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 make it better by leaving a critique in the comment section below. Thx you rock! -Steve
One of the benefits of working in a large architecture firm is the wealth of resources at my disposal. Within our roster of 300+ employees I can find every type of architectural expert imaginable:
· Building Type Experts
· Construction Experts
· Design Experts
· Specification Experts
· Project Management Experts
· Risk Management Experts
· Financing Experts
· Firm Management Experts
And the list goes on.
If I want to learn about something I am always a short walk or a phone call away from getting an informed response. My colleagues are all indirect mentors.
An indirect mentor is an experienced person that provides guidance on a regular basis. You have not established a formal mentor/mentee relationship, yet these folks are an invaluable resource and a catalyst for your growth.
These are most likely your colleagues and professors but could be friends and family members as well. Your parents were your first indirect mentors.
Tips for Starting an Indirect Mentorship
1. Identify the Experts
Find out who the experts are at your firm. Most people will have some sort of super skill and the higher level folks will have many super skills. You should also look outside of your firm for indirect mentors. I have met a lot great indirect mentors at our local AIA functions. AIA is a great resource for professional growth.
2. Just Ask
When you have a question or find yourself stuck on something, find an expert and ask. One of my biggest mistakes I made as a young architect was trying to do everything myself. I thought I could display my prowess by doing everything myself. This resulted in wasted time and mistakes. If I do not know the answer, I just find someone who does.
3. Learn One Thing Every Day
As an architect your education never ends. Make it a goal to continue that growth on a daily basis. Your indirect mentors are great teachers. Use them.
4. Say Thank You
Expressing gratitude will strengthen your bond with your mentors. And then say thank you again.
You are already doing it.
Chances are that you already have many indirect mentors in your life. Do not underestimate the importance of these people. You should also work to add new indirect mentors.
Flip the page to: Virtual Mentors