Do you dream of being the next Joanna Gaines or Olga Polizzi? Interior design is an exciting career path, and it pays well. The average interior designer makes about $57,000 a year.
Interior design careers are rewarding because you can interact with your work. It has the power to transform a space and give it a feeling.
You get to be creative with lines, shapes, and colors and make them work in unison. If you want your work to have a huge impact, you want to grow your career.
If you want to know how to be an interior designer with a great career, you’re in the right place. Read on to discover how you can make the most out of your career.
1. Plant Your Flag
The most common interior design jobs out of school are to work for an architectural or design firm. That’s a great start for interior design careers.
You get to gain experience in different areas of interior design. You’ll get to work on residential projects, office spaces, and maybe even hotels.
If you want to make your career skyrocket, you want to become known for something. That’s your niche.
Your niche is your area of expertise. People will identify your work with the niche, which makes your work desirable in the marketplace.
What kind of niche should you choose? Look at the areas of opportunity and what you like to do. For instance, if you like to work with homeowners, you can specialize in home staging or Airbnb design.
As soon as you tell people your niche, they’ll be able to refer work your way.
2. Stay on Top of Trends
Every interior designer looks at the Pantone Color of the Year and what the trends are for the upcoming year. If you want to be a great interior designer, you have to be forward-thinking.
Not just one year, but five years or even 10 years. It’s ideal to give your work an edge by being so far ahead that you help create the trends.
How do you stay ahead of the curve? Look at industry publications, but also take inspiration from completely other areas.
For example, you can admire the engineering and design that goes into a Formula 1 car. The clean lines build for aerodynamics can inform and inspire your work as an interior designer.
3. Build Your Network
Interior design careers get built on connections. Yes, it really is about who you know. You can take your talents anywhere in the world with the right network.
You can’t approach business relationships from a transactional perspective. If you approach someone you just met and asked them for a job, they’ll find that off-putting.
Reach out to people in your network periodically and see how they’re doing. Ask them if they need support with something. You might be able to make an introduction that turns into a positive for their business.
They won’t forget that. When it’s your time to need help in your work, they’ll be willing to step up.
If you have your niche picked out, join organizations where you’ll find potential clients. For instance, if your niche is in the hotel industry, join hotel associations.
This is rewarding work even if it’s outside of your job duties working for someone else. You could end up creating a position in business development and design where you earn commissions on these deals.
4. Develop Your Personal Brand
As you build your portfolio of work, you’re going to want to show it off. Instagram is the perfect way to showcase your work.
It takes work to master the social media platform. It’s worth it to land the best interior design jobs. Post stories about your design process. Post about projects and how you approached the work.
Interact with other accounts related to interior design. This gets their attention and they may repost your content to their followers.
This helps you cement your expertise in a niche and build your personal brand.
Follow that up with podcast interviews and speaking at events. You can leverage these platforms into becoming an interior design influencer.
5. Be Willing to Adapt
Adaptation is the secret to a long and successful career in interior design. The coronavirus is a good example on how to adapt.
Not only did the designers create home offices for themselves, but they also did for their clients as well. Your niche may run its course, but you can always establish a new one.
Always be on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities to keep your work fresh.
6. Start Your Own Business
You might reach a point in your career where you want to establish your own interior design firm. If you did a great job building your personal brand and network, this step will be easier.
That being said, entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Take the time to assess if you have the skills to run a business. If you don’t have the skills, consider hiring people who do.
You could be a bad financial manager, but you can always hire a bookkeeper and accountant.
Being your own boss is exhilarating when things go well. Think about what would happen if you didn’t have any new business for a few months. How would you handle payroll? How would you pay vendors?
These are the realities that business owners face. Really consider if this is the right course for you to take.
No Limits for Interior Design Careers
Interior design jobs are competitive, but there are a lot of ways to set yourself apart. Choose your niche, build your network, and create your personal brand.
These are all things that can set your work apart from the rest. They’ll make your skills in-demand to the point where you can open your own interior design firm.
Now that you got the inside scoop in interior design careers, visit the blog for more design inspiration and lifestyle tips.