What does validating yourself mean
If you work at a large firm, you will be living in a large metropolitan area like New York, Houston, Los Angeles, etc.If this is your ideal job, living in a small town is out. Design architects are involved in the artistic side of the process: sketching freehand, making initial computer generated images of the projects, and putting together presentations for clients.Note that spec writing is not an entry-level position, most spec writers are mid-to-late career professionals.
To compete in this arena you’ll need a strong portfolio showing your artistic skills.
These architects have strong artistic abilities and a lot of their day is spent on right-brained (creative visualization) activities.
If you love creating beautiful images from scratch, can draw well, and are talented with Adobe Photoshop, Sketch Up, and 3d Studio VIZ, you will enjoy being on a design team and you should try to work at a large firm.
There will still be late nights getting ready for client presentations and competition deadlines, but what is a late night when you are doing something you love?
One disadvantage of being on a design team is that you will not be involved in the later phases of a project.