How to prepare and start a new job at an Architecture Practice, FULL THROTTLE!

Now you’ve accepted a job offer and plan to join in a few days. EXCITING! OK, let’s jump in two feet first and prepared.

Come join Will Ridgway, Jack Moran and Stephen Drew discuss live how to prepare for and start in your first job at an Architecture Practice



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Transcription (Raw Text)

Unknown Speaker 0:00
It’s Tuesday. It’s 3pm.

Jack Moran 0:02
That means it’s time for another architecture social webinar around joined by Stephen Drew.

Stephen Drew 0:09

Jack Moran 0:10
and well Ridgeway. How are we doing? Guys? You okay?

Stephen Drew 0:14
All right. It’s quite hard track. I’m I’m wearing a T shirt. This is this is the hottest day of the year. Do you think yesterday? I said it’s pretty hot.

Jack Moran 0:22
Yes. Have you have you guys bought some fans for your rooms

Stephen Drew 0:25
have girlfriends, but I haven’t had them on right now. Because we’re going to live I can’t be having the bank.

Jack Moran 0:32
Right guys. So what we are going to dive into today, it’s been a nice topic, but I think there is a lot of important things that we can cover that, you know, a lot of people are going to take a good use for. So it’s all going to be centred around the idea of starting a new job and architecture practice. So Stephen, you know, you’ve been there very much yourself, haven’t you. And that first, because going into a practices is different like than an office isn’t it’s different than a lot of other type of work in areas,

Stephen Drew 1:01
it’s slightly different, because it just kind of emerged is that if the obviously we’re designing buildings, we’ve got the creative aspects and the business aspects as well. So, so an architectural practice, you’re typically going to be on a computer, you’re gonna have your own computer, or you can have your own software. So the first thing you want to do is find out what that architectural practices using, they should have mentioned in an interview. And probably it’s really good to kind of zip and get get upgraded before you go get fresh. Now, the last thing you want to do is join on the first day and then the person you’re next to, because you want to make a good impression. But like, so when you get there, obviously Say hello to everyone try to be social try to go a bit out of your comfort. So if you’re a shy person is definitely worth saying hello, making an impression. You don’t have to be too long after gosh, you don’t have to do anything like that. What you do need to do is the friends that you make your especially if there’s any other part ones as well make an effort and make an effort and go around. But back to the software. What you don’t want to do in the first day is after you said hi to Jeff and Jeff thinks, oh, he’s a nice guy, then you’re the person going excuse me, jack,

Unknown Speaker 2:05
how do I

Will Ridgway 2:07
do the

Stephen Drew 2:08
How do I copy and paste our cheese? Jeff, and then the next 10 minutes, Jeff? So you may go now. Because Jeff’s busy as well. So it’s good to ask a few questions, but you want to fit, you want to cover the basics so that when you can ask a question. And then they’re going to say ask a few questions. But Ed, there’s that element of maybe you can start focusing the questions more on learning architecture, whereas the software is something that you can probably do on your own level, maybe. So we’re, we’re we’ve read it, you will talk for instance, about how the company does, then. But what you don’t want to do is go in there and be like, Okay, can you just tell me everything from the start what it’s been like, Oh, no, because you could have done that on your own view of the company. And the stuff that you want to do when you’re in practice is that you want to basically go there and be like, I’ve done a little bit of detailing before them in industry, what would you do on this task, and normally what they’ll do is they’ll give you a task. But let’s zoom back in. So that is some stuff to do before you go somewhere. So you’ve got a job, it’s great. Okay, first thing you want to do, you probably should message the HR, which is great, and they excited to join. And obviously, if you’ve got a particular team leader, why don’t you go a little bit out of your way in the field of what we always talk about in this place? And why don’t you call the company and you call up, Jeff, and you say, look, Jeff, really appreciate you got to have the other team. It means a lot to me. I can’t wait to join. Just wanted to let you know. Thank you. And also while I’m here, is there anything you’d like me to do before the interview? Is there anything you’d like me to read? Is there anything you’d like me to be familiar with? Or is there any software? Pause? And you let them ask because that’s helpful, isn’t it? And so, for instance, one of our clients, really quick company, they, for instance, we’re doing our daily living, and they had a book, they made their own book, and what they gave us the start of the book before they joined. And so the person read the book two weeks before you get all excited, you learn about Jeff’s team, you learn about what Jeff is up to. So when you join in, you feel involved already, and you have something to talk about. So along with what I’m on about is familiarity, and more anthro. And I guess what I wanted to talk about today is if you can, for instance, almost go in there where they know you a little bit more than fresh. That’s nice. And it’s nice to ask you say hello to the HR but the person that hirevue is going to be an architectural director who saw some value. And I think if you reach out to that person, and you say so you say something aim is memorable and thankful. And then you’re asking them ideally on the phone and then worst case, then in that email, you’re asking them what you should do to prepare because I think that will focus it around. If you don’t get anything or let’s say no, you’re signing a contract role in a week’s time, then you’re going to you might, you might have a huge amount of time to do research, but you should always use the time you’ve got. So if you start on the job in a day two, then you really want to jump in and then go for the company’s website. You want to go through the software. You want to make sure that you have clothes to wear. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s good to have maybe least one suit. Remember though an architectural practice isn’t hugely formal. What I did is that I had a suit and I would wear the suit for the first few days and I would literally sit down and put the jacket on the back of the sea and I would work in a nice shirt not too expensive, not too cheap, you know based on Marks and Spencers jobbing, you get a few of them lovely or john lewis get you some of them nice white shirts, you know, and you get about five or 10 of them and you wait you see what you don’t want to do and I always tease well about this when he joined the company remember you were the CEO every day. And then the bad you know what it is really respectful and it’s good to have it there. What I think is really important is to care and you know wear a suit or you know, wear Matt you know male female, we get some professional attire because it looks really good. We don’t need to do though is glued in your

will say whether they call jacket suit jacket, you don’t need to be glued in that all day. You definitely probably I would wear a tie for the first few days and then you slowly want to wear it down and not wear it down to the point where you’re wearing like a V neck shirts or any over the T shirts or anything like that. You don’t want to come across and get these you know the wrong connotations. What you do want to do though is you want to you’ll find that typically in architecture office, they will be wearing jumpers, smart casual, and all the time when you when you get to know the company culture. You can relax a little bit, but you will always be with this kind of trendy twist. So it might be trendy shoes, it might be chinos, chinos, a good one, and then like a really nice colourful shirt, and then a jumper to wear over it or something like that, or a white shirt and a jumper Polish jumper over. Now it’s going to be a bit hot for that. So you probably just want to have a nice shirt. And you know, I wear quite fun by flowery shirts don’t need to be that guy. You can wear a nice white shirt, but it really doesn’t matter what you wear in that way. But you just want to come across like you care. You know now.

