Are you an architect whose professional opportunities has not met your expectation? Perhaps you are overworked, not making enough money, or simply not enjoying or feeling fulfilled in your professional life as an Architect; leading to the question of how to change your career from Architecture to finance.
Change your career from Architecture to Finance by first validating your new career choice. Explore the different areas of finance and select a path. Build foundational knowledge in your chosen finance career. Acquire new work experience, update your professional brand assets and position yourself for your new role.
Transitioning from Architecture to Finance might seem daunting as they are very different career paths. However, it is entirely possible and achievable. In this article, I break down the simple steps that you need to take to make a smooth transition from Architecture to Finance. I also discuss the different areas of Finance that you can specialize in. Let get in
1. Validate your career choice in finance
As you consider a career in Finance, its important to make sure you have a good understanding of what the role of a financial professional entails.
This includes having a clear understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities as well as the long-term goals of the role and how it fits with you long term goals.
It is important you do this before you invest time, energy, and resources in transitioning from your current career path in architecture to finance.
Furthermore, it will help you gain clarity on your choice as you don’t want to end up in another unfulfilling career path.
Once you have a good understanding of the expectations of the specific Finance role, cross reference it with your list of priorities and career goals.
If it checks out and meet your criteria, then you move o
Different fields in finance that you can transition to
As mentioned earlier finance is a broad field and so has many fields in which you can specialize.
Having an idea of the different areas under finance is important to making a good transition.
Here are fields in finance that you may specialize in;
This is a field in finance that involves critical thinking and taking initiative which is also a core skill-set in architecture.
As an architect, you should be able to assess and initiate things before in rare situations. Likewise, as a salesperson, it is important to know how to manage a situation and initiate things without supervision.
Taking a job in sales will require that you can sell and this will take different strategies so you have to be able to think critically and analytically.
As a result, you can take up a job in sales which is under finance with a background in architecture.
An investment banker is a professional who helps companies and governments raise money by issuing and selling securities.
Investment bankers typically work for banks, but there is a growing number of independent firms.
They help companies by coming up with new investment ideas, negotiating loans, and helping to get the best terms possible. They also help governments by issuing debt and advising on financial policy.
Excellent communication and analytical skills are needed to effectively function in this area. This is a transferable skill from architecture so you may consider going into investment banking as a field in finance.
This is an important field in finance that involves offering long-term value for businesses from customers and the market.
This involves everything that helps a business grow in income, visibility, size, reach and make profitable partnerships.
You can work as a business developer since you have good communication and interpersonal skills from architectural projects.
financial planning is another field in finance that involves helping people or businesses reach their financial goals.
This is a field that you can consider transitioning to as an architect. You have to be able to think and reason critically to help people make good financial decisions.
You also need to be able to use your initiative to help make financial plans that will help them reach their goals.
You can work as a risk manager with history and experience in architecture. Risk managers identify and control threats to an organizations’ income or earnings.
This type of role involves taking a lot of initiative and assessment. You have to be able to assess situations to determine their outcome and this involves being thorough and paying attention to details.
Architecture also involves this level of scrutiny so this is are transferable skills from architecture to risk management.
2. Network With Finance Professionals (with similar background)
The best way to learn about a certain field is to network with professionals who work in that field. If you want to learn about finance, for example, you should network with finance professionals.
This will give you the opportunity to ask them questions and learn from their experiences.
Networking with professionals can also help you find job opportunities. Many professionals are happy to share their contacts and recommendations with people they have met through networking.
So if you’re looking for a job in finance, networking is the way to go.
Networking is also a great way to build relationships. When you meet someone through networking, you have something in common right away – your interest in finance, for example.
This can help you build a relationship that might lead to future opportunities.
You might be wondering where and how to find these people. Start with LinkedIn.
- Search for your target Finance career e.g. Finance Analyst in the search field.
- Click All Filters to open all the filter fields.
- Include your location (optional)
- Scroll down to the keyword section
- Enter Architecture and click show results.
You essentially are asking LinkedIn to show you people who are currently Financial Analysts and have a background in architecture.
3. Get Training and Education in Finance
There is no question that getting training and education in finance can be incredibly beneficial as you transition into finance.
Finance is different from Architecture and there are finance specific terminologies and concepts that you need to understand to perform well in your new role.
A good place to start is to find a program or course that fits your needs and schedule. You can find many programs online, or even in your local community.
It’s important to find a program that provides you with the skills you need for your career goals. If you want to work in investments, for example, you’ll need to learn about stocks, bonds and other investment vehicles.
If you want to work in banking, you’ll need to understand financial accounting and risk management.
The field of finance is constantly changing, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends. A good finance education will give you the knowledge and skills you need to stay ahead of the curve.
4. Acquire new work experience
If you’re looking to break into the world of finance, it’s important to have relevant work experience.
Most employers will want to see that you have relevant finance experience and not just transferable skills from your previous career.
Internships and apprenticeships are a great way to gain this experience, and many financial firms offer them.
Volunteering is another option to consider. Find a charity and volunteer to help with their finance department. I personally started my career in technology in my local church.
