The Candidate Question Series Volume 3

Recently Candidates for the 2014 / 2015 AIA First Vice President / President Elect were asked to answer a series of questions from the AIA California Council and the AIA Center for Emerging Professionals. Although the questions came specifically from those two AIA components, I believe they’re somewhat universal and may be of interest to our membership as a whole.

Over the next week or two leading up to the National Convention, I’ll publish my answers here in a series called “The Candidate Question Series.” This is the third post in that series.

What do you think about my answers? Leave a comment below. I’d like to know how you’d answer them too.

Question: Emerging professionals feel that career advancement is an important issue for the AIA to focus on – how do you intend to address this need?

Answer: Roy Spence of The Purpose Institute encouraged a group of AIA architects last year to “define their own ladder”. Don’t compare yourself to others. Value who you naturally are and define your own ladder. When you determine what you do better than anyone else, your career will advance.

So, how can the AIA help?

Through the AIA, emerging professionals must be able to take advantage of more opportunities to secure new skills, connections, business services, and leadership roles – all which will benefit their career advancement.  When an emerging professional is active in the AIA, they will find many ladders of opportunities and many examples of successful careers. The more opportunities attempted, the more advancement. There is no direct path. Try something and if it doesn’t work, try something else.

You will make mistakes, as we all have. A wise friend of mine once said, “Don’t carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones.” No matter the stage of our career, we can all use this advice to find our ladder through the stepping stones of life.

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