Four Career Differentiation Techniques for Architects

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Four Career Differentiation Techniques for Architects

What is better than best?

In today’s hyper competitive world, the architectural realm included, there is a battle to be deemed the best. But with many ways to make one’s practice better than the others such as using advanced technologies like 3D rendering or maximizing the features of social media, it pays to ask what is indeed better than best.

An architectural plan can now have a 3D plan view rendering.

An architectural plan can be made into a 3D plan view rendering.

The answer to that is this: different is better than best. Different is harder to compete with because it doesn’t mind competition, basically, different ignores it and in the process, obliterates it. Being different is all about knowing who you are as an architect and sticking to it until people know and understand you. With more and more people willing to pay top dollar for performers, how can an architect differentiate one’s self from the group of so-called bests? Let us count the ways:

1.     Do not accept every project

Although this may be harder to follow especially for those who are just setting shop, being a stickler for a certain type of client brings your practice into focus. For example, Apple does not design for every computer user in the planet. Its closed system immediately makes it not great for those who want to dismantle and personalize their software and hardware. However, their Macbook Pro laptops are used by many top designers and creative professionals due to its amazing visuals.

Being a Macbook Pro of an architect tells the world who you are and what you are capable of doing. What you do may not be for everyone but you are more than relevant to the target market who understands what you are about.

Aside from that, being choosy with what you spend your time with hones your skills and makes you even more desirable.

2.     Do it for free, for a cause

Pro bono work is often frowned upon and why not? With years of study and immense investments to be educated and licensed to become an architect, most people would want to cash out as soon as possible. But rushing to get one’s return on investment can be a double edged sword. It forces you to accept every project imaginable which goes against the benefits of #1 above thus spreading yourself too thin. But doing work for causes provides you three things: the opportunity to earn your stripes, the chance to be bold and imaginative (the client is more than happy you took the project for free to even fight you), and PR cookie points.

3.     Have a signature look

Great designers always have a signature. One look and you can discern a building and which architect’s mind it was made from. Have that for yourself as an architect. Whatever it is, it becomes your message to the world.

4.     Think of your legacy

But more than your signature, think about what you really want people to remember you for. This places enormous pressure on you but it will surely whip your practice into shape.

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