Jack Moran 7:35
On that note, I think just before we get we’ll source as well, I just had a question come in, which is quite, quite relevant, actually.

Will Ridgway 7:42
I said, Hey, guys,

Jack Moran 7:44
what do you think is absolutely necessary to take with you on your first week?

Unknown Speaker 7:48

Jack Moran 7:49
you know, we’re going to go from scratch of what we take in.

Stephen Drew 7:53
There’s one or two good books actually there was a was was it the Arctic’s Handbook, you really want something we were like measurements and dimensions. So I think there was one book, we’ll put it on the competition’s on the architecture, social calm, which is Dante’s Pocket Guide, what you want is like a really good quick reference for basic stuffs the scene that someone asks you to draw raises. On stairs, sometimes this book can be really helpful and kind of tell you the questions that you were going to bother Jeff with, again, in the analogy, so I think that’s really good. What you don’t want to take too much I bought, we always nice to buy a briefcase that was quite funny. It’s like whenever I get a job, my dad goes, No, I call you a nice briefcase, you can go to the job, right. But you know what they really handy. So many are briefcase, but what I call a man bag, that’s very, you know, when you’ve got your bits and bobs in there, you got your you got to take a few you want to take a few nice pens, you probably going to be given a notepad or something, what you’ll find in architectural practices that they’ll give you a book for long stuff down, because that can be a legally binding document. Sometimes that in your in a meeting, you take notes. So you’ll find that they’ll catch you out. What Oh, yeah, I’ll tell you what, we’ll bring it up before this, actually, there’s probably a few legal documentation, which is really good to take in your first day. So maybe you want to run through the stuff that normally we asked for in recruitment well, and normally the stuff that HR might ask you on your first day to bring,

Will Ridgway 9:17
yeah, absolutely. I mean, a lot of this stuff they might ask you before we even come in and you can send a photocopies over but some practices, we need to have like passports for example. So it’s always worth bringing your passport in if they’ve not already received the passport. You’d also want which one’s the one from when you just finished the job before you find a 45%. So you might have to bring that one in as well. But it’s mainly You know, that’s only if they’re not previously asked for it beforehand, because they’ll need to use it as some point and your national insurance number for getting the payroll but that might already be sorted beforehand, but it’s always worth just having those handy. In case you get asked to bring them in the next day you can be like actually I’ve got paid now which you’d like them, which I could see rather late expect because then that way they can get everything sorted for you quicker rather than having to wait for you to like, find at home because you know is my my passport, I have no idea my passport is at the moment, I have to go looking around my entire room to go find it. I have an idea where it might be. But yeah, I don’t know where it is. So it’s always worth having that handy, so that you can so that you can bring it in or just have it with you.

Stephen Drew 10:25
Or don’t worry, well, you won’t be going on any aeroplanes anytime soon, there’s gonna be looking for another job. So you need that passport. Take your bank account details as well. That’s the one everyone forgets because you want to get paid. Right? So it’s always the most important thing to bring that as well. And yeah, I think that’s kind of stuff you want to take. So for me, it’s more about the mindset before going because so as we’ll talk about, you’ve got your passport, these things get paid. And you you’re taking, you know, National Insurance. Really, the it’s more about your mind frame, we talked about dressing appropriately for it. And it’s more about not getting yourself in the weeks building up to it into an absolute cut FIFO and panicky. You know, you might you might you might so if you go into a physical place, that’s where you want to do you want to get your clothes, you want to get all this stuff. Really good question Sonny you brought in so the right now we’re in a bit of a strange thing we’re actually onboarding could even be digital, right? Which is quite strange. Because I’ve always gone into an architectural practice, physically. And that’s what I’m talking about. Now, all these physical stuff, it’s still good to have that mind frame because you need to be, especially in architecture, you’re gonna have you there may even ask you, for instance, on the first few days to go somewhere on site. So you still need to have all this kit we’re on about, you still need to get this still have each other books around the world about the resources, so handy to get all the clothes that you feel professional. And even when you start work. I would definitely one top tip. I mean, today I’m wearing a T shirt because it’s boiling. The thing is that when you’re working, you always want to you always want to be you always want to wear professional work, casual clothes, sorry, even when you work digitally, because there’s something about your mindset when we work at home. And if you dress in effect in your work attire, and if you dress professional, you conditioning your mind to respond in a certain way. So they saw a company, you definitely should ask beforehand, so that if you if you are to reuse your laptop, you need to talk about the 80. So right now you might have the computer or a laptop being sent by to you, they might ask you to use your own, it could vary based upon the company, because some companies will have their own like intranet is that most of what a mobile like a Citrix buys, you know when it’s like the close area, like a Yeah, like a firewall, the access, so they might want their own laptops, they might have their own AutoCAD licences. Or it could be that you expected to have a setup yourself. So we are all working on our own laptops at the moment. But it could have been the other way where you provide your own. This is definitely worth asking, because we don’t want to be caught out with is you don’t want to start and they go, Oh, do you not have your own laptop, and then you then then you’re in this kind of in between zone and you can’t really start yet. And that’s quite important. You need to find out what time you’re starting. So in the old days, pre COVID, you would normally agree a time to start usually would be an hour or two after the start of the day. So it’d be like ceci now, Steven Drew’s awesome architectural practice, Super Amazing, amazing company opens up at nine, then you do probably find you start at 10 o’clock. And that’s purely so they can get the IT systems. And it could even be the same in this way where they need to create you into the system. So you need to ask what time you start, and you need to get all the details over ready. Because if you’re going to be send to the HR, your password digital, you still need to do that. It’s definitely worth finding out what software you’re gonna be using and how it would work because so for instance, with Revit, some architectural practices, you will almost be like team veil, you will be using a virtual computer, which is emulated from the distance or you might find that you’re actually using them alive in your computer. So, you know, Granny’s laptop is not going to be able to handle Revit whereas jack Moran’s super gaming computer with his 144 hertz monitor is definitely going to be able to handle a BIM model. So it’s really worth finding out that.

