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As newly minted graduates, do we end up in the architectural field we advocate for? Or do we compromise and stick to whatever working opportunities come our way, even if it is not what we are advocating for? Do we compromise just for financial stability?

I am a student currently pursuing a master's in architecture in Sydney. I am understanding, exploring with the aim to challenge aspects of architecture traditionally based on and defined by a patriarchal society. architecture #architect#career#womeninarchitecture

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Jeffrey’s Answer

There's no right answer to this. It depends on your financial situation, the job market in your area and how hard you are willing to work for this.

I can confirm what the others have said, it takes a few years out of school before you fully understand what goes into successful architecture and successful business. And it might take time before a firm gives you enough control to do what you want.

So you might get lucky, find that perfect fit right away and be able to work on your goals right out of school (there's plenty of women led firms out there kicking butt, at least in my area), or you might not have that opportunity front and center right away. Then you'll have to decide between an income and putting your goals off a few years until the right fit presents itself. And remember, once you have the experience and the license, you can always start your own firm where you can pursue your ideals and projects. So you'll always have the shot of you're willing to take it.

For me personally, I'm an atheist and I spent my first 8 years working at a church focused firm. It wasn't what I wanted. The pay wasn't great but they were awesome people and they made sure I got the experience I needed to do what I wanted to do.

I would say patience is your best weapon. If it takes a few years to do what your truly passionate about, you'll be that much better equipped to give it your all. You can't always expect to hit it out of the park on the first day.
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Meg’s Answer

As noted in the previous response, the decision about how to hone your career is really yours and based on many factors. In my experience, in addition to education, it takes some time in practice to really understand architecture. If you want to apply your passions to practice, I suggest you emphasize them when you interview with firms. Once on staff, you may not immediately be tapped to contribute the way you ultimately want to but getting your foot in the door will reveal a lot more about architecture that's 'behind the curtain'. If you want to focus on research, your path may be more academic rather than practice oriented. Once you have gained some experience, the options for pursuing your passion should become more evident. Always respect your inner passions in your carreer as that will make you a better person and architect. The Japanize concept of Ikigai, reason for being, may resonate with you:
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Andrew Castelli’s Answer

To answer your questions, first look in, find your passion and become excellent at it. When you do, all external factors will cancel out and will not become a factor of importance or influence in your life or career. Look to see who you are, look introspectively, and you’ll discover the beauty of your talents. The external world can be source of study and inspiration for your creative work and to see what you can do to better it.
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Fred’s Answer

That is mostly up to you. There are many factors to consider, including but not just:
1) Can you financially survive not working? For how long?
2) Can you accept working somewhere that is NOT your dream job, and for how long?
3) How risk tolerant are you, and to how much risk?
3) Is there such a place right now that meets your desires? Would you have to work somewhere to gain experience and credibility, then start your own?

And I don't know anything about architecture specifically, but if you don't work in the field for X years, do you skills become stale or outdated? or even just perceived as such?

I don't think anyone can give you a definitive answer. Your specific needs/desires/goals/priorities will be different from everyone else. I hope this at least helps you think through some of these issues.