Note from the Author: Help me help other architects! This blog is an excerpt from the first draft of my book: Breaking the Box: Explode out of Architecture School to a Successful Career as an Architect. You can help by leaving a critique in the comment section below. And if you are just starting I suggest you check out the table of contents for an easy road map. Thx you rock! -Steve
In the previous post, I shared some embarrassing stories from my past and how I have worked to overcome those failures. In this post, I share how architects can embrace failure and make improvements one day at a time.
Take on New Tasks
It can be very tempting to just stick with what we know. When a new task gets dropped in our lap, it can be scary. “But I’ve never worked on window details before? I don’t know anything about medical office buildings? I am the rendering guy!”
Ultimately it is the fear of failure that causes this anxiety. We love to do the things we are good at and avoid the unknown. This inertia puts us at risk of halting personal growth.
Always move forward. In addition:
Get Outside of your Comfort Zone
I refuse to let my nerves stop me from giving a presentation or going to networking events. I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I would challenge that if your work does not give you some level of discomfort than you are not being challenged enough. We grow by trying new things and getting outside of our comfort zone.
Learn from Mistakes
One of the best architecture examples of learning from mistakes is the process of design.
Designing architecture begins with an analysis of program and site. From that point, an initial concept is sketched. That first concept will almost always be riddled with flaws. Therefore, you quickly sketch 3-5 other options. Each option a little better than the last.
Each time you realize that there are mistakes. You forgot to include mechanical space. The client doesn’t like the orientation of their office. The project is over budget. Therefore, you continue to revise.
Eventually you end with a design where a majority of the flaws have been removed. Now of course there is never a perfect design but you get the picture.
Good design occurs from learning from mistakes and the best designers are those who have made a ton of mistakes. This same formula can be applied to your career. Fail fast and fail often.
Go the Extra Mile
I go out of my way to improve my speaking abilities. Years ago I starting taking improve comedy classes that gave me more confidence speaking in front of others. And today I am in a Toastmasters club that focuses on speaking and leadership skills. These extra curricular activities have pushed me to places I never thought I would be.
If you are struggling with the ARE exam, invest in additional study materials or pursue a seminar. If you are struggling to pick up revit, then seek out online tutorials. If you feel like you are not advancing at your firm, talk to your supervisor. Don’t wait. Go the extra mile and start improving today.
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
Unlock Your Potential
Only when you understand failure as a stepping stone can you unlock your full potential. I strongly encourage architects to:
· Take on New Tasks
· Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone
· Learn from Mistakes and
· Go the Extra Mile
I would love to hear your stories on learning from failure. If you would like to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter 26 by the Numbers
· 1,575 words
· 7 – Translates into approximately 4 pages in book form.
· 2 – Blog Posts
· 5 – Hours to Write and Post on Blog
· 6 – Stretched over 6 calendar days.
· 1.16 – Average book pages written per day.
The Book by the Numbers
· 45,809 – Total Words
· 184 – Total Pages
· 64 – Total Blog Posts
· 220 – Goal for final page count.
· 166– Days Since Starting
· 1.1 – Average book pages written per day.
· 39 – Estimated days to completion of first draft. (220-184) / 1.1) = 32
· 23– Chapters down.
· 5 – Chapters to go.
· 0– New subscribers to the Breaking the Box Email Newsletter
· 55 – Total subscribers to the Breaking the Box Email Newsletter