Will Ridgway 14:45
Sorry, Steve as well. If you do have your own laptop, if they asked you if you’re working remotely, and they do ask you to use your own laptop, it’s important to find out what software you need to have on their laptop already. So whether they need you know What Revit for example, if you have Revit installed and how you get that installed as well, because they’ll probably give you the licence for that. So you have to set that up yourself. You also obviously need like InDesign, you know, other other programmes as well, that might be regularly used. So it’s important to find out which ones you need on a laptop if you’re using your own one, so that you can get it sold. And also make sure that your laptop can run it as well, as Steve mentioned earlier, so that’s, that’s the most important but on the whole, I think they’ll probably give you your own laptops for most for most studios, they, yeah,

Stephen Drew 15:31
I think you’ll find out what do sometimes they will, if you already have your own, they might just say you can have a laptop, if you have your own, that’s better specs, then maybe you can use that. probably good to talk about licencing actually, because it’s popped up actually one or two times on the architecture social, where people talk about how you get AutoCAD licence for free. Now, AutoCAD licences and even Adobe I think are usually available to students. Back when I was studying in the olden days, we didn’t even have that. So you’d have to know someone who would download one and you know, it was a bit of a dodgy key and you have to put it in right and pay you learning. So it’s not that particularly important, or a desk is now going to come knocking honesty with the store who wants to study in architecture over that it’s very unlikely. What you’ve got to remember though, now you’re in a commercial world, and commercial projects, right there. It’s all about making money. And the thing is the when that when an architectural practice, which in essence is a business is running for commercial profits. If you’re using software, which is not licenced, and they’re aware, if they are aware of it, then that’s not good, because it should practice should not be okay with that. But it especially I remember, once I had my laptop I brought in one day, and they when I was at EPR, and it had like an old Photoshop licence, and then I just used it at the time. And it was all cracked. And the thing is, was that the output, the drawings I had was in that. And then they later I didn’t feel comfortable. And then I remember the time the director saying to me that look, never ever do that, again, I know your computer’s a lot faster, you let me know, and we’ll get you a faster computer. And that’s what they did, they gave me a bit of a faster computer. But the thing is from that is that if they got out or for instance, if Microsoft is a scam, and if there’s anything illegal, because you have these companies get a lot of big inspections, then you’re in a lot of trouble, or you put them in the employees into a lot of trouble, which therefore makes you in this precarious, stressful world. So you definitely definitely, definitely don’t use pirated software, for an architectural practice. What you do in your own time is a bit different. And that that’s not such a problem. It’s more about drawings being made, which are published, which have been used in illegitimate software. Or if a desk comes in and does a scan, and your website’s got loads of practice in there, that’s probably not good. So find out. So it’s a good question. So you’re going to find out about the licencing, you’re going to find out about the computer, you’re going to get your nice clothes ready so that your ship shape and sharp ready to start looking good. And you’re going to get one or two handy resources, you want to look at books, or resources in particular, that are helpful more, I’d say on the technical construction side, because that’s the bit that’s quite struggling. And then you also maybe want to get one or invest in one or two things about the software that you’re going to use. So he might get a Revit, masteron Revit book. And then I would personally get a pocket Handbook, which says all the architectural, little tidbits size of the doors, you want to learn stuff like how big the openings, usually suitable for wheelchair users. So that’s what I would do. I remember when I was in practice for ages, going over floor plans, making sure that there are certain accessible flats will fit the right size. And there’s certain books like this, which will have this information, stuff like what is the dimensions of a brick? I forgotten now. So that’s pretty good. But the book would say,

Jack Moran 19:15
Stephen as well. So if Yeah, but what cuz you’ve you know, you’ve actually been there and done that in terms of the practice for logging graduates or people who are going to what, what can they expect, like on a first day in terms of what was the actual work like on that first day?

