When was the last time you committed your time to professional development?
As an architect or designer, professional development isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential for career advancement and honing your craft.
With constant changes in the industry and new trends emerging every day, staying abreast of developments keeps you ahead of the curve and ready to tackle whatever projects come your way. That’s why ongoing training is so important—it can help shape how you approach designs, inform tools and techniques used along the way, and introduce you to game-changing resources that can maximize success.
This blog post explores why professional development matters for architects and designers, as well as some practical tips on getting started.
How Professional Development Gives You an Edge over the Competition
It’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll get around to professional development sooner or later. Put it off until later, and you could be left behind. Professional development does not hold you back; it accelerates your journey on your career path because you:
- Learn new skills.
- Remain competitive in an ever-changing industry.
- Bring a fresh perspective to your work.
- Expand your network.
- Build a uniquely personal brand.
- Add value — to your firm and for clients.
The advantages of professional development outweigh the inconvenience of taking time off work, traveling to other locations and catching up on assignments as you can.
3 Ways Architects and Designers Can Benefit from Meaningful Professional Development
As an architect or designer, you will have multiple opportunities to engage in formal and informal professional development; both can be invaluable to your career.
Continuing professional development )CPD) activities encompass a wide range of conferences and workshops to improve your professional knowledge and skills. How you synthesize the information and apply it to your work will position you as a designer of influence.
As you plan for and engage in your professional development, look for patterns within three specific areas:
- Design relationships. Architecture and design demand that design, structures and users interact as if in a choreographed ballet, each with a specific role and anticipated response. For example, how do spaces inspire living and working? How do the elements within the area invite reciprocity and augment relationships?
- What non-negotiables must be present in every design? Some thought leaders insist that form, function and aesthetics are non-negotiable elements in every schematic. What takeaways have you discovered in your professional development that either confirm or refute this premise? as you attend training, look for the non-negotiables.
- What one message can you take away from your training and incorporate into your designs? Attending training over several days can seem overwhelming and under-delivering. Rather than trying to soak up as much information as possible, focus instead on the One Thing. In each training opportunity, look for the single nugget of information that makes you glad you chose to attend this training opportunity.
Architects and designers prioritizing their training are more in demand than their colleagues who hold back from learning and growing as professionals.
How have you honed your craft lately?