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11 Tips for Staying
Sane in A/E/C

At times, the A/E/C industry can be stressful. Each decision carries weight, potentially impacting numerous stakeholders. Yet, the most accomplished professionals thrive amidst this pressure, managing stress while nurturing their vibrant lifestyles and relationships. These individuals have a superior understanding of this important balance.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, our Healthcare Principal Ron Goodin has compiled eleven tips to help A/E/C professionals maintain their sanity while pursuing a fulfilling career. Find them below.

Try Not to Take Life too Seriously

As professionals in the A/E/C space, we must be fastidious and maintain stringency in our work. However, as human beings, we need to know when to leave that behind. Thankfully, these facts are not mutually exclusive.

Our days may be full of complex decisions requiring an ‘always-on’ personality, but knowing how to switch off is integral to long-term success. Create clear boundaries that allow you to not only exist but also excel in both realms. Mastering this balance defines true fulfillment.

Remember What is Most Important

At work, it’s our clients. At home, it’s our friends and family. Focusing too much on one area guarantees failure in the other. The needle on this spectrum will shift throughout a career, so keep a close eye on it to ensure it’s not running too high or too low.

Remember to Laugh

Especially at yourself. It truly is the best medicine. We’ve all made mistakes, and we’re all going to make them again – it’s a fact of life. It’s your response that’s the true test of character. Being able to step back, laugh at, and then rectify your mistakes is an important skill. It inspires those around you to do the same and can create a more comfortable and collaborative work environment.

Choose Optimism

Decide to wake up as optimistic and positive as possible. A good mantra I tell myself is, “Positive attitudes bring positive results.” Try to see everything that comes your way as an opportunity rather than an impediment and enjoy the ride. Each challenge provides the potential for learning new skills and making new connections.

Balance Your Reaction to
Successes & Failures

Many professionals in A/E/C seem to overreact to failure and underreact to success. While we shouldn’t underreact to failure, it shouldn’t overshadow success. Developing a levelheaded response to both outcomes allows us to celebrate successes and learn from failures.

Appreciate Downtime

Don’t feel guilty about downtime. Enjoy it! Go for a walk, listen to music, or do anything that gets the endorphins going. This will allow you to come back to your desk stronger, more focused, and ready to tackle the next big thing. Burnout is real and prevalent in A/E/C. The best way to avoid it is to find effective ways to recharge when you can.


Don’t be afraid to volunteer for new responsibilities, whether through professional organizations or community initiatives, to enrich your experience and broaden your impact. These can be great networking opportunities and may also help you reach new levels of fulfillment in your career and personal life.


Everyone can mentor. No matter your age or experience, someone, somewhere, has something to learn from you.

It is important to note that these relationships are two-way streets. A mentee can impact their mentor in equal or greater ways. When you make the time to focus energy and effort on someone else, good ol’ karma will be returned. Embrace the opportunity to help others—it’s a win-win!

Organization is Important

Strive to maintain organization in your life utilizing lists as a helpful tool. It’s considered a best practice among high achievers to visualize their upcoming day before bedtime. This practice can help put busy minds to rest and ensure that you wake up ready to hit the ground running.

Foster Open Communication

Regular communication is key to any successful career. Take time to understand diverse communication styles and remain adaptable in your communication approach while striving for continuous improvement in conveying your message to others. The ability to share ideas, navigate differences, and find compromises is invaluable across all industries, transcending beyond just A/E/C.

Manage Expectations

Try not to overpromise, and learn how and when to say no. It’s okay to turn down projects and responsibilities you don’t feel comfortable with. However, when doing so, seek assistance and actively participate in the learning process to enhance your skills. Honesty about your abilities and experience is crucial for managing other’s expectations of you and your own.

While this list is not all-inclusive, I hope you find some valuable takeaways. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help, enjoy your lunch break, use your PTO, and put your mental health first.


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