Stephen Drew 19:29
Okay, good question. So you basically are probably quite nervous on the first day base this on me. So you know, you’re here we go and use that you think they are and then you’ll go and so at the time at EPR what I started, we we met in the boardroom and then I was lucky that I started with one of the two free power ones who are now really you know, they were really close friends with them and we kept in contact so you can make friends doing this and this is the point When you go there, you make an effort to make friends. That’s the number one thing I’d like to take away from. This is the same thing about what we talked about architecture, social as a community. The fact is friends can then lead to new careers become successful, you start helping each other out. And you build a pause. And it’s quite nice not to do it alone. And even in the short term when you go and start. So when I joined you, I was in the room of three part ones. And then during lunchtime, you sheepishly go like food ever sandwich down the road? And then you go and you go to like Greg’s or what have you, and you talk about, where do you get up to a wall, I had to sign these forms. And then you have you basically do it with other people. I mean, if you’re in a small architectural practice, and you’re there at the start, you’re going to feel a bit scared, maybe to ask a few people, but maybe ask the person that you’re next to, what are you up to at lunch, that’s what I would try to get at PSL encourage someone to do on their first day is to ask someone out for lunch, that would be a good big thing. So I think that’s really nice, because what we’re about is building up a community building a friendship. And that’s what makes that whole year, way more fun. Way, way, way back. If you’re invited one, you’ve got to be brave, and ask the person next to you who’s not technically if you want to, they want to go out for lunch, they probably will say yes. And if you’ve got other part one started with you, then you go out for lunch with them together. So as a part one, if you’ve never done it before, you’re going to join, you’re going to you’re going to go in the morning, they’re going to say probably others, you’re going to be in a meeting room for a little bit. And normally HR will ask you to fill out a few forms, they will ask you for half the safety or contact details. So who to rang like Auntie Doreen, if you suddenly have a little accident, if you spell a few cups of coffee or something, you burn yourself, will rings and all this stuff. So you, they take down your contact details and take them in next to kin, they will then probably ask for your passport, all this stuff, then you will usually go upstairs at 10 o’clock, something like that. So the article practice, you’ll need your team. Now if you’ve done this a few times, you’re not going to be so nervous, you know and for your career is going to be more cases, you meet everyone you shake their hands you, you tell them a little bit about yourself, and then they’re going to brief you on the project. And it’s not too far away in architecture. So when I when I am part one, when I was a part one you join, and they won’t sit alone, then only one or two directors will brief you on the project, they will let you know what stage the projects out where it’s at, and you probably be given a very little task, they may even say rebook right now of where the projects that they might say, you should need to fill out or you need to do a little drawing. Or they might, they might give you a little task. And what you’ll find though is while you’ve got given this task, you will have like the IT manager come over to you and ask you for your chairs and the right size fits and all this stuff. And you will do all these little tasks while you do you start learning the project. Normally, you will have like baby steps into it, where you will be introduced to the project. And you’ll learn by little tasks. And by the end of the week, you’ll probably jump. If you want to do more and more tasks, it always looks quite good to do some extra stuff. So definitely be keen Binion and improve. And just be respectful. So whenever you don’t ask us The other thing alone, if you’ve done a task, let them know of a nice way that you’ve done the task. You don’t need to be too pushy, be like, hey, I’ve done the task. But at the same time, if you’ve done the task, don’t sit there until the end of the day and then go Oh, I did that. Make yourself useful. say I’ve done that. Is there anything else I can do? Can I get you a cup of coffee? And so at the time I remember I called me sometimes tea boy because I’d always like to go to the kitchen rather to go for a chance.

Jack Moran 23:57
And then if they do it once then they’re always going to be done as now the

Stephen Drew 24:01
reason you never give me tea and that’s your abstractly Yeah.

Jack Moran 24:03
Oh, no, I never give you one.

Stephen Drew 24:05
Yeah, you never give me a tea. But I used to give him a tea and then now but they like everyone likes it now in that but you’re not going to be tea, Mr. T, Mr. T. But I mean depends on Mr. T, right? Because I’ve been at the pool, give me a cup of tea.

Will Ridgway 24:20
Right? Right,

Stephen Drew 24:21
get a cup of tea, give him it’d be nice to suffer or what you’ll find maybe this will be a little bit less, be more friendly to you jack brown if you ask them if they need any drawings printed and stuff like that, because you can learn from that. Even so in architecture, you got to go gentlemen, the hours I spent at the print, you’re going to make a good friend with that printer could go go down they go into the fold things you got to learn over the scale ruler. Definitely should be given stuff at scale realism pains, but it’s definitely worth having. It’s really it’s really important to understand scale. I remember when I was a part one, I was quite chuffed because I always made sure that the drawings with the scale I always tell the architect for the meeting. It’s like this once one 20 this month, one 200, I don’t know once upon where you went in there putting the logic drawings, they weren’t the scale, and then all the architects face, because he was in a meeting with a client who wasn’t happy. Because the whole point of an architectural drawing is that you need to scale it to a ruler, so that they can take a correct dimension off. And if you don’t have that, then they can’t work out in the me and so if someone’s saying how big is outdoors, it well me as a to me El Cap on there, surely it needs to be three metres, and then they pull out a ruler. And if you don’t have that, at the time, you’re going to be into trouble.

Jack Moran 25:33
I reckon that’s quite a big worry, you know, for a lot of people are in on the first day that they’re probably worried they’re going to get like, you know, like a really difficult task, my tell us has been, show us everything away,

Will Ridgway 25:45
yeah, you’ll, you’ll be gradually ease into everything they’re not, they’re not gonna expect you to suddenly run with a project as a, as a part one you like, just be briefed on project now run with it, you know, they, you know, ease you in gently. And I think that’s also important as well to manage your expectations. So you’re not necessarily going to be going full throttle straight away, you’ve got to get through all these projects, for example, you know, they’ll probably have an idea already from the interview that I told you, what kind of role they would like you to be in. And then, you know, once you join on the day, then I’ll give you a better idea of what to expect. And if you’re a part one, you got to think of it as more as it’s a big learning curve. For you, there’s lots of steps for you to, you know, learn from it’s gonna be less than less about, which obviously, you’re still be producing drawings and everything, but it’s going to be more learning for you as opposed to doing if that makes sense. I’m not really sure if I’m making sense there.

