Professional networking groups both online and offline are becoming increasingly popular these days. In fact, they are essential for an individual’s career development. If you’re wondering why you, as an architect, should join a professional architecture networking community, these reasons will expel any doubts you have:
- You get to meet fellow professionals
One of the best aspects of a professional architectural network/group is the sense of belonging and community you get. When you’re a member, you will be able to meet other architects, at various levels of expertise and specializing in multiple domains. The knowledge exchange you can have in such a setting is immense, and you will be able to learn from your peers and experts.
Additionally, forging connections with peers will help you be better prepared to handle any professional problems in the future. For example, if a client asks for a specific service that you’re not specialized in, you can quickly contact the people you’ve networked with and find a colleague whose services you can employ. This will prevent your losing out on a lucrative business opportunity, and you’ll be able to maintain your reputation.
- You can find talent for your architectural firm
Architectural communities are great places to hunt for talent because there are all types of people here – from newly licensed architects to famous veterans. So, whether you’re looking for an entry-level architect or headhunting the next CEO of your firm, you can find and vet prospective candidates here.
The best part about professional architectural networks is that they do away with the restrictions present in the job hiring process. For example, in formal interviews, applicants modify their behaviors and answers because of the pressure of the interview. In a networking community, you can directly interact with people you’re considering, in a setting that does not pose such pressure and judge their fit, knowledge, and expertise.
- You can forge partnerships and seek professional opportunities
Often, the most productive conversations about professional growth occur during networking events and professional mixers.
In a professional architectural community, architects share their ideas, questions, and concerns with peers and industry experts. As a licensed architect, you have the opportunity to offer your expertise and services to fellow architects on projects where they could use your help.
Many times, a colleague you have networked with in the past, may refer your name to an architect who requires services similar to what you offer. By engaging with and networking with other professionals, you will be able to develop excellent professional partnerships, work on various projects, and get opportunities to earn better.
- You can learn about the latest developments in the architecture industry
Networking communities are started to help facilitate the sharing of ideas and developments. Professional architectural networking organizations in the United States publish periodicals and newsletters that contain opinion pieces and research from the field. By taking membership in such an organization, you can have access to the most cutting-edge research. Such information will allow you to become a better architect and provide quality service to your clients. You will be aware of the latest changes to design and construction standards and will be better able to meet benchmarked practices.
- You can share your extensive knowledge and advocate change
Just as you get access to the latest research, professional architecture networking communities and groups will give you the opportunity to share your insights and expertise. In addition to publishing your opinion pieces or research in the group’s newsletters, you can speak during networking events.
These professional networking communities are great places to stimulate change in the practices followed by architects nationally. By introducing new ideas and suggesting positive changes, you can usher in new standards for architecture, design, and construction in the United States.
An added advantage is that by speaking to peers, sharing your insights, and advocating change, you will be able to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Your profile as a licensed architect will shine, and you will get access to more professional opportunities.
List of professional architectural networking groups in the United States
Licensed architects in America can join the following networking groups:
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Society of American Registered Architects (SARA)
- National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
- Association of Licensed Architects (ALA)
If you are currently studying architecture and not licensed yet, you can join the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). In addition to these, there are numerous architecture and design groups on LinkedIn, which you can join and where you can interact with experts from across the world.
One last thing for architects to consider is getting Architect Liability Insurance to protect their practice and themselves from possible lawsuits and compensations.
Often, clients have an idea about their home/commercial space. But the final output, even if it’s excellent, may not match their expectations. This may dissatisfy them, and they may sue you for non-performance of service or poor quality.
Sometimes, mistakes beyond your control may occur. In such circumstances, Architect Insurance can protect you from such damages or lawsuits the clients may file against you.