See those faces below. Every one of them looks happy, right?
Okay, so the truth is the smiles were generated by the fact we were enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon during the World Cup after decamping from the office to a local restaurant so as to enjoy some downtime together. (Well, that and the fact the company was paying for the delicious food…!).
Not that we don’t witness similar smiles on a daily basis, for the truth is every single Architect in our team daily counts their blessings at being a proud member of the architecture industry. Being an Architect is more than a job. To most, it is a calling and a way of life.
As with any job, there are invariably both pros and cons attached. Before we examine in a future blog post some of the negatives of working as an Architect, our team and others have been chipping in with some of their thoughts on why Architects such as ourselves were happy to devote many, many years to studying and appearing before architectural juries so as to join an industry in which it takes almost a decade and untold hard work, dedication, and, indeed, personal sacrifice to become even an entry-level Architect.
1. Living the dream
It’s not everyone who is lucky enough to get paid for doing the job they love. Similarly, not everyone can go to work and be paid for the dreams in their head and the glorified jottings in their notepad. Architecture is another form of art. We do it because we actively feel something for buildings and the environment around us.
On a more selfish level, we do it because it makes us happy.
You do it because, quite simply, you LOVE IT.
The long hours and stressful deadlines are the other sides of ‘living the dream’. We acknowledge that people outside our industry would probably argue that our dream positively sounds like a nightmare!
2. A social life at work
Clients are, of course, the primary figures in our daily lives. After all, it’s they who put money in our pocket and food on the table. The reality is that in every profession there are difficult clients, but equally, there are also difficult architects, builders, contractors, designers… Ah, you get the picture. It’s simply human nature to get on with some people but not others.
You will communicate with a whole range of people.
We speak with everyone, whatever their level of social status inside or outside of a company.
An Architect we know recently bemoaned the fact he was going to be indoors at his desk for, shock horror, “the whole day.” Upon commiserating with his plight in the belief he was simply being sidetracked by the usual paperwork associated with our job, he revealed he woke up with a seriously negative frame of mind for no other reason than because he views meeting people as being, “The real highlight of the job.”
Separate to this, there is little more rewarding in the life of an Architect than signing off on a project having witnessed the sheer joy and gratitude of the client.
3. Cherish your input
It could be argued that the impact of the daily work of most people is all too fleeting. This is where we Architects are truly fortunate. Our work can (and hopefully will) literally stand tall for many decades to come, if not for even longer.
Plus, how many people literally have the ability to change the landscape around them, not just today but for future generations?
Your work can stand tall for many decades (especially if you designed the Burj Khalifa Towers in Dubai)
While the output of artists who work on canvas rather than a computer is only really seen by those who frequent art galleries – and even then it’s only for the duration of an exhibition – the primary output of architects is seen (and hopefully even enjoyed and appreciated) day in and day out by thousands, if not millions, of people who pass by that building with which you were involved, even if only (in the early years of your career) as a member of a wider team.
Okay, so the masses may not know that it’s your work, but YOU know and those who matter in your life know.
Yes, the life of an architect has enormous pressures, but attached to these is ultimately great pride and huge satisfaction, neither of which ever fades.
4. Variety is the spice of life
You’ve seen the comments on social media from bored souls in offices across the globe: employees complaining that they’re utterly bored at work, or bemoaning the fact that it’s only Monday and they’re already watching the clock desperately willing it to be 5 pm Friday.
There is so much to become, you can never be bored..
Now we appreciate that this would be deemed a huge negative by the masses, but you will only rarely hear an Architect complain as the reality is we all live and breathe our work.
This is because there is such a huge variety to what we do and also what we need to know.
No two jobs are ever the same for the Architect. From day one of a project, we are expected to be all things to all men. As well as having knowledge of the areas of the architectural profession documented above, just a few of the roles demanded of an Architect are:
- A manager
- A listener
- A problem solver
- A salesman
- A diplomat
- A designer
- An organiser
- A presenter
- A speechmaker
- A student
- A researcher
- A planner
- Did we already say, ‘A manager’? What the heck, we’ll throw that in again as there are days we definitely feel more corporate manager and less creative artist.
Oh and there’s another reason some architects are endlessly happy about spending so much time behind their desk rather than on the sofa. Cue our fifth and final reason…
5. “Remind me, who did I marry?”
We have to admit to laughing when an Architect who shall remain nameless quipped that it’s awesome being an Architect as they spend so much time at the office they can “avoid the wife and kids.”
You always look forward to spending your free time with family & friends
This just in from our Diplomatic Department here at Chronos Studeos: Everyone at the company would like to distance themselves from this comment, so if you are the other half of one of our architects, please do not worry…
WE PROMISE IT WASN’T HIM!