This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry. Visit to read about how to practice situational awareness and avoid speculating on the job. I work as an architect at a medium-sized firm in Boston, Massachusetts, and have worked here for five years if you include my internship and time spent as an entry-level drafter. As an architecture firm, we are tasked with the overall design of buildings. There is an emphasis on the aesthetics, as the structural side tends to be handled by engineers. The team I work on emphasizes the interior design and open spaces within buildings, as well as courtyards outside. We work with the exterior team as well in that capacity. Personally, I do a lot of first-run drafts and concept art for the team, which is later detailed and filled in by the rest of the team collaboratively. My job satisfaction here is around a seven or an eight. I love building design and the artistic, creative process behind a bringing a building to completion. I enjoy that I am able to focus on interiors of buildings, as they are the most defining parts of one in my opinion. I would have greater job satisfaction if I had a stronger role in the process from beginning to end, but that is reserved for higher level architects. It is my goal to land those jobs later in my career. I have always been a sketcher and amateur artist throughout high school. I preferred landscapes and buildings to other types of drawings as well. I started college as an art major, but realized that architecture was the far better option for me, my interests, and my career potential. I took an introductory architecture class and fell in love with it from there. After meeting fellow architecture and design students, plus speaking with my professors, I realized that this was the field I wanted to advance my career in. I also realized the difference between just having a job and in having a career: a job is something you just do for work and money, but a career is something that lets you define yourself and what you want out of life. I am very thankful I found an actual career and not just a job. During my junior year of college, I applied for and was accepted for an internship at the firm I currently work at. I engaged in assisting more senior architects by doing research, basic sketches, and sometimes even just grabbing tools or coffee for them. The work let me see what a real architecture firm was like and confirmed my passion for the subject. My supervisor was so pleased with my work that he also offered me a job after I was through with college. The rest is history, more or less. The beauty of the internship was that it let me combine real-world experience with my education and finally see where the two intersect. I do not encourage anyone to try getting into a field that you cannot intern in and see some first-hand work in action. That is truly the only way to know if you will really enjoy it or not. Fortunately, once you discover what you enjoy the rest of it is easy. School and work do not seem like they consume effort if you are truly interested in what you are doing, and that was the case with me. I am very proud of the work I do, and the rewards are immense. For instance, when a building I have worked on is finally completed, the moment is almost magical. Being able to tour and walk around a space that I imagined is very special. It is almost like a dream. This, more than anything, keeps me coming back to work every day. Of course, there are always downsides. My job can be immensely stressful when there is a lot on the line. Near deadlines or other obstacles things at the office get very stressful and some long hours sometimes must be put in. I consider this all part of the process, however. To be fair, it rarely occurs as it is. Typically, I am able to enjoy a good balance between work and my personal life. Given the city I live in and my experience, a reasonable salary for this position is around $90,000 or more. This level of salary allows a comfortable living and I live well within my means with that kind of cash. In addition, benefits like health insurance and retirement accounts are provided, which is very helpful. I also enjoy three weeks of paid vacation as well as a few personal days. Considering that I like to travel, the extra money and the vacation time is my favorite perk of the job, besides the job itself. If you would like to work in this field, you will need a degree in architecture or another design degree of some kind. A typical architecture degree takes five years and is considered a professional degree, separate from most other undergraduate degrees. The coursework is very rigorous and includes a combination of art, design, and even some physics classes. I considered it very worth it, however, and I imagine you will too. Career path architect image from Bigstock
Everyone has heard of New Year's resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves about things we'll do better in the year ahead. Sometimes these resolutions work, while other times we end up with gym memberships we never use! But have you ever heard of a career resolution? It's actually the same thing as a New Year's resolution, only career-focused.
However, with something as important as a career, you don't want to break these resolutions. That's why it's important to keep these goals manageable.
Here are four simple career resolutions that are easy to stick to and achieve.
Be Self-Aware Of Where You Stand In Your CareerBigstock
Being honest and self-aware of where you are in your career is the most important step in making strong career resolutions. If your career is going nowhere and you're unhappy, then it may be time to consider a career change, which will take you down a different path entirely.
But if you're happy and in good standing with your career, it's a lot easier to set goals for the year and build out a long-term career plan.
Find A Way To Grow Your CareerBigstock
Career growth is a very broad spectrum that means something different to everyone. It could be something as simple as improving on a weakness or building on a strength. It could also be learning a new skill or taking on additional responsibilities at work.
On a larger level, it could be seeking a promotion or moving into a leadership role.
Whatever the goal is, make sure it includes growing professionally. The worst thing you can do is stay the same! If you're not growing your career, you're dying—and becoming a lot less valuable to your employer. There are always ways to upskill!
Better Serve Your Professional Network
With current colleagues, former colleagues, and other professional acquaintances, you've probably built a solid professional network through the years. A strong professional network can come in handy if you lose your job or are looking to make a career change. However, you shouldn't just rely on your network when you're in need!
It's important to find ways to offer value to your network. This could include checking in with members of your network from time to time. Exchange messages on LinkedIn to see how they're doing or share relevant content of interest. If you can help someone in your network going through a career challenge, you should!
Maintaining a strong professional network is like an investment. If you want it to pay off, you have to put some time into it and be consistent.
Take Care Of Yourself
Working on your career is hard work! It's okay to be selfish sometimes. Whether you're working to grow your career or looking for a new job, it's important to find balance.
Your family and health always come first, so make sure your career goals don't interfere with that. If you want to set aside time during the week to work on your career that's fine, but don't miss important family events or milestones.
Don't let your career goals get in the way of your health goals. Go to the gym, take a walk, or go for a jog. Balance is key to maintaining healthy career and life goals. Sometimes you just need to adjust that balance as you go.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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