The Two Qualities You Need For Architecture Career Success

Sara Mandeed
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1. Do what is important first.

The client needs things yesterday. The professor wants that term paper two weeks ago. The supervisor laughs at the deadline you set. But there is an important step that you and I must get done first – a step we promise to revisit often and do every time.

And that step is to spend time working on the most important task – the thing that, if done, will make all other steps and decisions easier.

It can be difficult to know what is important since these things are not always crystal clear. Sure, you and I know that if the client does not get their stuff on time, they might be late on a payment. We know the professor needs the paper on time because, without it, the committee can’t start submitting the grant that supports their work. But sometimes something important looks unimportant or unimportant things look important. This makes knowing what is important a skill that each of us must develop.

The way we do this is by making an honest look at what is important to us.

What is most important to you?

Have you checked in with yourself to see if your decisions, your plans, your actions and your words support what is important to you? ”

Are you working on the most important things first or are you putting things off? It seems like a simple question, but self-awareness is rarely simple.

2. Get the job done fast.

Designing and building a building is a complicated process. It requires a lot of time and work. It’s not a process that you can rush, and you generally want your building to last many years. With all that in mind, should you rush to get it done? Absolutely not!

One of the biggest mistakes that novice architects make is to rush the project and design every little detail by themselves. Although this may sound like a great idea at first, you need to realize that it’s going to cost you more in the long run.

When you design it all by yourself, you’re trying to cover everything from the ground up. Trying to create a good outcome from the beginning means you’re writing yourself a very complicated script. You might find yourself spending more time trying to figure out what’s going to work and what’s not.

To avoid this, work with an architect. Yes, you will pay a little bit more in the short run, but it’s going to ensure cost savings in the long run. Working with an architect will also prevent delays later on.

Remember, it’s cheaper to do it right.

Switch shoes

Poor posture while sitting at workstation can lead to aches in the back, neck and shoulders. Also, the long hours spent at workstation often result in eye strain, headaches, slow thinking process, and fatigue.

The best way to avoid these is to follow the 20-20 rule – 20-20-20 rule for computer users, which means taking a 20-second break from the computer every 20 minutes.

You must have observed the posture of people sitting in the coffee shops for duration hours on their phones. Or those of the people in the corporate companies working for the whole day in the office chairs.

When you are sitting, such people must have noticed that they are having pain in the eyes, back, neck and shoulders. On observing people, you will see how much leaning forward they are doing if they are using mobile phone or laptop. It is almost 90 degrees.

Also, you will observe the body positions. It is because the younger generation is not taught that unless the body is in a perpendicular position, they cannot work for a long time. So, they are doing all the leaning and stretching actions while they are working on a computer.

These actions cause discomfort and pain and you should take a break every 8 hours.

If you need to sit in a fixed position, try to switch your shoes every 8 hours.

This is how things play out on Day 1:

Let’s go back to architecture school for just a minute. In year 1, you’re a fresh-faced student with a laptop and a dream. You’ve got some software like AutoCad, Sketchup, Revit, and maybe some 3dsmax and Maya. Those are the “big three” of 3D software in architecture, so they’ll help you keep up with what’s happening in school.

You’ll also need some solid foundational 3D skills so you can build models. If you’re not sure how to build those skills, there’s plenty of free resources online to help you learn. Then you’ll make some models.

Now let’s roll that clock back a month. Before you start school, you should take a day and read about the software and hardware you plan to learn. You’re going to have homework to turn in, and it’s going to get a little heavy on the models. So you should have a pretty good idea of where you stand.

Who would you rather want on your team?

Business is a team game. No matter how successful you become, you will always need plenty of others to help you move up the ladder.

Unfortunately, those who have the talent, skills, skills and drive to succeed often have some pretty hefty problems. They tend to be a bit short tempered, wary of taking risks, and not particularly good at building rapport with others.

Not a perfect recipe for success, right?

Fortunately, there’s an answer. And the answer is to apply yourself to two important qualities … a talent for networking, and a talent for diplomacy. You may not be the best at either- yet, but you can develop them, and that will give you a powerful edge you really need.

Be a problem solver

Regardless of the type of problem, no matter how crucial, there’s always a resolution. By practicing critical thinking, you develop the ability to identify the issues and pick your way through them … to come to a solution. By getting names and phone numbers, you’re developing the ability to connect with others. By putting on your own event, you’re gaining the confidence to try new things. It’s hard to trust the unknown. Architecture involves navigating “the unknown,” so its important to develop this skill. In architecture, there are a lot of reasons why a project doesn’t succeed.

