On December 1, 2022, the AIANY WIA Committee hosted the second session of our Professional Practice Series: The Promoted to Principal Method, a virtual workshop led by Maya Sharfi, a career coach and founder of Build Yourself.

Maya skillfully laid out her five-step approach for getting promoted to principal, which included identifying your strengths, interests and values as a leader; creating personalized conversations with firm Leadership; creating your own promotion plan; getting recognized for your value; and expanding opportunities inside and outside of your company. Through case studies, strategic thinking and breakout room discussions, participants were challenged to thoughtfully consider their values and interests. To facilitate this exercise, Maya shared “Four Zones of Career Alignment,” a framework to guide each person to assess their preferred work types, desired impact, lifestyle, people and culture. There were many valuable takeaways such as the importance of clear communication, collaboration and building visibility.

The workshop concluded with audience Q+A which covered topics such as how Maya developed sales skills, advice for introverts, how to write social media posts, networking, and visibility strategies. We are grateful for Maya’s continued support and partnership with the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee over the years to develop and promote women to leadership. We encourage you to check out her website and reach out to her if you have any questions. Maya’s recent guide “Becoming a Principal or Partner at Your Firm” can be found here.