A career decision – big or small?

big things might just come in smaller packages

In this not-so-long journey that I went through, I had the privilege of setting my foot in various aspects of the trade – from being a main contractor’s designer/coordinator/right-hand man, to a small director in a design partnership, an interior designer, an architectural intern in a mid-size architectural practice, and most recently an architectural associate in both a small practice and big corporate establishment.

It has always been a huge question for many to think when they look for a new job in architecture – to join a big firm or small firm. I would’t say that that I’ve had a huge length of experience in any aspects of the industry, but my short tenure in these companies has given me a good feel of what it is like to be in these different setups.

  • BIG – security, better work-life balance (arguable since I enjoyed 21 days annual leave), stable income,  numerous employee benefits, ‘pigeon-hole’ syndrome, doing things in ‘repeat mode’, more likely bigger profile projects
  • SMALL – greater learning opportunities as you get involved in all aspects (this of course equates to longer working hours), taking ownership of projects, closer relationship with mentor/superiors, work-relationship less formal

At the end of the day, it is important to ask yourself this : What do you want to achieve in architecture career? What is your priority?

My next step: small, but for a huge step ahead. The next phase of my journey in architecture is definitely going to be more exciting than ever, and this for sure will be a big turning point in my career.

Kelvin W

* The contents in this article is purely of Kelvin W.’s own thoughts and varies with every individual’s perception and views.