career growth in architecture

Career growth in architecture is about skill, experience, and timing. If you didn’t get the promotion for you were hoping for last year, 2019 could still be your year! In today’s market, moving you career forward is not as much about paying your dues and showing your loyalty, now you have to demonstrate value to your firm. Here are some tips on how to get a promotion in the architectural industry.

Learn and Study Constantly

In the architecture field, technology, project delivery methods, business practices, and client expectations change rapidly. You have to make sure you study and train constantly to keep up with these changes. This is not only about technical skills and learning new software. Keep informed with industry design trends and know where the industry is going.

This is the only way you can stay relevant. If you don’t keep up with changes in the industry, you could easily see your promotion go to someone who is seen as more adaptable, no matter how long you have been with the firm.

Find Strengths in Others

Employees who assume leadership roles are more likely to be promoted. One element of strong leadership is finding the strengths in the other people on your team, as well as the strengths of people outside of the firm. On the one hand, you can help the other team members hone their top skills. Raising other team members’ performance is just as important as improving your own skills. A leader lifts people up; they don’t step on them. This is also a chance for you to learn from them so you can enhance your own abilities. Humility is important. Even if you’ve been with the same firm for ten years, new employees could come on board that have things to teach you. Be open!

Be Creative

The people most likely to be promoted are the ones who show initiative. Creating something is one of the best ways to demonstrate your initiative. You need to create something new that adds value to the firm. For example, if you identify a problem within the firm, create a solution. As architects, you thrive on being innovative so use this to your advantage. If you notice the way the firm tracks employee performance is lacking, come up with a better way to do. This way you’ll be able to show your worth. This small investment in time and creativity will really accelerate your career.

Make Contacts Across the Industry

When it comes to networking, the key is building enduring relationships. Moreover, you want to have relationships with people throughout the architectural industry. Keep in mind your career isn’t the only one developing. A former colleague could end up in position where they have influence over the person who decided whether you get promoted or not. The more contact you have the better. But again, they key is create strong relationships. Calling in a favor to an acquaintance you haven’t spoken to in fifteen years isn’t going to do you any good.

Remember, the employees who are promoted are the ones who add measurable value to the firm. The best way to show you have value is to be a problem solver, adapt to changes, focus on improving your own ability and skills, and lifting up others around you.


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Contact us to discuss how we can bring top leadership talent to your firm. David Brown International is s a global leader in executive recruiting and placement of top tier talent in Architecture, Design, and Technology. Our mission is to create a lasting legacy of success, growth, and profitability for our clients, candidates, and employees.