December 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm #159395
As a fairly recent grad (2009), I can’t disagree…while in school, I definitely jumped on the bus.
My first job out set me straight, though- quickly realized that my job was to make the site work as intended (in that case, school grounds), not push unnecessary agendas. I’ve been fortunate enough to find plenty of work, and now that I’m in the residential sector, the same is true here, as well: help the client figure out what they’re looking for, provide a quality product that costs what they want to spend while coordinating with all other contractors. If they want a green roof, I’ll be the first to jump on board, but I’m not trying to force it.
If one really wants to push an agenda, maybe educating the client is the logical first step. Help them make an educated decision rather than tell them what you think they need/want.December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm #159394
Sorry but, I have heard that “masters of all” jargon from architects. It is a total turnoff. Showing your benefit as a vital team member is a process. You don’t proclaim yourself as master until you have earned it.December 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm #159393
Preach on, brother Andrew!
I’ve felt like I graduated with a prejudice against engineers (uncreative, dull, uptight, unsociable) and developers (greedy, exploitive, disinterested in our “higher” values). When the relationship is set up like that, no wonder it is dysfunctional! My interest in the field was heavily influenced by what I saw in the LA magazine, and when I found myself not doing that kind of work, I felt disappointed, cheated even. A “bait and switch” scheme was played! I have since come to appreciate engineers for their pragmatic approach and their ability to create a much less dramatic work environment. I’ve found I like the technical challenge of site engineering problems, and the best jobs I’ve had have been those where I was given a lot of grading and construction detailing to do.December 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm #159392
Jason T. RadiceParticipant
I think Marc was referring to Masters of the Land.
The approach you take as ‘vital team member’ will forever relegate us to third-party status. LAs today need be either be in the project lead, or share in control of the project with the architect. We do the site, they do the building.
We already have engineers trying (and suceeding) in doing our job, architects doing our job (poorly), and planners doing what had historically been our job. We have to get that back if the profession is to survive. And all the ‘green stuff’ ain’t gonna do it, we need to do more, and push for more with our license.December 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm #159391
I totally agree with your perspective. I think you misunderstood me. That sounds like something that I would write, actually.
Marc was quoting me. I did not intend that to mean LAs doing it all by themselves. I meant it to mean that LAs need to consider all aspects in land development while implementing their designs rather than being one trick ponies by concentrating mostly on the latest environmental issue of the day (whether or not it is truly an issue in their own locale).
We do need to be team players. In order to do that we have to be accepted by the team and working toward a common goal. That goal is set by the project owner, not by us. We certainly influence how the goal is achieved, but not the goal itself.December 23, 2011 at 5:05 am #159390
As an entry-level LA, I would like to see ASLA develop a system in helping “new to the industry” workers understand where they should be knowledge wise and how to reach the next step.
A lot of us are computer savvy these days and I would like to see emails informing us of free learning sessions about specific topics that we (entry-level) employees need to know. 10 minute video about how a retaining wall is constructed or how a parking lot is graded. Where we can start to grasp fully about what we are doing in the office that week.
I could not help wondering what is the ideal entry-level employee. So I ask ASLA to send out emails to get employers to develop what an ideal candidate should be. (Also the successive levels after Entry-Level) That way everyone in our profession can have a baseline and expectations all the while a method of bringing people up to speed and forward.
I hope that makes sense…January 3, 2012 at 1:59 am #159389
How about awarding continuing education credits for mentoring?January 3, 2012 at 4:16 am #159388
There is a lot here, Russ. Really tell us your needs succinctly. In terms of problem solving skills, creativity, etc., these are skills that you have to prove you have. Even if you are an old fart like me, you are still demonstrating to others that they should have a level of trust in your skills.January 3, 2012 at 4:22 am #159387
Spoken like an experienced person.
It seems like there may be a format by which mentoring could be rewarded. I know if you speak at a conference, you get CEUs. Any other suggestions?January 3, 2012 at 5:01 am #159386
You just answered your own question. Show these emerging professionals how to “demonstrate problem solving skills, creativity, etc.” .
This thread can be like a site inventory in a landscape design process.Is it time to do the analysis stage and combine it with your project goal “create a better connection to ASLA” and build out an ideal schematic of how it should all work.
Is the design process applicable to your project? Have you considered approaching it this way? It could be a remarkably effective and a good way to show emerging professionals the power of the design process at the same time. Sometimes we forget that it can be applied to just about anything.January 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm #159385
ASLA is not a government agency. We choose to join it or not to join it. They are an entity that is membership driven rather than an organization with an obligation to hand out support to the down trodden. Like any big organization, it is as much about being an industry of its own (not a slam, just a reality). I believe that membership has the power to influence its values and actions. An inactive membership becomes less important than the dollars and power generated by recruiting more dues paying members.
Face it, we are all brain washed in school to believe that without ASLA membership we are going to be seen as unprofessional, that ASLA is our only saviour and protector, and that we absolutely must join. Over the years they have enjoyed the benefit of large membership dues and little pressure from its members to influence what they do with it. They went from protecting licensed LAs to selling full memberships and the ASLA suffix to others. I believe that the mission of ASLA is more about number$ of members than advocating for the profession, so I choose not to be a member. Others can make their own choice.
I believe that this thread is all about recruiting and maintaining membership -” create a better connection to ASLA” (membership) is the goal, Fostering the idea that ASLA is there to “assist entry level LAs” is the method. The funny part is that ASLA has to ask how and then discredits any suggestions they get.
ASLA is finding out what everyone else found out a couple of years ago – you have to have value in order to be valued. Expanding membership to non-licensed LAs has devalued membership and changed the values within ASLA. ASLA could respond by going back to being advocates for the licensed profession, or it could open avenues to accept different demographics to increase its bottom line. We’ll see.January 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm #159384
Seems like there are some good ideas for John’s original questions, but I suspect he might have detected an underlying dissatisfaction with ASLA. I am hopeful that the dissatisfaction doesn’t read as (and hopefully isn’t intended as) shooting the messenger because overall I’m pleased that they are starting to ask questions….there are a lot of other questions I’d like to see ASLA asking – like “where are all of the women?” and “how can we be most useful to the majority of our membership”?
Here’s one good way to recruit members – create a group health insurance pool. The cost of health insurance is drowning small firms, which make up the majority of LA offices. That would not only guarantee membership but save us all a TON of money. Then maybe we could afford the dues!January 4, 2012 at 1:34 am #159383
The more I read Tanya’s posts, the more I agree with her. This is a very practical incentive.January 4, 2012 at 2:46 am #159382
No shooting read into the message. Good discussion.
ASLA has had an insurance program in the past for both life and health. Not sure where they are with that these days.
Sounds like you are volunteering to get more accolades for women! Bravo! We need to do the same for minorities. There was a movement afloat for that when Dennis Otsuji was president in the mid-nineties.January 4, 2012 at 3:49 am #159381
Not more accolades – appropriate representation. Sadly, I can’t volunteer if I can’t afford the dues…
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