Future ARCHITECTS: Simple Tips to Stand Out and Skyrocket Your Career as an Architect
Updated: Mar 14
Ahhh… The world of architecture. Where creativity meets functionality and dreams are turned into concrete reality!
Architecture is a challenging and rewarding field that demands equal parts imagination and technical skills. And as someone just starting in this industry, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Trust me. I know exactly what that feels like. But fear not! Whether you're a wide-eyed architecture student, a fresh graduate, or simply interested in pursuing a career in architecture, these tips will help you get started on the right foot.
I've been in this industry for 15 years now. Yes, I know it's been a crazy long time! Each year, I found myself growing and learning so much. Not only adding to my knowledge but also learning about what I like, what I don't like, and how to navigate this industry. Along with the fun and exciting moments, there were points when I felt like I didn't know what I was doing. So, I came up with this list of things that make the early stages of your journey a better experience for you!
1. GET INVOLVED
Getting involved with other people is one of the best tips I can give you. This could mean going to happy hours with coworkers, working with other architects, or joining your local AIA chapter. It's a great and fun way to get your name out there, meet new people, build your network, and find new opportunities. If you're lucky, it can even lead to a project collaboration or a new job opportunity!
2. TAKE RISKS!
If you're still in school, I encourage you to take risks with your school projects and think outside the box. Teachers love seeing how excited and inspired their students are. Ask questions, test out ideas, and be your unique & creative self! Challenge yourself, and you'll come up with something that will surprise your teachers and you.
If you're already working, I want you to be brave and pull up your courage! Take a chance and ask for a raise or a chance to work on more projects. It might feel a little scary, but you never know. It could introduce you to BIG opportunities. Putting yourself out there can open up new doors for you.
3. ASK QUESTIONS
DON'T be afraid to ask questions. No, it won't make you seem stupid or like you don't know what you're doing. Heck, most bosses, teachers, and mentors are more than happy to help you learn more and answer questions. Architecture is a continually evolving field, so there is always something new to discover and add to your skills, so no one will ever know it ALL. The more we ask questions and question what we're doing, the more we understand things in new ways and allow ourselves to be more creative.
I've been in this industry for so long and still don't know everything. I'm constantly learning, researching, and deepening my knowledge. Even though my platform is all about helping and educating others, I'm also educating myself. I'M IN A CONSTANT STATE OF LEARNING. I love that there is always room for me to grow!
So, don't be afraid or shy away from asking questions and be okay with the fact that you're not going to know it all. No one expects you to know it all. Knowledge, experience, and confidence will all come with time. Confidence, especially, comes with competence. The longer you are in the field, the more competent you'll be and the more confidence you'll gain!
4. FIND MENTORS
Whether you're a student or already working professionally, having a mentor will help and support you. It could be a teacher, a member of your local AIA chapter, or even someone helping you with your AXP hours. Don't be embarrassed to ask people for help. A lot of people will be flattered and love to help you out.
Nowadays, with YouTube, podcasts, and other online educational resources, it's so easy to find mentors more and more these days. I am a mentor for tons of people. I don't necessarily work one on one with everybody. But through my podcasts, answering questions through DMs, and creating videos, I can help you guys out. Being an architect is not only a career; it's a lifestyle. So, finding a community of people who understand what you're going through, love it as much as you do, and nerd out with you is AWESOME!
My word for 2023.
Every year, I like to think of a word to be my daily goal for the year, and this time, I came up with 'play.'
Architecture IS exciting, especially at first. But the daily grind can sometimes suck the fun out of it. You can pour yourself into all the hours, but you need to have PLAY to enjoy it. Make sure you have fun and get creative with whatever you're doing. Whether it's a school requirement or a project presentation at work, continually bring back the "play" so you stay excited and enjoy what you're doing.
Enjoy the Journey
Starting in the world of architecture can be a daunting but exciting journey. But I'm hoping my pieces of advice help set you up for success and make the most out of your early years as an architect.
Remember to stay curious, be creative, learn & adapt, and have fun! With all of this in mind, I guarantee you'll create incredible designs and enjoy all of your years as an architect.
Share with me what your best pieces of advice are and which one of my tips you relate with the most!
Best of luck on your journey! See you next week!
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