Three ways to position yourself as an emerging design professional.

Millennials are the talk of the town, they are taking over the workforce and surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation.

Enter world dominance (kidding – kind of). So you are going to take over the A+D industry, but what is the first step? Conversation after conversation you hear: “we are really looking for someone with more experience”. But how do you get that experience?

Here are three steps you can take right now in your current position to prepare yourself for the future and being a better prospective candidate:

  • Broaden your experience:
  • Having experience in various phases of a project as well as taking on different roles will enable you to be experienced and qualified for even more opportunities.
  • A crucial step in your professional career as a designer is being able to complete a project from start to finish and really understand the full process on your own. Once you start working on projects more independently you will open yourself up for project manager roles and responsibilities.
  • Update your materials:
  • Your portfolio should be a living document of your professional experiences. It should be a lens into the types of projects you have worked on and your specific roles and responsibilities. There is no need to embellish your experience and qualifications.
  • Include your experience at your current firm, include sheets of a CD set that you have worked on or get the professionally completed images of the space.
  • Seek mentorship:
  • Mentorship is no longer a formal selection process of one specific mentor to support you throughout your career. It has more transformed into a community of individuals that are curated throughout your career to guide you through your professional development.
  • This can take effort on your part, asking someone you respect to coffee to get their input on a specific topic or dilemma.
  • Identify what components of your career you want more exposure in – maybe it’s taking on more of a BD role, maybe its building broker relations or getting involved in an industry association. Set goals for yourself and tie them to a mentorship goal. If you are hoping to get more involved in CREW, research if anyone from your firm is already involved and reach out to them to share your mutual interest.
  • Identifying what is important to you and aligning yourself with colleagues and mentors who can assist you with these goals is paramount to your professional growth.

So get working on that world dominance!