Stephen Drew 26:40
No, you are you are us, it looks that they paid you because they see the ability and what you’ve done. When you’re a part one, you’re not expected to come in and get the form of that to all the answers or what have you. What they want is for you to assist on the project. And so a good Part one is someone that contributes ideas when appropriate. So we don’t want to hear the good part one is something to get contribute ideas, whenever good. Part one is, is someone that can take a task on and learn. And sometimes I think someone that will ask a few questions such as, what should I do here? How should I do? What should I do? And then goes off and does it? That’s the ideal. That’s the ideal thing. You’re not expected. No one’s gonna say to you, okay, do the detail for the roof area. Go. And because it doesn’t work like that, you’ll get briefed, and they’ll say, look, we need to do a certain detail for the roof. Because this one’s important, because what it does is it says the juncture of when it goes from this bed to that bit. And so I want you to have a look at a few of the ones we done before, how they’re looking at how technical drawings are detailed, here’s a book for it. And then when you have a go at it, that’s the kind of thing you’re expecting. Or it could be the other way where they say, Can you do a 3d model on stuff that they give to me in my part one I loved it is my favourite pet. So I do concept models and really cool stuff. And then I’d be doing all the Photoshop. I’ve got some of them at the moment. So they’re on my website. The thing is, though, we’re going to, what I’m going to do is I’ll put all the some of them projects on, because what I’m going to roll out soon, is a nice little function on the arctic social where we can showcase projects. And this is it right? So when I was there in industry, we did these really nice atmospheric stuff. And so it depends. So with me, they would be very particular about technical detailing, because that really was my strength, and they tell me what to do. But then with other stuff like 3d modelling, I was really good. I was probably like, the top three in the whole company, it was like to have the proper visualizer, who was amazing, then you had one guy who’s really good, but then what you’ll find is a lot of architects when they get old forever, and they careers, they will not be doing stuff like visualisation as much anymore. So you the part one or the one that helps them so I was doing a lot of that stuff and they loved it. They absolutely loved the fact that I knew software they didn’t. And they bring me to the table so that you have a real trade off between them teaching the technical stuff. And then I will just whacked out these ideas. And I remember one there was so there was a client called Eva Oasis, and they were like Tesla before Tesla one. So now I don’t know where Eva wasta says, but what it was, it was a shop at the time. And I was modelling that and they were like, what should we call it? And so as electric cars and the idea was you pop into a shop, you buy your tidbits jack, you know, you go you go go shopping. And then I was like well the model there and he’s like, what would you call it? And I was like, Why do you call it stop and shop says cars Stop the car out of shop, charge it up go? He looked to me and he was like, you know a genius. I remember feeling so good about it. I was like yeah, I’ve been in stopping shopping all the videos on stopping The shop, and right okay, I’m not saying I designed the building. But it was nice was to contribute to part of it. And that’s the thing. So while we were talking about physical stuff, the best thing that you can take to the year is your answer. So if you buy clothes now, right, even if you’re working remotely right now, which a professional you are, it’s like that quote from was it fit you rock and you know, the character that was the guy that was the main guy’s name. And he says something like, you should dress the way, the role you want to be not in the role you’re at now.

Jack Moran 30:35
Dress for the job you want, isn’t it?

Stephen Drew 30:37
Yes. Okay. And this the same thing of if you are prayed, okay, it carries a lot of weight. And so you want to get psychologically pumped up, because you do deserve the job. But if you were in that nice, they’ll sue you feel good, you’re going to go and give it your best. And the other thing is that you want to make sure that you feel confident enough about the software that you’re like, gosh, when I go there, I can drive the software without crashing the BIM model, okay, you don’t need to be the midst of being the Americ guru. It’s handy if you do have a bit of that skill sets, because you might find that, hey, they really need you a lot. You might be doing the beam stuff, and you might find that you’re really good at them. You want to get ready on the software. And then when we’re on a boat with a book is that they get some technical stuff is that when you’re there, you feel like you know how to get the information. And that is and that’s what an architect is about. That’s where all my friends who say that then my party free say that’s what the market is about is that you’re not expected to know everything, but what you are expected. And there’s a bit like in my job as a manager anything when problems come you know where to find the information, or you know how to deal with it. So you will go, Mr. client, I don’t know what to do right now. I don’t know the answer right now I’m going to research I know where to get, I’m going to get back to you. And so in context of this as a part one, when you get given a task, you feel like that if you don’t know how to do it straight away, you can find a bit of the information. And you can ask the right questions, some spend four hours going off on a tangent. That’s not what you want to do. But at the same time you want you want it but so when I’ve managed people, if someone asks you a question every minute, I can’t think about what I’m doing. And that can almost cause the whole team to crash. Because when you lead a team, you can spend things on and you got to projects, and things can pop up. The same time though, if someone doesn’t ask a question, and I go off, and then I come back three hours later, and the task is not being done, then that can be a little bit frustrating. Because you think are no, we’ve wasted so much time. And will Ridgeway has done a million things the wrong way.

Will Ridgway 32:51
You know, I’m drawing on experience.

Stephen Drew 32:52
No, you’re pretty good. I just thought I would just do that to make you laugh.

Jack Moran 32:57
Before I joined, you know, McDonald and company as well, I remember being on LinkedIn, read my articles about just how to how you know how to do work jobs. And they all said like, the most common mistake that people make in jobs is what you just said, Steve and trying to do a task, knowing that they can’t, like they don’t understand something about it. But because of the fear of, you know, not wanting to annoy someone, or not wanting to come across as incompetent. They’ll try and do it anyway. And then they’ll always end up to just produce like a worse result. So like you said, Yeah, don’t be afraid to ask a question. Don’t ask a question every 10 minutes. I mean, if I asked Stephen, two questions within half an hour, I’ve already pushed it too far.

Stephen Drew 33:40
If I’m under pressure, right, I mean, like jack, what is it?

Jack Moran 33:43
It’s always bad to ask the question, though, isn’t and take the time to do it. Right? Just don’t be afraid to ask yourself first day, you’re not going to be expect to do a million things

Will Ridgway 33:51
not liking the balance between using initiative and also asking questions. I think, you know, you don’t use initiative too much in case your initiatives wrong for whatever reason, versus the asking the questions helps point you in that direction. And then you know, you felt that way and is always worth as well. If the person you’re asking how we’re just always busy, you know, ask your ask the person next to the person next to neighbour, someone your team, see if they can help for example, and then that also helps you to start conversing with them.

