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Young Architects: Follow These Seven Suggestions for Career Success

7 Nov 2019

New, young architecture graduates just getting started down this career path can find it impossible to stick their foot in the door and progress in a firm. Even for more settled and recognized architects it’s a challenge to keep advancing. Here are some tips for success for young architects collected and prepared by more experienced architects who’ve been through it.

1. Be indispensable.

If your goals are to be respected in the community, rise in the ranks at your firm, or get a year-end bonus or raise, then you need to become indispensable. Find a niche or area that you’re interested in and become the go-to person for that. For example, if you’re interested in sustainable design and it’s not yet on your colleagues’ radar, learn all you can about it, go to conferences on the subject, and set up session at your firm to become the expert at your firm.

2. Find a mentor or two.

There’s a lot you can learn from other architects. Connect with some that are at a place in their career where you want to be and have certain skills you would like to gain. Reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in mentoring you, promote and encourage your development as an architect, and champion your career advancement.

As explains Marguerite Janey, a career writer at Paper Fellows and Australian Help, “don’t hesitate to get them a coffee or drink and ask advice, most architects who are further along in their career are happy to impart their knowledge and experience to the next generation so their skills can continue. This also helps you build your network of architects which will benefit you by creating job opportunities.”

3. Jump on opportunities.

When starting your career, you may have lofty dreams and ambition about what you want to accomplish. It’s likely though, that as an intern you’ll be getting fewer exciting projects to begin with. What’s important is to take these tasks incredibly seriously, and spend extra time on them to go above and beyond. In time, your managers will realize that you have a passion for it and talent. By seizing the moment, you can get to be where you want to be in your career path.

4. Pursue what you want.

It’s possible, maybe even likely, that you won’t get something unless you ask for it. Even top architects have to ask for their pay raises most of the time. It’s quite probable that when you ask, you’ll receive it; in any case, it won’t do any harm to ask! This goes for much more than bonuses and salaries, it’s applicable to everything. If you want to work on certain projects, ask. If you want experience on work sites, ask. You might be surprised at the answer.

5. Push yourself.

As an architect, you have to go above and beyond. If you don’t like public speaking, learn to be good at it anyway. Practice meetings and presentations, and get your peers to critique you. Avoid jargon and dancing around subjects. People want you to get to the point, more often then not in laymen’s terms. It’s possible that you’ll fail – most architects do. You’ll probably fail at all these items on the list. Learn from your failures and challenges and accept that you need them to grow as a person and an architect. Without failure, you won’t improve on yourself and go farther.

6. Present yourself well.

You need to have an immaculate resume and LinkedIn profile. You’ll be submitting your candidacy to many firms and the last thing you want is to not be considered because of a poor resume or profile. For help writing and editing your CV, consult these great tools:

7. Take it in.

Take a moment to realize how lucky you are to work in a field you’re passionate about. People everywhere respect architects and, in that profession, the sky is the limit. When you can feel discouraged or like you want to quit, take a step back and remember why you went into architecture and your love of design and creation.

Follow these suggestions to maximize your chances of career success as an architect, especially when you’re just starting down this career path.

Ellie Coverdale, a career writer with UK Writings and Essayroo, is involved in lifestyle and professional projects. She enjoys helping other people reach their full potential and achieve their career goals. Ellie also writes for Boom Essays.

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