Many young architects start their career journey with the idea to become highly successful artists. Others – just feel comfortable taking their own place in an architectural studio and enjoy implementing what they have learned in a daily routine. Whatever your personality, one thing is sure – to make big or small steps forward and to develop your skills – you’d better start with yourself.
Have you ever wondered what the successful architects do? And what particular actions have led them to the top?
Drawing by hand is a skill that you have to keep. It’s like writing with a pen sometimes instead of using the computer keyboard. Using your hands in your daily architectural work has many benefits. It develops different areas in your brain and gives unexpected perspectives sometimes. Get used to sketching when you have a discussion with a client. He will understand you better. Additionally, he is more likely to remember what you have shown him.
Find your style
Not everyone in architecture will end up being the next Zaha Hadid, for example. However, it is crucial to know yourself and to show the world your special weapon. Every interior designer has a different approach to his work. Sometimes the too-loud voice will scare some clients. However, those who stay will be your best ambassadors. So dive into knowing yourself – develop your unique skills and abilities. Design isn’t about copying someone’s great ideas. Have the courage to raise your own voice and to show the world how you do it. Be honest and tell your own story. The right clients will follow.
Walking on your own path and working with people will make you face certain criticism. However, don’t be upset, and don’t stick to your ego. People are different. Try to walk in their shoes and remember – whatever the critic, it is rarely something personal. Try to understand others and don’t get offended. Whenever a criticism steps in the way, try to find a piece of advice in it that will help you to get better. It is not about being right or wrong. It is about doing your best while working on a project and find the tiny balance between your expertise and your clients’ expectations – especially when they are not into architecture at all. Yes, you are the architect. But may you be the professionalist that is kind and polite whatever the obstacles.
You cannot enter the same river twice. The world and technology evolve. Therefore, try to be one step ahead. Be the change yourself. Read articles, magazines, seek inspiration, contact with other architects and designers, share knowledge, be part of professional groups in social media, be proactive. To widen your horizon, read other things too – maybe you enjoy Forbs or prefer National Geographic. Your different interests will only be of help in your everyday work. Education Doesn’t End in School. Don’t let the world pass you by.
Be a team player
People are social animals. No matter how great you are, learn to be part of a community. Or build one yourself. Networking is a crucial skill when it comes to the architectural profession. Be a useful part of that community – add value, give advice, offer help. It is more likely to find more new clients if you are a member of a local architect group than to be a single isolated master-mind. Give and you’ll be given too.
Whenever your success finds you, make sure you are prepared and stay the same humble and polite professional as you were before that. What matters is the personality behind the business. Be inspired by the next generations and don’t grow up grumpy. Be a positive and optimistic human being, ready to help, and be open for discussions. Professionals are not meant to be passive.
Don’t live to work
Go out. If you ever feel stuck in a working issue – go change your perspective. Don’t just hang out with architects. Broaden your horizons and learn from other professionals, businesses, and people. Additionally, move away from your desk to keep your work vital and inspirational – make site visits, talk with clients in the field, observe your construction team. You are not just the person drawing – it’s worth seeing your ideas go to live. How else are we supposed to be of value to society if we are not part of it?
Don’t burn bridges
Sometimes it just happens – you get divorced with clients, partners, even ideas. And there is nothing bad. This means you move forward. However, just make sure you get out of a toxic professional relationship with dignity and kindness. The architectural world is small. Your actions will be surely remembered and it’s likely to meet your old friends in a new working situation. Whatever the issue, make sure you listen to your partners and clients. If there is no way to save this project or a relationship, don’t burn the bridge – just use it to pass by.
Technology will lead the way. So should you. Stay curious about new opportunities, software updates, ideas, people. Try that new tool. Read that new article. Join the latest webinar. Don’t let the inertia work on your behalf.
Love what you do
Whenever you feel exhausted and lost the direction, try remembering why you first started – maybe it runs in the family or your father has taught to draw. Or your mother was a great interior designer without even knowing it… You have the right reason to start your career in architecture or design. When tough times come, remember what made you do it. Love what you do and do it with all your heart. Once in the architectural profession, do your best to save it. Leave a decent mark after yourself.
Pay it forward
Teach, share, show to others how architects improve the world. Additionally, you will discover something new for yourself during the process. Don’t forget where you started from. Now is the time when you can be someone’s mentor. Help the next generation and share your expertise. There is no need to worry that someone will steal the craft from you. Architecture is a two-way street. So make sure the people you meet leave with a smile.