In the real world, you’re rarely the designer of your own life. You’re not in charge. But by practicing these three scales of architecture, you’ll develop a confidence that will carry over to other phases of architecture, and in many other areas of life as well.

So how do you go about this?

This is pretty easy to answer. You need to have the TWO most important qualities to be successful in the Architecture field.

You must be creative and have the necessary technical skills. These two qualities are not mutually exclusive but are constant necessities.

Here’s a graph of how you can achieve maximum creativity and success. Note how they go hand in hand.

Who else is on the team?

If you ever want to create a strong architecture career, you have to have the support of others. Networking is key to success in this field, and you have to be ready to meet a variety of people.

Not only do you have to meet people that have a similar interest in architecture, but you have to be ready to meet project managers, business leaders, and even different types of clients.

For starters, try to meet other people in the industry, even if you don’t think that there’s anything to be gained from it. Become a part of different organizations in your field of interest or research the industry standards in your area.

These organizations are virtual goldmines of information. Meet people, read and learn all that you can. If you don’t live in an area that has universities that specialize in architecture, you can always reach out to people in other states or even countries … your relationships and connections are only limited by the actions you take.

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What has already been done?

Architect drafting does entail having a certain level of creativity and intuition as to architectural beauty. But that’s really just the beginning of your career.

If you’re an aspiring architect, you need to know about all the behind-the-scene work that comes with the field. There are a lot of technical details that go into the job, and you need to have solid knowledge of these from day one.

Unfortunately, a lot of people only consider the pretty side of the architecture and design process. That, of course, is why you see so many people attempting to become architects without doing the research.

You need to cover everything. Then you can move forward after getting a good feel for the project. You want to check what others have done, study previous projects, and see the tasks and responsibilities that they entail.

Then you can proceed with your career.

What needs to be done and when?

Thinking about what needs to be done, WHEN it needs to be done and HOW to get it done are critical components of any architecture project.

The architect is in charge at all times, representing the client and making sure everything is done to proper standards.

It is the architect’s role to make sure the project stays on track, following schedules and budgets, is done within a timely manner, and still meets the client’s needs.

A successful architect must establish strong communication with the client and ensure that the client’s needs are met within the constraints of the project.

Architects, like any other professionals, use tools for communication. A virtual set of tools that are an extension of the architect’s thought, coordination, and experience.

One of the first tools architects learn to use is the architectural diagram of the building. When an architect is trained by a practicing architect, they are first told to draw a building.

The architect is taught by example how to convey problems and resolutions in a drawing. When the architect gets good at drawing this building, the architect’s mentor then tells the architect they are ready to start drawing other kinds of buildings. Still, working from a client’s drawing and building to scale, the architect learns how to deal with problems.

What are the priorities?

The real estate business will only take you so far. In most cases, you eventually have to think beyond the walls and floors.

Once you have exposed yourself and your clients to what’s out there, you are sure to discover that finding balance between function and design is the next frontier in this journey.

As you observe the most beautifully designed houses, you will notice how they are equipped to not only provide the basic necessities but to enhance the lifestyle of the occupants.

The residence of an architect must be a reflection not only of the person but the work as well. Anyone can add embellishments and call it art; however, to really make a lasting statement takes strong creative design skills. There are so many possibilities out there that it depends on what you do to get noticed.

Moreover, you should have a passion for what you do when you have reached this level of expertise. It is more than a job.

To maximize your efforts and achieve true success in this business, you should have a fundamental understanding of structural design, 3-dimensional perspective, and spatial planning. More importantly, you have to be open to evolving with the changing trends and you should have patience beyond your wildest imagination.

Be a list maker

If you are one of those people who are compulsively organized, then making lists is one of the best ways to keep your architecture career on track.

If not, maybe you need to join the list making bandwagon.

Consider using a bullet journal to keep your ideas and sketches together in one place. Your sketches and ideas will be more organized, and thinking of creative solutions to design challenges will be a lot easier.

The best way to think of your journal is as a companion to you, a guide for all your ideas.

How to be good but fast

You may be able to design really fantastic architectural designs in your head; it’s how you put them down on paper that counts, after all.

Project architects are generally paid by the hour, and being fast can be a great bonus. In school, you’ll have plenty of time and no deadlines to do things right, but in the real world, the pace is fast, and your boss is likely to cut your time if you need to layout design A2 sheets for three hours instead of one.

If the ability to be creative on your feet is a talent that you brag about, then things like the following could be major spoilers for you:

  • Working through a pile of tasks and getting involved with new complications mid-way.
  • Impromptu discussions with clients while you’re working on a task.


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