Stephen Drew 34:18
Look and the other thing while I throw what will sell if your initiative is the most vague takes them, there’s a really good analogy with this, right? But one day when you got all this experience, we only as you’re most likely going to be a very successful and accomplished architect. There’s a big difference between never feel stupid about not knowing it. And what you want to do is, you know, if if you’ve been taught, and you keep making that mistake while I went there was a different scenario. When you have done something, yes. Okay, your mistakes and things are gonna happen. But what you’re gonna do is that over time, when you get more experienced and more confidence, you make less mistakes. You do some more stuff yourself timelessly, so they’ll have a panic attack and they free if you go, I don’t know what I’m doing and I can’t do it, it will come with time. And so again, it goes back to what will and jack was saying about questions. There’s another art form is that it’s quick, if you can ask a question efficiently and clearly, that’s good as well. What you don’t want it and then and then we will find it in this. I’m always amazed when someone asks me a question. And they insert a story and statement in there. So for example, say now I go, jack, where is the family’s for this Ben model in the bathroom? I can’t find that. Could you help me please? That’s quite clear. Then you go save and busy. Give me five minutes. Cool. If I go, jack, you’re right. The thing is, I just loaded up the model. And I’ve gone through it. And now and what’s really good is that I’ve done three of the first sections. And they were they were really, really good. And I didn’t those and that was interesting. I messed things up, but the style, and I changed that. And so now I’m on the bath pros. And it’s really interesting, the kind of accuracy you’re using, and your makeup. And then you go, oh, by the way, yeah. So what family should they use, because you see how long this is taking off the street. And so there’s like this really nice thing you got to think of it like, it’s like a Swiss Army knife. It’s like a team. It’s like, it’s again, it’s like this conveyor belt of efficiency. And so a really good team. Over time, you develop a thing where, for instance, where we’re working together, now, we kind of know when to ask questions, when to not when it’s important, when to make a call yourself, and also to do things, but that takes time has taken us a year to build that up. And where it comes from is getting in sync with people. Because also when you’re in an office, the interesting thing is we’re human beings, right? You can have someone who’s absolutely amazing a technical drawings, and maybe they’re quite difficult to speak to maybe even sound quite rude, you might have someone that’s quite charismatic and quickly impatient than a who that is. And then you might get our people that are really bad, you know, they were really clever, they just don’t have much time. And there’s the you go get a whole range of stuff, okay. And you’ve got to work out these personalities, and you’ve got to gel yourself with the person though you want you’ve got to remember is everyone, the ultimate goal, you’re always going to get one or two people in life that are going to be a bit difficult. And that’s part of life, you got to learn to work around them. That’s just Unfortunately, the way it is where you got to remember though most people are very good and good natured. They’re going for the goal. And some people can almost seem quite impersonal. But what they’re doing is they’re making that building, they’re making the project the best they can. And I guarantee you if you come in there with an attitude of trying to really how about on a project and assist and get stuff done, that will go noticed. And there was other people that as a part one, you get invited back for part two. And those are the people in the company, because what it’s about is is about your you wanting to help, you want to get that project over the line. And therefore that’s when that kind of attitude is what’s going to save you if you do one or two mistakes, will the attitude that isn’t going to go well is like when I was on about someone meandering or someone that is kind of not really paying attention. Because that’s what I like as people on my team is I like people who are hungry for the opportunity want to do better. And I’m willing to listen, that that formula I can work with a lot where it gets difficult is the fancy people. When you’re trying to help someone out,

you’re going to explain a task to them. And so I’m thinking of myself as an employer. And you’re, I always believe in the person’s ability if I’ve really hired them, okay. Or sometimes what we’re going to do is you almost got to get past your ego on things. And so in some things, you almost maybe you feel a little bit insecure, you might feel in your head that the person is talking to you, and you don’t really know the stuff and it almost seems condescending, no one should talk to you in a bad manner. But what I’m on about is if I tell you, that’s wrong, we need to do that. And this time you want to check this quicker, check that check that. Remember, it’s not personal, it’s about doing it the right way. Now, if an employer is talking to you in a derogatory sense, saying like, why did you do this? Are you stupid, then that’s wrong. And I personally think that that is an attitude of someone unprofessional. And I would question where I want to work that company long term, but my thing is that if you get something wrong, if you be like, come on, you can do this better. I’ve seen you do it better and then so that’s the kind of thing it’s like coaching. It’s like that old thing, but to do that, to be cold the right way you need to bring it as well. And so that’s what I mean like it’s like the coach venue and in the sports. It’s like as long as you keep Going in this that energy, then then the employer can work with that. And so if you go to a job at the start and this job or this appetite, then that would be great. If you literally go in there to clock stop and not learn. It might be enough to me, if you if you’re an employer and beyond, but when I say above and beyond, I don’t mean work until one o’clock every night, while I’m on about above and beyond is doing the tasks efficiently and sensibly over time and adapting. And when you’ve made a mistake, you learn from it, you take it on board, you acknowledges your mistake, but you don’t condemn yourself for the mistake you got, you know what I messed up, I should have been more foreign. Next time, I will do that. You don’t go, I can’t do it. And that and the employee should do this. Well, where it goes wrong, though, is if an employer has told you something and you consistently do the mistake, and it’s a bit like you’re not at home, it’s like,

Will Ridgway 41:01
Hello, please,

Stephen Drew 41:02
can you just listen. And that’s the thing where that can be concerning, because what happens down the line is that if you’re not paying attention, and then if you’re not paying attention, you let stuff slip. And when stuff slip, then he can put you in a predicament. So that there is an easy way not to do this, though. And there are the ways that always pay attention. Always listen, don’t go into an office and where your ad phones because, uh, yeah, if you do, boring, you’re going to be tempted to put on the headset. The thing is, though, you’re not learning and you’re not learning subliminally, of other stuff. And it’s the same thing. And my architectural practice there, he encouraged people not to go on headphones unless you were literally in the rendering corner for ages. Because you live for the project, you learn stuff or what’s going on. And this is the same thing on my team is that I’m not a big fan of headphones, because you soak so much information from the people around you that it’s helpful. And also, you’re more likely to build friendships and your banter. And you can’t really have banter. If you’re listening to Radio One, you need to be in the room, you need to be priced. And sometimes you can be a bit too, you can get distracted by banter. I’m the worst person out there. I think I’ve distracted you guys a few times, it’s probably not the best character building because when you go above and beyond my distractions, I know I can

never know it. You know what I mean? That what I’m trying to get at is that is that, then we get to know each other. We have jokes we get along. And I think if we’re wrong on the headsets, then we can’t even do that. Even now, when we were we were the reasons why we can openly talk about this stuff is because we all know each other, there’s no awkwardness, because the intense amount of times and the pressure when you’ve got to go into the zone, and then you have time for laughs and banter.

