Every architecture student fantasizes about their future life as an architect. They daydream about working closely with the famous, renowned architects of the world, working late every night and weekend, and having no social life beyond architecture. Their diet would remain that of unhealthy, ready-to-eat processed food. People at their firm would criticize them for asking inquiries about the project they would be working on, and they’d never make it to the point of starting their own firm.
To them, this seemed to be the perfect lifestyle for an aspiring young “successful” Architect. Even being terrified, they are very excited to live this dream. But after a certain amount of time, they begin to question themselves and the life they are living. “Do I want to work every day from early morning to late night for the rest of my life? Will I only befriend architects and designers? Can I only eat processed foods to save time? Will I still be happy even after working so hard to reach where I desire to be in my career? Is this something I truly desire?”, they ask themselves every day.
They form an impression of a successful Architect’s lifestyle based on conjecture, misconceptions, and also how the world presents Architects. They are pictured as beings of the night who wear monochromatic clothing and move through the world with a deep thought expression on their face. Always ready to challenge everything surrounding them and work all night long to create lavish design concepts worth millions of rupees.
There’s also the portrait of the Architect that students construct based on misinformation spread by their acquaintances. Architects are typically thought of as eager creatives who enter architecture firms with ideas that will revolutionize the world. They are assigned to a workstation with AutoCAD, a set of drawings with strict deadlines, and repetitive work to create restroom elevations and flooring designs. Even after five years of study, they are paid lower than other professions with four-year degrees, making it difficult to pay off student loans, lease, utilities, and purchase nutritious foods.
The perception of what it takes to be an Architect is false and is rapidly changing in the digital age. There are a plethora of things they could assure themselves of in college for their future lifestyle as an architect.
It’s OKAY to not know it all
The young aspiring architects presume that after a few years of training, they would know all about architecture. Nonetheless, as they begin working in the field, they discover that architecture is such a vast topic that it is impossible to master everything in a person’s lifetime. It includes everything from design to drawing paperwork, writing agreements to handle financial activities, acquiring private clients, and collaborating with a developer.
Given the numerous areas to concentrate on as an Architect, they should have a vast knowledge of everything an Architect needs to know. Concentrating on specific topics of interest would allow them to succeed as an Architect. The architectural field evolves with each project, but the basics stay unchanged. Don’t attempt to learn all about architecture. Understand the basics and learn how it fits into each project.
Step beyond your comfort zone.
When the fresher architects first join an architecture firm, they get a supportive role, helping various colleagues in the making of layouts, schematic designs, conceptual design reports, and construction drawings. They are keen to understand how to put all of these relevant things together at first, and their days are loaded with drafting tasks.
Every day begins to become regular, and they take solace in knowing what to prepare for. Because they accept their role as a draftsman, they feel very little stress and anxiety. As a result, they don’t learn as much as they did at the onset of the design process. As they do the same things over and over again, their days start to get monotonous.
The young architects should request the firm’s principal for more tasks. This will result in a lot of extra work and higher duties at the desk, allowing them to learn things exponentially for their overall career growth.
Life would feel more purposeful and meaningful after they would ask for more responsibilities and step outside of their comfort zone. Instead of repeating similar tasks and conversations, they should have challenges and participate in conversations.
Create long-term, medium-term, and immediate goals.
After graduating from college, the freshers should take some time to set long, medium, and short-term goals. One can focus his attention on his ultimate life ambition by developing a long-term goal. “Do you aspire to run your architecture firm? Do you want to contribute to the world by initiating a non-profit organization? What are your top causes?”, the aspiring architects should ask such questions to themselves. Then set a medium-term goal that is related to the long-term goal, as well as a short-term goal that is related to the medium-term goal.
Start cooking nutritious food.
After graduating from college and entering the profession, the freshers should change their bad food patterns. They tend to eat fast food products considering themselves short on time. They should incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet and stop eating out continuously. The focus and concentration improve when you fill the fridge with only fresh fruits and vegetables. Afterall, good health is true wealth. Switching from fast food to home-cooked food results in a healthier lifestyle. Cooking is also a stress-relieving activity.
Never hesitate to seek clarification.
When the freshers first start to work at the design firm, they believe they should be able to handle everything on their own, from designing a structure to creating a complete set of construction drawings. So, at first, they don’t ask many questions resulting in difficulties with a few of the projects.
Note that architecture is a collaborative career path, and architects are similar to orchestra conductors who synchronize a big group. They’re accustomed to people discussing with them their design concepts or for assistance with specific detail. They save one another’s time, resources, and headaches by asking questions. So, don’t be hesitant to inquire.
Go at your own pace in life.
When the freshers first start in the profession, they are so enthusiastic and determined to learn everything they could and help the organization. As they begin working, they discover that some of their workmates are as enthusiastic as them about becoming a registered architect and learning at a rapid pace, while others had accept their roles as a draftsman, designers, etc. and see architecture as a way to do payments and sustain other passions and interests. Any of these practices to work as an Architect is justified, whichever way you lean is alright.
When you’re in the venture, figure out what you wish for and pursue it. Don’t wait for a third party to tell you what to do or to create a strategy for you to pursue. To feel satisfied, you must be the one who determines your future.
The freshers should not be doubtful and fearful about entering the field due to the misinformation and stories they hear as a student. They need to set a healthy lifestyle for themselves. They need to forgo their worries and transform themselves into their own image of an Architect.