Lara Gumushdjian – Top Tips and Takeaways
Dear friends and KIRKOR colleagues,
Many of us often get bogged down by office work and can’t seem to find a better way to organize our thinking, working, communication and professional growth. Our practice requires an efficient and concise way of doing all these things, so for those of you looking for some quick tips and takeaways to help streamline your work life and methodology, here are my top 5 points that can help you achieve just that:
1 – When in doubt, ask – Never be afraid to ask questions. This would be the most important tip I can offer to anyone in this field, despite the age or experience. If you don’t ask, no one will answer, and that’s a wasted learning opportunity. Expand your thinking by speaking with your peers and even consultants. Remember communication is key; speaking of which…
2 – Email vs Phone call (which is better?) – I often find the best way to know which method to use depends on what you want to communicate. If it’s a question (like from tip #1) whether big or small, give your consultants a call and walk it through with them. Often times writing, especially an email, doesn’t always convey the right intention, creating a potential opportunity for misunderstanding or misinterpretation to occur. If you feel this might happen, my best advice is to pick up the phone. Email though certainly has its place and time as a valuable tool for coordination items, circulation of files, and even documentation of quick decisions. This leads me to my next point…
3 – Record, Document, Organize – Super important. I take joy in organizing (yes, it is in fact possible to be joyful while organizing) but I must say, there are days when even I find there is too much to do. Take a deep breath, and tackle one thing at a time, and that, in its entirety. The other aspect of this is record keeping. I can’t say how many times I have been asked to dig through two-year-old emails and transmittals to prove that, yes, this was the decision, and here is the proof for it. Recollection can be faulty, but record-keeping will prove flawless.
4 – Dig deep and Beyond the Set – Think critically! If you feel something doesn’t seem right despite the fact that the drawings had it this way forever, the likelihood your gut is telling you something accurate is 9 out of 10. Think outside the box and work it out. As my high school prof used to say “DIG!!!”; dig through those drawings and analyze what you see. Perhaps there is a problem in there that requires a review in its full context. You would be surprised at how often a solution pops up when you think outside the box, and reassess what you see as fact or unchangeable. This takes practice, patience, discipline, and experience, but we should try to do this as often as we can.
5 – Take heart and Have fun – and more of a personal note: Not every day will be a good one, but if you enjoy what you do regardless of the hardship, you will make it through the other side unscathed. So take heart, and tackle the day’s challenges with a clear conscience that you have done everything you could to make it right. When those tough days pass, be sure to have fun and enjoy your work. It’s amazing how infectious one’s mood can spread to your peers, and I would even argue with your client and consultants as well. If you care for the work you do, it always shows.
Whether you add one, two or all of these tips into your business toolkit, I’m confident you will find an improvement in your workflow and communication. I wish you success and don’t forget, your KIRKOR peers and mentors are always here to help you prosper and grow; in the end that’s what it’s all about.