Will Ridgway 42:58
Yeah, I think has to be a bit of a barrier. Because like, if you’re wearing headphones, then people are less likely to come up to you to say hello, on your first day, for example, because you look like you’re to yourself, for example, whereas if you haven’t got them on, you’re suddenly more open to be approached. And also you can listen to everyone, for example. So you might have been chatting with someone talking about the latest show last night that you watch you buy, oh yeah, I watched that. And you can bond that way and friendships that way. So it’s important to you know, be aware of your surroundings Listen, and and that’s how you get along with people and will probably get along with the more enjoyable it is to work there as well. I think

Stephen Drew 43:35
you know what, it’s interesting where I was here, let’s talk about this. Now. I’m like how it’s going in this digital world. I tell you what, because again, I flip back to the physical office. And the thing is, though, you need this stuff is still applicable for an office. And actually what you find a lot of architectural practices right now are talking about going back to the office, and there is going to be a split being in the office, and then there’s going to be a split up working digitally. So the same thing needs to be that you need to ask the right questions and make yourself available. And you need to basically when, for instance, you’re working digitally online, you need to still contact people, your team leaders at the right moment. I mean, we do it organically here, that’s probably the best way to talk about it. The good thing about working remotely is that sometimes you get a bit more time to concentrate. The downside is that things can slip. And if you don’t have a morning meeting, or you don’t have these kind of community aspects, then you can start to feel isolated. The worst thing you do is you don’t want to start being a part one that gets stranded at home and doesn’t do much. You really need to fight to make sure that you’ve got enough work to work on so that you’re secure your job secure and you’re learning without being too fussy. Don’t Don’t be bring in the person all the time. Maybe there’ll be a function where you can drop messages on the system and Maybe there’s a basic thing where you can say, Can we have a catch up on period of time. So what I would do is I would work on a task and I would say, Well, I have finished sections, one or two, they are ready for review. Can we talk level 30? About this really, with next steps? Yeah. And they got counter that I can do them 45 good stuff. So you’ve been involved. You keep it off today, that is an efficient worker. What you don’t want to do is go home and then start thinking, Oh, do I say something? Do I not, and then you’re twiddling your thumbs, you’re hanging around by the washing machine. And

Will Ridgway 45:34
yeah, again, we

Stephen Drew 45:35
work at home, try not to let other stuff bleed into it. Because I struggle with it at first as well. Because when you’re at home, you’re like, this is brilliant. I’m gonna do the cleaning while I’m on the phone, you get all distracted. Now you got to be you got to imagine right now that you are physically in the office in your digital world because that’s going to be the best way you’re going to become a best employee right now. So you’re going to need to make sure the room is quiet make sure you’re available make sure the internet works gosh that’s a good one to do before you’re in because right now you need to make sure that you’re on point you really don’t want to do is start the day and then you got my internet can’t handle certain things that’s going to be an absolute nightmare right now. Can you be on boarded digitally as physically and then as well as that you do need to have this attitude of being me to be available physically at the drop of a hat. So get get a Travel Card ready that you can top up on the guy use your debit card if you’re in London, and you know if someone says you want to go on the site, you may simply say yes, it was a time when if I hired someone and they go I can’t really do that this is not convenient for me. Can we do next week I’ll be like, what? tie in with me you need to make yourself accessible. And and so and when I say that I’m not on about going knee deep into the Coronavirus territory of death. Well, Malabo is, if something sounds sensible, like the office has a Coronavirus plan, which they should all legally have. And you have allocated times and days to go there are more likely you’re going to go visit our actual practice, you’re going to see something on site, then you need to make sure that you can go there, you need to make sure you have a mask. That’s going to be a good one right now. You’re going to have your own mask if I go in here. There we go. Gonna go you know, masks you got to put on like Angela growl, you’re gonna look like the mass murderer, and get yourself ready. The worst thing can you imagine if you start somewhere and you go, I can’t go because I’m going to mask that would be a phone call. So get your mask ready. Get all your stuff, get your kit ready. So maybe what we should do now is that summarise things. But let’s summarise it in. Before starting the job, digital and physical. On the day you start in physical, digital, and then we’ll things to do during physical and digital. So going there digitally, is before you go, have you got your computer? Have you asked how the software shouldn’t be? Have you asked it? Have you made sure that you’ve got headsets at work? You’ve got a camera so everyone can see your beautiful face? And have you make sure that you’ve got a refund the software work? Do you need to bring your laptop? Have you asked that you’re going to be there digitally? And they asked what and asked what time it’s going to start physically. If you’re going to go to the office, get your mask, go to the shop, get your suit, get your thing, you’re going to get your suit anyways, because you need to digitally look like a pro. You’re not going to be there in a shirt with stains. In a really unflattering pose. You know you’re going to you’re going to look professional you’re going to be or you’re going to be your Crispin cream, you’re going to get your clothes physically, you’re going to go buy books on Amazon digital books in physical book, you’re going to look at books which are designed for students to start. The one that immediately comes to mind is the architects pocket Handbook, stuff like that. You want to get websites, you want to go on to communities like the architecture social and ask, Hey, that what Pete What do people use right now, which is really handy. So there’s a particular lady that I’m going to be doing a podcast with. And in Australia, who runs my first architecture job, which is all about this. So we’re gonna be interesting to see what that course is about stuff like that, right? You really want to be looking at her course. Thank you so much Sarah Ladner check it out online. seems really great. It’s all about the detail and stuff that because I understand the recruitment process, and I’ve done architecture, will she is going to be an expert on technical drawing and all this stuff. So you want to look at courses like that. You want to learn you want to speak to people, you’ve listened to our opinion. Ask people who are part ones from the For how they started as well, okay? preparation before, and you’re going to ask the company before you go there, what you need to prepare, you’re going to ring them up and you’re going to say, Do I need that software? Is there anything you’d like me to learn any reading any information like that,

