I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
- Frank Lloyd Wright
Most young architects have chosen their career because they really love designing buildings. However, architecture actually poses a lot of challenges and moments of rejection and doubt. Many young and ambitious architects find out just how difficult it is once they are already working. To become a successful architect, the most important thing to remember is that you need to learn from every difficult experience to keep on growing.
Here are a few important tips for young architects:
Embrace the challenging years ahead
For most young architects, the first few years are the hardest, even after landing a job. You may not get paid as much as you’d like to and getting used to the industry isn’t always easy. However, keep on showing enthusiasm in all your projects so that you can get noticed. Apart from the usual drafting, designing and visualisation, you will also need to prove yourself as a great employee in all other aspects of your job, namely project management, client relations, marketing, specifications, etc. No matter how you feel and what you’re busy doing at work, never lose fervour for your job.
Spend time perfecting your portfolio
As a young architect, you need to invest time in perfecting your portfolio - no questions asked. Your portfolio needs to showcase your best projects and show potential clients what you’re capable of offering them. A good portfolio will help you make connections as well as place you in a better position in the marketplace.
Having both an online portfolio and a printed portfolio is important. You can use a hard copy portfolio to show clients that you meet with in person and take to interviews and meetings. An online portfolio can help you meet potential clients and employers online as it is accessible to more people at all times.
Expand your network
Establishing and maintaining relationships in your industry will set you up for greater success. Arrange meetings, such as casual lunches, stay in touch by sending occasional emails and make friends with as many people as possible in your industry. This will ensure you are recognised as an approachable, open and candid architect - the kind of architect people actually want to work alongside.
Expand your network with Italtile. We’re itching to work with young and creative architects.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
If you want to distinguish yourself as above-average in your industry, you need to take risks and try new methods and approaches. Obviously, functionality and presenting clients with what they want is of paramount importance, but don’t be afraid to share unique ideas that your clients may find useful.
Get used to pitching your ideas
If you are not comfortable with speaking and pitching in front of people, it’s time to get practising. Although it’s not always easy presenting a long speech to an audience, after a few times it will become easier. The best way to improve is to practise in front of colleagues and ask them for advice and input. Learn how to engage with your audience effectively so that you get your ideas across effectively.
Get a rounded experience in the industry
Make sure you experience as much as possible when you start working. This means you should aim to understand various aspects in your profession and become a well-rounded architect. This will put you at an advantage as you can add value to a company in more than one way. Once you have a broad understanding of the industry, you can narrow down your focus.
If you deserve a raise, ask for it
If you don’t ask for a pay raise, chances are you won’t get one. Just go in with a game plan. Make sure you sit down with your superiors and state why you deserve a salary increase. Perhaps you can show them that you’re taking on new projects and responsibilities, or you’ve received another relevant certification or become fluent in new software.
Keep on learning
One of the most important things to remember about any field of work you’re in is that you never have to stop learning. There are always new techniques to adopt and new skills to learn. Stay up to date with the latest technology and keep on reading technical and design magazines and articles online to keep up your knowledge in the field.