Today the Patron Saint of Architecture celebrates three years of helping bring inspiration and creativity to the forefront of what we do as architects. What started as a personal need to affirm that architecture could and should be so much more than the professional opportunities that I was experiencing has now become a worldwide network of people who share that same purpose. Each year, I build on the original intent and expand the content offerings; going from this blog to a facebook page, Pinterest account and, in this past year, a book. As I challenge myself to experiment with new media and outreach efforts, I hope to not only build a community of creatives, but to encourage all of us to stretch outside of our comfort zone.
I’ve come to realize that the comfort zone is a pretty deceptive place. It’s what we know. So we operate within a set of self-imposed constraints that limit our thinking about what’s possible. Many of these constraints come from our education and professional experiences, and have permeated our understanding about what it means to practice architecture. That’s why this year’s novena will be Shattering the Meme. We’ll spend nine weeks exploring things about the profession of architecture that we just assume “have” to be that way and work to stop accepting the limiting premise of each one.
In conjunction with this novena, I am launching my first ever series of teleclasses. Based on my book, Career Crisis, which launched in April, the teleclasses begin next week with a free introductory session. I am excited to bring the theme of applying your passion and purpose meaningfully to your career alive in an interactive way. It’s one thing to read something, but nothing compares to actually being able to work through issues in a more direct way. As architects, we often feel that we can and should be able to do it all, from graphic design to marketing to management, so it is natural for us to think we can be our own coaches as well. But coaching by its very nature is not a DIY endeavor. A coach can help you to understand your unique situation in a whole different way. You need someone to encourage you to think beyond what you think is possible and challenge you achieve things that you really want (because that's the scary stuff you won't ever push yourself to do). Someone who will tell you when you are allowing yourself to get distracted by being “too busy” or when you are losing focus.
You can begin to experience what it's like to work with a coach in the teleclasses, where we will spend an hour on each career theme and also do some individual “laser coaching,” where I will take questions from participants and provide targeted advice live on the call.
career coaching program, which is a three week long intensive process. I’m also pleased to announce a new coaching offering this year: I Need a Quickie is specifically tailored to architects who really want to seek out coaching, but are still afraid to invest in themselves in this way. While nowhere near as intensive as a coaching program, this new offering will let you buy an hour of one on one time with me to talk about career issues important to you. I’m hoping that by offering this bridge to coaching, many of you will see how valuable it really is to work with me or another coach to up your game. Wherever you are in your career, however much or little you have accomplished, you can always set your sights higher and achieve even more.
We kicked off last year with the Change the World Novena, where I profiled architects who have taken it upon themselves to make the world a better place through the built environment. Many of you viewed those architects as people who were somehow different from you. You thought, “What they’re doing is great, but I can’t do that. Who am I to think I can change the world?” This year I’m not accepting that excuse- you are a gifted, creative, person, or you wouldn’t be an architect. Who are you not to use that talent? Get unstuck and shatter all those memes that are convincing you otherwise!