on your start that you’re going to find out, if you start buying digitally or physically, you’re going to find out what time you start, you’re going to get all your paperwork, your passport, your bank details, you can do it especially as possible, and you are going to meet your team, and you’re going to try and bond with them. If you can’t physically go out for lunch with everyone, that is a battery and kind of what I was talking about earlier, but then maybe what you want to do is you need to find a way that you can socialise with these people. And you know, maybe you’ll find that you’ll have teen drinks at the end of the thing. Definitely, definitely do any social events on the extra practice. And you don’t want to go in there and get absolutely hammered if it’s a drinking event and be known as that guy. Because no one likes to be that guy. And it’s not good. If I’m the hiring manager, and I’ve hired someone and the person on my team is the guy that there’s loads of room for inappropriate stuff. Everyone can get a bit drunk sometimes, but we want to do is make a good first impression. But you do want to get involved and have a beer have a glass of champagne, you want to get to know people. And maybe what you could do is if it’s digitally, the PR team, either that you join is that you see could say something like look, I’m going to crack on for the day, maybe what we could do is I could bring you at lunch for 1015 minutes to hear your advice or feedback and stuff. Or maybe we can have a bite over lunch together. That will be quite bad. quite likely. If I started ripping them apart, what finally overpower ones you start the same time. And then what tribe of friends get The Breakfast Club where you’re all sitting down and getting along with each other. Okay, so whatever things that we’re going to mention the start date. Yes, we’ve

Jack Moran 51:56
done the start date, we’ve gone through the first bottle arriving on the first day. Mmm, we’re just going to any workflow, what’s to be expected of you? I thought we had a question come in, which I thought would be a nice little round up. And it’s definitely one for you, Steve and Bev understand your question. Is there anything you regret not doing? During your part one or

Unknown Speaker 52:21
million dollar question,

Stephen Drew 52:22
I had a really good part one probably would have pushed the technical aspects more. So I was never like good at them. And what I did is that I got a lot better architectural visualisation, which was great. The thing is, though, that was what I was really good at. So it’s like I put my best skill up. And I was very basic and technical detail in. Okay. And therefore, I could have improved that more during that. So when I went to, I would have built up on it a bit more. And then, and then when I, when I started, my party would have been stronger. And then when they come back, I’d be even stronger. And so what I did is I ignored what I thought was a weakness in order to build up a strength. And that worked a little bit on my part too, because I came the expert on doing Part One drawings, bashing stuff out to 3d models, and I have it down that basically, in microstation was everyone was rendering in SketchUp, and all this stuff. And Revit we were moving to rabbit. And basically I was thinking microstation models, and I made it render in the software, without any plugins on any computer. So I optimise the process that any basic computer cannot go over the image really quickly. So this was no like magnum opus. But what it was, is that you could bash something out. So the point is, I was really proud of that. The thing was, though, is that when someone then either knew for a technical drawing, that didn’t matter. And so while I optimise the process, I wasn’t an all rounder. And that’s something I learned deeply. And that’s something that at the time I regret, but now that’s why even in recruitment, what I always talk about with you guys, just while I’m good in certain things, what I make sure is that I’m good for them comfortable for the process, whereas some people are exceptional at one bit. What I like is that in recruitment, I then my job now I can take a brief or a role for an Inception or get a role and carry it across the line. And that makes me feel a lot stronger. Whereas in architecture, what I’m trying to say drag is because I didn’t push the bits that I wasn’t comfortable with. I became an expert in one area. And the thing is with that it’s good to specialise into a certain sector or two. But yeah, what you want to do is make sure that you’re versatile for the process because what happens is in the industry is if you just work on overseas buildings, or front end pages, it’s really hard to get your job at a London scheme on technical stages. So that’s my thing is that push the areas and When you’re not comfortable with,

Unknown Speaker 55:01

Stephen Drew 55:02
it’s become better. And all the stuff we’re talking about is to get you in the right mindset to learn, have you to feel confident, remember, if I give you because they see an ability and strength, and you’re not expected to know everything, you’re expected to bring maybe one or two little ideas, like technical tidbits on software and stuff, but what they’re expecting you to do is someone that, that you’re someone they believe in that, that they can give instructions and that you’re going to learn, you’re going to ask appropriate questions, you know, grass too much, you know, there’s too little, they’re going to help out. Above all, they are looking for someone, they fired you because they want you to be part of the team to get stuck in the project and get get going. And that’s the thing, push yourself on the bits you’re comfortable with, go the extra mile, it will get noticed and you will feel better for it. That doesn’t mean work in less than eight hours me pushed over, I’m on about a respectful team, you get involved and be wanting to be the best you can to help the project though.

Jack Moran 56:01
Brilliant. Anything from your side? Well,

Will Ridgway 56:03
now it’s pretty well done ready. I think it’s just all about having the right attitude, in my opinion, the right working attitude you’ll do right, because it will be seen. And, you know, not only will you do well, but you’ll get recognised and I’ll just like improve your overall experience. And I think it’s just all about, you know, you’re not you’re not expected to do everything you’re there to learn. And they, you know, they they believe that you add to the team. So you’re there for a good reason. Right? So it’s just all about doing well, you know, do some work behind the scenes, if you want to help you improve the learning, and then also help you ask relevant questions, you know, and actually help contribute ideas to the team. If you’re helpful. It’ll be really appreciative.

Stephen Drew 56:46
Yeah, big funding for Well said. And remember, you don’t need to do it alone. Even if you go into different practices, make friends with part ones. Part two is architects who are starting in companies learn from each other. How did this come this out? How does that company set up, and it goes back to the community. So the best thing about your socialist community is we all learn from each other people who started the year before people started then, and when part was finished, and it for practice, they’re just about to finish you’re about to start. So I remember when that happens, I will always try to go to lunch with the part one and make them feel comfortable. Make them feel at home. We have this opportunity here on the artificial social as well as your architectural practice. The people that get involved, share ideas, share experiences, they are the leaders of tomorrow. So be active in your community, and learn from each other. And don’t worry about it. You You can do this and you will have fun time. Well done on your job.

Jack Moran 57:41
I think that wraps up everything for this week. So thank you everyone for joining us. We hope you enjoy the rest of the week. And we will see you same time next week for our next episode.

Stephen Drew 57:52
All right, thank you everyone. Take care. Bye. I’m going to turn my fans on now.

Will Ridgway 57:59
See you later.


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