39: Calling in Your 20's | Bryan Ray

 A career can oftentimes be a package deal of the calling and gifts you have for the world. Your way of being contributes to the role you play in your company, organization, or community. When you’re first starting out it all seems random, but you realize how it all fits as the bigger picture is revealed. Today, we talk about understanding calling in your 20s.

Bryan Ray graduated from Penn State in 2020, and he is now a graduate architect at Hoffman Leakey Architects. In addition to working full-time at the firm, Bryan is also studying for his professional license exams. His story obtains several keys for finding meaningful work and calling. He is bringing a unique perspective around career, calling, path, and purpose.

Bryan feels that architecture fits with his strategic and analytical side, while also fulfilling his more artistic side. The blend of these skills made an architecture career a great opportunity for exercising his creativity and his drive to bring ideas to life. Bryan always showed signs that he would go into architecture. He drew floor plans and pictures of houses while growing up. His natural pull to architecture became more and more clear as he engaged his interests. 

Listen as Bryan talks about his holistic view to career, fulfilling a calling, and building a life. He intentionally fosters other parts of his life to make sure his career ambitions don’t overshadow the other things that sees as important, such as loved ones and enjoying life. During the conversation, Bryan also shares some of the trials and errors of getting a step closer to his calling. He looks back on the choices and mindsets he transitioned through as he learned more about what he wanted.

Bryan’s perspective is not only useful for his fellow mid-20s peers, but for anyone shaping or reshaping their life to package their calling and purpose.

Time stamps:

  • [01:22] - Bryan Ray explains how he figured out that he wanted to do architecture. How did his interests show up in his life growing up?
  • [03:46] - Bryan talks about how he likes to exercise his creativity around his interests. There are different ways to engage your natural gifts.
  • [06:23] - How does architecture combine Bryan’s main interests?
  • [08:07] - Bryan shares why he felt behind when seeing the skill level of his art peers.
  • [10:03] - What did a professor say to Bryan that encouraged a more open view on creativity? 
  • [12:24] - Bryan recalls how his early, real-life experiences in the architecture field became his career advantage.
  • [14:08] - Being competitive by nature, is Bryan ever too hard on himself? How does he persevere?
  • [15:55] - Bryan recalls how he got his first official role in architecture.
  • [18:37] - Great things can come after taking a leap.
  • [20:14] - Bryan describes the feeling of the small details that bring a space together in architecture.
  • [22:38] - What are the lessons that Bryan learned in his 20s so far?
  • [25:05] - How does Bryan foster the other important parts of his life, like loved ones and self care?
  • [28:05] - Bryan talks about not allowing your career to overtake life itself.
  • [29:48] - Bryan shares the figures he observed in his life to learn what path he can take in architecture.
  • [31:58] - Bryan wants to be a welcoming and encouraging mentor for others looking to get involved in architecture.
  • [33:54] - There’s hidden creativity in all of us.
  • [36:13] - How does Bryan define a calling?
  • [38:14] - Bryan says you shouldn’t be afraid to follow your interests, even if you follow it awkwardly at first.
  • [40:30] - There are hundreds of ways to live out your calling. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find which way works for you at this point of life.
  • [42:30] - Bryan explores what values he displays. What does Bryan value?


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