"A profound design process eventually makes the patron, the architect, and every occasional visitor in the building a slightly better human being."
Maybe at least once in your life, you have encountered this brilliant quote by Juhani Pallasmaa. May it be through scrolling on your phone, reading it in a book, or just simply witnessing it accidentally, but you know what's not accidental? Your dream to design and create better edifices to aid people, help the community, and be an instrument to build a more liveable society.
We asked our audience of well-known architects, engineers, and interior designers here in the Philippines and abroad, what advice they could give aspiring young people who want to venture into the construction industry. Well, as expected, we have garnered a lot of interesting responses you might not have even heard before.
The construction industry is challenging, and where else can we find the best walls to lean into but in our seniors who have continued innovation and the greatness of Filipino architecture.
Here are the top 5 practical advice for young architects, engineers, and interior designers for the start of your careers:
1. Have a mentor
One of the top practical advice for young professionals in the industry is to seek out a mentor, someone with experience and who is trustworthy.
Well, for starters, a mentor is an experienced professional who can provide valuable guidance, share industry insights and updates, and offer advice based on their own experiences, something that goes beyond the books.
Most importantly, find a mentor that aligns with your style, values, and philosophy because, practically, you can also gain a lot of contacts and connections in the industry based on their network.
Having a mentor by your side can accelerate your learning, help you navigate challenges, and provide a fresh perspective on your career path.
An often overlooked piece of advice for young and new faces is to embrace the mindset of serving others.
As an engineer, architect, or interior designer, your work revolves around creating spaces that solve problems and improve lives. By approaching your work with a service-oriented mindset and as a duty to your fellow Filipinos, you can prioritize the needs and desires of your clients, users, and communities.
All at the same time, educate them about the vital work that you do. Getting a professional to work on construction needs is frowned upon most of the time, so help break the stigma and be a great example of why we are needed.
Serving others not only enhances the quality of your work but also fosters meaningful connections and opens doors to new opportunities, you didn't know were there all along.
3. Be tough yet understanding at the same time
Building a successful career in the field requires resilience and perseverance.
Challenges, setbacks, and criticism are inevitable, but developing a tough mind and understanding heart is essential. Embrace failures as learning opportunities, stay determined in the face of obstacles, and push yourself to constantly improve.
While being understanding helps you process where these challenges and failures are coming from. It is equally essential to be able to comprehend how to bounce back stronger, adapt to changing circumstances, and ultimately achieve your goals.
See D+C Instagram Carousel about "Reasons why you should become an Architect"
4. Know where you stand
It's crucial to have a clear understanding of your self, including but not limited to your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Take the time to assess your skills and capabilities to identify areas where you need to grow and eventually excel.
Knowing where you stand enables you to set SMART goals and seek relevant training or further education. These efforts will be reflected in your designs and the work you do to professionally enhance your craft.
Explore the things you want to know more about, continue researching the concept you're most passionate about, and who knows, you might be one proposal away from your dream project.
Embrace a growth mindset, continuously learn and evolve, and strive to become the best version of yourself. It is completely normal to be lost at times, but through your interests and values, you will discover where you innately stand in the industry.
5. You are here for a reason. Don't doubt it.
As a young or aspiring engineer, architect, or interior designer, it's common to experience self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Everyone went through that phase.
However, it's important to remember that you are here for a reason.
You may still be a student, a fresh graduate, newly licensed, or just someone who likes to read advice— there's a reason why you are here.
Trust in your abilities, embrace your unique perspective, and believe in your potential to make a meaningful impact in your chosen field. So grab that second cup and overcome self-doubt.
Remember that you are not alone in this path; you can always seek support from mentors, peers, and networks. Embrace your passion; this will fuel you to work hard and let your talent shine.
You have what it takes to succeed and make a difference. We are all rooting for you!