Your local church will be pleased to have you join and help in the finance department.
Another way to get relevant work experience is to join a startup company. Once you have gained enough knowledge in the your chosen career path in finance, you can join a startup company and support them in the area of finance.
Some startups might be selective but most are happy to have someone support them in area where they might not have focused on.
By acquiring new work experience in finance, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your career goals.
So if you’re interested in a career in finance, be sure to explore all of your options for gaining work experience.
You never know – you may end up finding your dream job at a company that you never even considered before!
5. Update your professional assets
Once you have gained the required education and acquired the relevant education, you’re now ready to position and announce yourself to the world.
It is important to take this step, so employers see you from the perspective of your newly chosen career path and not your previous experience.
Update your professional assets such as your resume and Linkedin profile to reflect your new career.
Include the education you’ve gained and your new work experience.
Reframe your previous experience to suite your new role. Reframing your previous work experience highlights those relevant experiences to your new chosen finance position.
Update personal websites if you have one and any material that employers will interact with.
PRO TIP: A personal website is a great way to standout from the crowd. Its your way of controlling your narrative. Tell your story on your personal website. It doesn't have to be super complicated. Just a 1-page website that describes your career journey and outlines your skills and experience.
Other careers that an architect can transition to
This is a field in architecture that you can consider transitioning to as a chunk of it involves designing which is a skill that an architect has already.
Since you are already used to designing buildings and structures, you have the basic design knowledge and expertise that is needed in product designing.
It also deals with being able to invent and create which is a required soft skill in product design.
An example of architectures that are into product design is Grizzle and Jonathan Junker, the founders of Graypants.
They create pendant lights from cardboards. They mentioned that they had no business training but through their architectural training, they learned how to become creative problem solvers.
You can pick up a new career as a writer with a background in architecture. You can have a bestselling by writing a book teaching a rare skill in architecture or lessons that you have learned through your years of experience in architecture.
People love to know that they are learning from real-life issues and not just unproven ideas. You can draw and leverage what your years in architecture have taught you and write a book on it.
This way you can start a career in writing as people will be able to trust your work after your first best-selling book on architecture.
In this digital age, graphic design has become popular among businesses and organizations. It is being used for different purposes and the need for graphic designers is on the rise.
As an architect, you have spent about 4 years of your academic or professional life creating graphical representations of different things.
This means that you have the required skills needed in graphic designing. Also, if you’re interested in content creation and helping businesses grow, then this is a career you can consider transitioning to from architecture.
A lot of architectures are developing interest in not just designing buildings and structures but also supervising the site work. Although this can be cumbersome, you can choose to transition to real estate without carrying on the architectural role.
Real estate is a field that is easy for your to transition to as an architect. Since you already have background knowledge in building structures and designing, you have the needed expertise in real estate and can work as a real estate developer.
Brandon Donelly is a great example of a trained architect who transitioned to a real estate developer.
He mentioned that his interest in design, space, drawings, and the construction process has contributed to his success as a real estate developer.
As a project manager, you need to have great interpersonal and communication skills. You will be involved with helping the team achieve a project goal within a given period.
You need to be able to manage people and situations so management skill is also required here. If there is a situation that is getting out of control, as a project manager, you have to take initiative to stay on top of the situation.
Starting a career in project management will be a smart move to make with a background in architecture as you have experience planning in architecture.
6 transferable skills in architecture
Even though you are leaving your career in Architecture, your knowledge and experience are not wasted. Here are top transferable skills that will be relevant to your career in finance:
1. Communication Skills
Architecture helps you develop your written and oral communication skills as a result of constant relations with professionals from other fields in executing a project.
Architectures usually do only a percentage of the whole project and have to work with other experts in other fields. Smooth communication is needed for the successful completion of the project.
This helps an architect to develop their communication skills over time.
2. Drawing and Design:
Drawing and design are necessary skills in architecture. It is the core of the craft and is needed in carrying out any project in the field.
An architect possesses these skills which are relevant to various fields such as business, finance, education, among others.
It is a skill that is highly demanded and is transferable to almost any profession.
This is another transferable skill in architecture. No field does not have a problem to be solved.
Problem-solving is a highly demanded skill that would make any employer open their doors to individuals who are problem solvers.
This is a skill you want to include in your CV regardless of the job you’re applying for.
4. Analytical and Critical Thinking:
Analytical and critical thinking is required to solve complex issues or in making rational decisions and in executing projects. This is another vital skill that is highly sought by most employers.
In architecture, you may sometimes have to adapt your work to rectify any possible mistake. No matter how far you have gone in the design, you have to recalibrate when you realize that something is wrong.
The ability to be flexible is a skill that is required to start a career and thrive in other fields.
You most often have to work in teams to complete a project and most organizations are starting to see the results of teaming up.
As a result, most organizations look for team players who will be able to do their part and also look out for other teammates in ensuring that a project or goal is achieved.
You can change your career from architecture to finance or any other related field. You can take advantage of the information in this article and use it to explore and bring out the creative side of you that you never knew you had.
Leverage the skills that you have in giving yourself a successful career in finance or any other area you’re interested in.