Is architecture a good career option 1

7 career tips for beginners in architecture

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For many students, architecture is their dream job. But in (too) many cases the enthusiastic graduates quickly become frustrated young architects. The young professionals come to the job market with wrong ideas. We have put together a few tips with which you can take your career luck into your own hands.

The number of architects looking for work has been falling for years. At first glance, a positive development. However, nothing is said about the satisfaction of the young professionals. Many young architects cannot cope with the working conditions and are dissatisfied with their professional opportunities and financial prospects. It is not (only) the external conditions that determine personal success. Young professionals themselves have a large part in how their careers develop.

1. Pay attention to the corporate culture.

Job interviews are not a one-way street. When looking for a job or your first job, remember: Not only does the company have to be convinced of you, you also have to have a good feeling about the decision. In which positions do young employees work in the company? Does the company promote personal development? Are there still rigid hierarchies or is work done in an agile and transparent manner? Through inquiries, online research and observation, you as an applicant can get a good picture of the appreciation young employees are shown, which career opportunities exist and which corporate culture is actually lived.

2. Build a professional network.

Once you've signed the first employment contract, don't rest on it. Instead of just exchanging information with colleagues, you should definitely build up an independent professional network. Visit trade shows, go to barcamps, get involved in professional associations or be active online. No job is forever and you benefit from a look beyond the margins of companies even without any intention of changing. And should you later have change requests, it is easier to ask friends for a recommendation or a contact after you have networked without having a specific concern.

3. Find out which career path you want to pursue.

Everyone has an individual mix of strengths and talents and the professional field for architects offers a wide range of opportunities to specialize accordingly. When you graduate, it is impossible to know exactly where your professional journey should go. At least it's very unlikely. Experiment which activities suit you. You don't have to do job hopping to do this. This can often be found out through various internal roles and projects as well as voluntary engagement in the company. Do you want to be more active in project management or is creative, planning work your passion? Which thematic focal points attract you, in which projects do you 'like' to work overtime? Are you more of a desk worker or do you only really thrive at on-site appointments? You will not find the answers by just thinking, but only through your own experience.

4. State your goals and wishes.

Over time, it will become clear to you in which area you want to develop. Perhaps your current role is far from it, perhaps it would only take a few minor additions so that you can consider the professional station as valuable for you. Talk to your employer about your goals and further training wishes. For example, if your boss doesn't know that you want to take on management responsibility, he can't support you on this path either! It is always in the company's interest to keep motivated and motivated employees and to deploy them in such a way that they can play to their strengths.

5. Find a company that is interested in your ideas.

In some companies, young employees fall on deaf ears - whether it is about their personal career aspirations or technical suggestions for ongoing projects. Both are frustrating sooner or later. Successful companies have now understood that company results benefit from bringing different perspectives into design processes and also taking young employees seriously with their suggestions.

6. Work on your job skills.

It may seem obvious, but it cannot be said often enough: When you finish your studies, learning is not over. If you want to get really good at your job, you have to keep learning and developing professionally and personally. The architecture industry is changing rapidly, not least because of digitization. Being fit with the latest technologies is a must for young professionals and can be an advantage over older colleagues who shy away from BIM and augmented reality. That being said, it is worth investing in a technical specialization with a future, for example sustainable building or age-appropriate architecture. The direction in which you train yourself should never only depend on strategic aspects, but also on personal strengths and interests.

7. Be kind.

Finally, some seemingly mundane advice, but the simple things often have the greatest impact. Nobody likes to work with an unfriendly, arrogant and unreliable colleague. Especially at the beginning of your career you cannot shine with the greatest professional know-how or score with experience, but you can draw attention to yourself as friendly, reliable and hard-working. Managers tend to have an open ear for such employees when it comes to opening the next career door for them.