Thursday, 12 January 2017

my career so far and thoughts about the future

A while ago I found the second photo in this post  in a drawer and it made me reminisce the times before I started working.
Me and my super cute friend and class mate Linnea in front of Le Corbusiers Villa Savoy, on a study trip in 2004 
In 2007 I finished my masters in architecture, moved back from a year studying in Germany and got my first job. I was lucky, I think I was only job hunting for about a month before getting the job, I don't even really remember being unemployed. It was at a small firm, only me, my boss and one other architect about ten or fifteen years older than me. In many ways it was the perfect first job as I got to try a lot of things and didn't just end up being a CAD monkey (someone just drawing things for a more senior architect) as I think was the case for some of my classmates. But the office also felt little bit too isolated from the rest of the world for someone just taking their first step in to the business and I wasn't disappoint when I had to give my notice as me and Andreas decided to move to Norway. 

a Master of Architecture, 2007
After our first time living in a new country (Germany) I had learned a few things and as soon as the move to Norway was confirmed I applied for a course at the university in Stavanger. I knew I didn't just want to sit at home not having any friends, while job hunting. So for the first nine months in Norway I studied art and architectural history, and met some very nice people. One if them is still a really good friend of mine (hei Kristine!). The day after I had my final exam in the course I started my new job in Stavanger. Again I was pretty lucky and never had to just sit around and wait. 

I worked at the same place for the rest of my time in Norway, about six years. It's a little bit complicated to describe what I did, I was employed as an architect, but the firm was an interior architect firm, and during my time there I only designed one building from inside and out. I mostly worked with projects where the volume, structure and facade was set by another architect firm and then I - together with my clients and after a lot of analysis and many workshops - designed the plan layout, the solutions, materials and to some extent, the decor. So I guess I was working somewhere in between an architect and an interior architect. Or more accurately, as an interior architect but with an architects point of view. And there are more differences there than most of you would guess, FYI.


Now I am in many ways back where I started. Because I have no. friggin. idea. about what I'm going to do next. Oh. For the next few years I most likely will not work, because of visa reasons, but also because it's apparently almost impossible for a "dependent" (that's what I am, someone who follows a family member with a job in the move) to find a job here. My main plan is to study, and so far that has been great, inspiring and fun. But in what direction should I go? I haven't been exactly sure I want to continue working as an architect for the past few years. Should I try to change careers?  In that case, to what? Something design-y, still? Or should I try to change direction within my field and spend my time now focusing on learning stuff and networking to make that solution more plausible? 

I really don't know. But. Luckily there's no real stress. I've decided that I can have at least the first year here just figuring things out and enjoying being able to try things out. And that's such a huge luxury. 

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