How do I get there? An open letter to students and Emerging Professionals | U.S. Green Building Council
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Dear Students & Emerging Professionals,

My name is Matt Murphy. I graduated from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and am an Architect with RMTA in Kansas City, MO. I’ve been serving as a volunteer for USGBC at the regional level for nearly a year, and I now ask each of you to step up and also serve. By bolstering others to find their voice in this movement, we can pass on the skills and experiences necessary to build the bench of future leaders to ensure we deliver green buildings for ALL within this generation.

The hardest part of becoming a leader is asking “how do I get there?” Advancement is not linear, whether you go down the conventional path of working for an established company or take a non-traditional approach. The following is a list of quips and witticism gathered over the years while trying to figure out how I was going to advance. As a licensed professional with reasonable prosperity in my career thus far, I hope this serves as advice for students and Emerging Professionals just starting to find their own paths.

  • Find ways to evoke people’s passions by creating a passion plea.
  • Hard work is knowledge. Where hard work meets opportunity you find luck. Take it and use it.
  • Your career is much more rewarding when you give time and efforts beyond the workday.
  • Pass professional licensure exams as soon as possible.
  • You have a mentor, you are a mentor. Realize those opportunities.
  • Take responsibility for the future of your profession.
  • Know your role, then ask for more. Titles are meaningless.
  • Apply for salaried and volunteer positions you are not (on paper) qualified for. You never know.
  • Know your shelf life and when it's time to move on.
  • Recognize how you would or would never operate a business if you were given the chance.
  • Be honest with people. Be brutally honest with your friends.
  • Make lasting connections. Join groups that will expand your network and vouch for you. You never know when you will need to reach the masses quickly.
  • Your degree and where you earned it from does not matter.
  • "It's just a job." No, it's not. Love what you do and keep your head in the clouds.
  • It’s satisfying knowing who you don't like, so look fondly upon those who have tripped you up.
  • Accept praise only if you are onto the next task.
  • Be impatient. Write your goals on paper and ask how you can achieve them. Be relentless in your pursuits, even if it means being annoying. 
  • Never accept the status quo.
  • Lead by example, not intimidation.
  • Remember who you love and thank everyone, always, for everything.

Remember, everyone who is older, more experienced and supposedly wiser all started out the same; a student, an Emerging Professional. You will be there soon. Please share any tips you have in the comments!



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