How to Plan for a Successful 2020

With 2020 just around the corner, it’s important to keep your vision clear (pun intended) and jot down some goals you might want to tackle in the upcoming year. But let’s be honest, keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions is a tough task—so we’re here to help you plan for success. Below you’ll find some of the most popular resolutions from architects (and architects-to-be), plus some tips on how to turn these resolutions into real-life accomplishments.

Report your AXP hours

New year, more hours. Begin (or continue) on your journey to complete the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) by reporting your experience hours. Although you have eight months to report your experience, it never hurts to get an early start. While you’re at it, take time to meet with your supervisor to share expectations and resources, as well as discuss possible work opportunities. Reporting experience and maintaining a good relationship with your supervisor are key to a smooth and successful completion of the AXP.

Finish the ARE

Whether you just graduated or have been in the profession for years, make the most of your accomplishments by finishing the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) and getting one step closer to becoming an architect. One way to boost your energy to accomplish this goal is by joining the ARE 5.0 Community. Through this platform, you’ll be able to connect with fellow candidates, get help from NCARB experts, and share useful study tips.

Build your network

One of the easiest ways to do build your network is to volunteer—whether it be through the Freedom by Design program, the Licensing Advisors Community, or NCARB committees. Alternatively, you could attend local AIA chapter events or scout out ARE study partners in your area. All of these experiences will help you grow as a professional, while expanding your knowledge, interpersonal skills, and connections in the architecture world. Maybe one of your connections will help you land your dream job one day!

Find a firm that shares your values

When you’re in the process of interviewing, think of it as an opportunity for you to also interview the firm. Questions like “who will be my AXP supervisor when I work there?” can serve as a gentle reminder of essential facts you’re looking for before joining a firm. It’s also worth doing your own research and finding out how the office culture is. If you know someone within your network who works there, don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience, opportunities, etc.

Most importantly, whether you’re still interviewing or already at a firm, it’s important to speak up and let your values and goals be known.

Get a promotion

We all love a good promotion—but what if your supervisor hasn’t mentioned one, and you’re wondering how to approach the topic? Our career experts recommend having a conversation with your manager or anyone on the management team in your office. While some people are offered promotions without having to inquire about it, that might not be the case for you. If you decide to talk about a possible promotion, make sure you understand what case you want to make (i.e., why you feel you need the compensation adjustment). Your value, your worth, and the contributions you’ve made to the organization are all important points you should bring up.

Additionally, take some time and find out where you fall within the marketplace in terms of compensation. You can refer to the AIA Compensation Survey Salary Calculator survey to gauge that useful information.