March 2014

Harness Your Future

Guest Author Matt Murphy, AIA, WRID, LEED AP BD+C, is an Associate at RMTA in Kansas City, Missouri.  Matt is a graduate of Milwaukee Institute of Art Design, where he earned a degree in Interior Architecture.  Because of his tireless efforts to promote his profession, Matt was recently honored by USGBC National with the prestigious Above and Beyond Volunteer Award. 

Advancement in our profession is not linear whether one goes to work for a firm or takes a nontraditional path.  For each person the understanding of advancement is different, but what is synonymous is not necessarily having a luminous route for getting "there".  One person's interpretation of amelioration will likely deviate from the next.  Positions, salaries, education, history, ambitions, licensure, firm culture, project profiles, partnership and giving back are just some of the ingredients which drive us all. 

How does one advance their success?

The following is a list of ideas and quips gathered over the years while trying to figure out how I was going to advance.  As a licensed professional with reasonable prosperity in my career thus far, I hope this serves as good advice for students and Emerging Professionals just starting to find their own paths.

In no particular order:
  • Take responsibility for the future of your profession.
  • Hard work is knowledge.  Where hard work meets opportunity, you will find luck.
  • Your career is much more rewarding when you give time and efforts beyond the            workday. 
  • Pass professional licensure exams as soon as possible.
  • You have a mentor, you are a mentor.  Realize those opportunities.
  • Know your role then ask for more.  Titles are meaningless.
  • Apply for salaried and volunteer positions you are not (on paper) qualified for.  You never know where it might lead.
  • Know your shelf life and when it's time to move on.
  • Recognize how to grow your knowledge of how you would or would not operate a professional business if you were given the chance.
  • Be honest with people.  Be brutally honest with your friends.
  • Make lasting connections.  Join groups that will expand your network and vouch for you.  You never know when you will need to reach the masses quickly. 
  • Your degree and where you earned it will not define your success.
  •  "It's a job".  No, it's not.  Love what you do and don't' give up on your dreams. 
  • You will have peaks and valleys in your career and you should not dismiss the lows as they are valuable teaching tools. 
  • Accept praise only if you are onto the next task.
  •  Be impatient.  Write your goals on paper and ask how you can achieve them.  Be relentless in your pursuits even if it means being somewhat annoying.
  • Never accept the status quo.
  •  Remember everyone who is more experienced, older and wiser all started out the same;  a Student, and an Emerging Professional.  You will be there soon.
  •  Lead by example not intimidation.
  • Remember who you love, and thank everyone, always, for everything. 

Matt has a well defined plan for his future as a professional architect and his credentials and achievements are necessary to fulfill his goals.  He takes pride and responsibility and maintains his credentials effectively, do you?  For assistance visit AECredentialing.com.


MATHCOUNTS® exercise quiz answer. 


We were told that Skye swam 750 meters in 16.5 minutes.  Since there are 1000 meters in a kilometer and 60 minutes in an hour, we can solve this proportional reasoning problem as follows:

(750 meters/16.5 minutes) x (1 kilometer/1000 meters) x (60 minutes/1 hour) = 30/11~ 2.72.  So Skye's average swimming speed was 2/72 kilometers per hour. 


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