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 me make it better by leaving a critique in the comment section below. Thx you rock! -Steve
The Human Tug of War
One of the most popular sporting events in our office is the human tug of war. This spectacle occurs when two colleagues square off in a battle to have the same person. Imagine being pulled on your left arm by one person and your right arm by another. Ouch!
“I need Alex to help me on this presentation for Friday,” Rick says.
“But Alex has already been slated to help me finish Design Development on this school. She has great experience working on schools and with this client.” Lucy exclaims.
“Alex is great at renderings and Adobe Photoshop which will help us win this office competition.” Rick cries.
Rick and Lucy are starting to get frustrated.
Understanding the tension, Alex Chimes in: “I think I have time to help on both projects. We are ahead of schedule on the school and I can spare a couple days for the office competition.”
“Are you sure Alex? Lucy says. “Yes.” Alex answers.
“I will loan Alex to you for two days but then she has to come back to my project.” Lucy answers.
The human tug of war happens when you have two things: a heavy workload and an indispensable person. When you have positioned yourself as indispensable, you will find your services are in high demand. Your colleagues will all be clamoring to work with you.
It can be a precarious situation to be in but you should consider it the ultimate compliment. You are heavily desired. This is good news.
So how do you become indispensable?
In the story above, Alex had the following indispensable traits:
1. Architectural Expertise – She was knowledgeable about school design and she had a prior relationship with a client.
2. Master the Tools – Alex had skills working in Adobe Photoshop and creating renderings.
3. Positive Attitude – She was willing to be flexible and help both Rick and Lucy.
The #1 goal of an emerging professional should be to become indispensable. In the following sections, I will expand on the 3 paths to becoming indispensable. I have listed them from most important to least, so if you only read one section, read #1.
The 3 Paths to Becoming Indispensable
Click the links to keep reading.