Today’s generation of entrepreneurs can feel compelled to rush and seek the top at anything they plan to do. With the amount of information we have access to, you would see plenty of simple guides or tricks to success that come with a set of easily categorized tasks, achievements, or paths. However, most, if not all, career journeys are as uneventful or straightforward.
Getting lost along the way is very common, which is why it takes grit, trust, and a commitment to passion to ensure you reach your personal milestones. These traits allow Ar. Randy Crispino to navigate the different milestones in his career.
Facing Different Turns
Ar. Randy was first exposed to the field of architecture and design in the summer of 1997. His UST professor at the time, Engr. David Montaña, asked him to work on a design and build project. This would give him the confidence to do work as a freelancer even before he took the board exam. Most architectural careers would jump up from here and steadily lead to him building his own firm, his life would take a few detours instead.
After working under a developer, he had to take his chance instead to move to a different industry. While he was doing good work and solid pay as a Production and Operation Manager at an advertising company, he knew that this wasn’t his passion. “I was getting farther and farther from my field.” says Ar. Randy.
Finding the Way Back
Finding time to still pursue his passion, Ar. Randy continued to learn about architecture in his free time. When the time was right, he resigned and opted to try out what he had learned along the way. Ar. Randy would start small and eventually feel confident to take on bigger projects with his new system.
“I wanted to get back into doing architecture and do things my way.” Ar. Randy adds, “I implemented this new process in smaller projects, from small-scale renovations with a team of two people until I would head interior fit-outs with over nine people.”
Over time, Ar. Randy realized that he was already building bigger projects with his own process in hand. While it might seem like a consistent trend toward bigger and larger projects, Ar. Randy would find his way back to working under another firm as a Project Architect.
Almost on cue, he would face another crossroads in his career. Just afer landing a new job and accomplishing his first project under his new firm, Ar. Randy would suddenly get a surge of referrals from clients willing to hire him for his services. This would lead him to handle multiple sites simultaneously on the side.
Facing Another Crossroads
By 2008, Ar. Randy would enter into a partnership with his colleague, Ar. Mike Delarmente, to work on several projects together as a team. This partnership would put Ar. Randy on the operations side while Ar. Mike would be on the design.
They would work on numerous projects together, helping build their portfolio and hone their skills as professionals. While most company histories would tell you that this would eventually lead to the two of them developing their own firm, Ar. Mike would move on and pursue his career on a different path.
Pondering where he should take the next step in his career, Ar. Randy wanted to have a company built on people’s excellence. “Excellence to me is credibility. If I was going to start a new firm, I wanted to have good people I could trust to do good work,” says Ar. Randy.
Building R. Crispino+Architects inc. (C+A)
R. Crispino Architects Inc. (C+A) would be born in 2016 with the help of Ar. Randy’s wife, Maria Victoria Crispino, who handled the firm’s accounts. Specializing in mostly residential buildings and low- to mid-rise buildings, This initial iteration of this design and consultancy firm would be composed of Ar. Paul Canceran, Ar. Boie Santos, and Ar. Meg Arellano.
Finding the confidence to lead a firm doesn’t come easy, and it’s a truth not many professionals are willing to admit. Although Ar. Randy has a wealth of experience in different work environments, he notes that “As an architect and a designer, the bigger challenge for me was adjusting to different work mindsets, from solo as a freelance, to a partnership, to a manager of a team of architects.”
Nevertheless, he realized that the secret ingredient to a successful workflow had to be rooted in cultivating people's excellency.
Ar. Randy wanted to focus on his firm’s lateral growth, allowing him to focus on the quality of its output over the number of its completed projects. “When it comes to projects, large or small, projects won from bidding aren’t always an efficient process that always guarantees good output. We aren’t the kind of company that forces us to bid on large projects and always win. Instead, I want us to be the preferred team to do the project.” Says Ar. Randy.
This particular business mindset has helped them accomplish great work with high praise from clients, allowing them to handle operations with great efficiency “At C+A, we standardize the workflow.” Ar. Randy adds, “When we get people to work with us, we standardize the same quality of output among our workers.”
Besides honing his contractors’ skillsets, Ar. Randy also makes it a point to improve their quality of life. “You need to have credible people working with you, and credibility for me is competence and character.” Ar. Randy adds, “For them to achieve this, you have to treat people well so they can do good work. The simple act of optimizing timekeeping processes and providing career mentorship and progression goes a long way in cultivating people's excellency.”
“We compensate every effort accordingly and we always provide them with training and scalability for their career.” Says, Ar. Randy.
Navigating a Career Lost and Found
Ar. Randy is not new to facing difficulties and taking different roads in his career. This is why his varied experience proved to be invaluable in building a good firm and even better client relationships.
“My definition of competency is skill plus integrity. I believe that if people are good, the work will come to you. That’s why I always see to it that we have good intentions.” Ar. Randy adds, “I value people that can show gratitude and loyalty, and you can help them do that by making them happy and satisfied with their work.”
Though Ar. Randy’s career didn’t start in the best conditions, he did make the most of his situation by still clinging on to his passion. Knowing the difficulties of straying path his goal to stay in architecture, Ar. Randy suggests that young architects should find a professional mentor that can expose them to where they plan to grow.
“If you really want to make great designs, you should be exposed. Not just in traveling, you also need to upgrade and upscale your standards.” Ar. Randy adds,
“You can find a lot of good design references, especially online, but beneath the façade and aesthetic there are still more factors to be considered. You have to dig down deep to see the functional roots of what is the essence of a design if you want to be an effective designer.”
Finding Comfort in Getting Lost
It’s a comforting reality that every person’s career is as fluid and varied as there are as many people in the world. There is no one true way to meet milestones and every experience is what you make of it. For Ar. Randy, the opportunities he received are equal parts challenges and blessings. By taking them as steps toward reaching his passion, he was able to push through them and gain the experience he needs to grow. D+C
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