Architecture like many other trades requires an accredited comity to dictate what a registered architect should know in order to become a “real architect” (see previous post). It is considered fair and necessary for the safety and well being of the people. Engineers also have to pass some exams to become licensed but only architects need to pass seven exams. These along with proven working experience are basically the requirements to become a registered architect. Some young graduates start studying right after graduation, but sadly the majority take a break as it has probably taken them long exhausting years just to accomplish their bachelor degree. Eventually, most of them end up not going back to long hours of studying, and others start questioning if it is really worth it to become registered, to continue sacrificing not only the time with the family and sleeping hours but money. Seeing other young architects, perhaps colleagues who have become registered and are still in the same place might be somewhat discouraging. In addition, knowing smart and experienced colleagues who have continuously failed the exams is also not helping, it is not a secret that these exams are designed as tricky as they could be, measuring not only the talents as architects but as good cold minded students who dominate the testing system. Furthermore, seeing small firms struggling to get new projects is quite scary as it could foreshadow the future of any of those young registered architects. The responsibility that it takes to manage a studio is very intimidating.
This period of questioning the need to become registered could be quite long and life could in fact lead us to find excuses to never truly answer this question. Excuses are the easiest to find, motivation and courage are the hardest.
Now, how to find motivation? What needs to happen in the professional life? Motivation could be found when there is challenge, perhaps when life puts you in a position where you are forced to do what you don’t quite believe or approve, while having very well defined strong professional principles.
As architects, or even as human beings, challenging and adverse situations are present every day in our life; there are plenty of moments where the circumstances obligate to take the quick easy way but the not so great solution. It could be common to find yourself voiceless, in a an environment where no one seems to cares about what you think or care at all, or they do but they have given up already. Nevertheless, for those of you who have strong well defined ideas, you will probably have a strong voice inside that is screaming at you exactly what you believe should be done. It is in this moment, after time trying to speak up and not making any improvements, that you grab onto that voice in your head and turn into motivation to get licensed. The best thing about it is that it is a source of motivation that will be strengthened regularly for sure. And it is definitely yourself answering the question that has been on your mind for a long time. It is not warrantied that you could actually be successful if you get licensed but there is no doubt it takes you one step closer to perform as per your beliefs. It is a very personal choice to decide to listen to the voice in your head, or let it fade with the years.