the most difficult personality in that firm to work with was in the LA office. He could have just been an anomaly though as most of the LA people I've worked with have been great.

Sep 24, 20 5:01 pm  · 
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sp429

Yea unfortunately in my case a firm I had briefly worked in SF was the worst. Good old boys club that focused on hospitality projects. Management created "the asian team" so they can take projects from DD once the designs been fleshed out. Then yell at the asian architects working on them... Blatant screaming and or passive aggresive behavior was a daily issue. Just because the design principal was a diva and "that's what designers do."

Sep 26, 20 2:39 pm  · 
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BulgarBlogger

I have live in NYC my entire life and worked here for most of my career. Professionally, not only do you have to work with challenging codes/regulations, but since the fees in this city are highest, you are also hired by demanding clients. That said, you have to be demanding of your consultants and your staff, and since this city is so diverse, it is sometimes challenging to the same sense of urgency in your staff and consultants as your client imbues in you as the principal. Not to mention the fact that commercial office space is extremely expensive so turning work around quickly is paramount so you can bill for it...

Sep 27, 20 3:01 pm  · 
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randomised

Interesting angle/take, only don’t get how diversity and sense of urgency (or lack thereof, the urgency) are connected...

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awaiting_deletion

I only know a few markets but mainly from the outside, otherwise only know NYC as an employee. NYC is far more demanding than any other market. What Bulgar probably means is to push everyone, with very differing backgrounds, its a challenge. Also, the clients come from all different cultures and you have to accommodate each culture differently. For instance, if a Eastern European client yells and screams its just them asking for me to push it a little while a Northern European who appears to be hands off and not up your ass is actually expecting a lot of work - its just understood.

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BulgarBlogger

What I meant was that people who’ve come from other places that are more laid-back need to be pushed... it becomes a bit of an HR disaster to tell someone they need to work harder (faster), when maybe they think they are working really fast...

1  · 
randomised

Ah okay, got it! I’m not so fast, probably wouldn’t last in this NYC scene for very long...

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Poojasch

My experience of working in New York has been amazing. I worked at an architecture firm not in an office setup. The work culture was pretty much relaxing and also had diversifying approach which made me really stick to it. 

Oct 5, 20 3:54 pm  · 
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I've worked in NYC and on the west coast for approximately five years each, and generally speaking, there's definitely more of a relaxed vibe on the west coast. My office in LA was ten blocks from the Santa Monica pier and we regularly had dogs in the office, and people would go surfing before work in the morning. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there's definitely a sense that we work to live, and not vice-versa.

NYC felt like crabs in a bucket by comparison; I had one boss at a high-end boutique firm in the Village completely lose his shit one day because a lighting vendor in California wasn't picking up her phone at 9 AM Eastern Time. And of course, half the people you end up dealing with in NYC are inbred trust fundies with Ivy League degrees and shit for brains.

That said, no other city has inspired me like NYC, and there are definitely firms there with good workplace cultures. My last firm there did great design work while also having a very laid-back and friendly culture, but NYC's impossible housing situation ultimately forced me out of the city.

Oct 5, 20 9:15 pm  · 
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