It’s the end of May, the time of year when many fresh college grads are about to start building their interior design careers.
Landing a job in design may look a bit dismal, even daunting. This is, after all, the business of design - which involves taking a career path that’s packed with talented competition and recovering from a recession that’s caused even long-time professionals to seek out other ways to make a living.
Such is the risk you take with any creative business, when you follow your dream, when you follow your heart.
When society feels your craft is not necessary for its survival, you will get knocked down. Your business will hurt during hard times.
Those of us who remain feel a little like “survivors”, and we’re happy to offer advice to the young people who are starting out with big dreams in mind for their future in the interior design field - that is now, thankfully, quickly recovering from some really rough years.
Here on my blog I’ve shared some tips myself about internships, selling ideas, which lessons learned in college will stay with you over the years as a designer, and a great little gem of a book full of advice every creative should read.
I wanted to offer you a little more advice, but not from me, from others - accomplished designers from all around the world who responded to my question on Linkedin.
Recently, we engaged in a conversation that could prove itself to be very valuable to the design of your future. It was sparked by the question below, and I encourage you to read it in-full.
Enjoy, & take notes! ;-)
"When you think you no longer can be taught (know it all), you are setting yourself up for failure and opening up a window of opportunity for someone else to come in and complete the task at hand."
“Be the very best you can be, every day. It is a saturated market out there, and the only way to stand out is to have passion and love for the subject. See design as a calling, not a career.”
“Measure carefully for accurate plans. Scale is everything.”
”Set THE EXAMPLE for your profession. Live your projects. Leave no stone unturned. Focus on and be sensitive to your clients' needs.”
“Make sure your skills are always up to date and you have a really professional portfolio (digital and paper). Get professional pictures of your work. Learn Photoshop and InDesign to create and update your portfolio and CV.”
“Learn, learn, learn! Be teachable and watch out for your ego. It is the number one hindrance that stops you from reaching the top. Pride will always come before a great fall. After over 25 years of doing this, I am still learning, and I still love what I do.”
“Interior design is a wonderful business, but it is absolutely that: A BUSINESS. Successful businesses are run on NUMBERS. Everything, from keeping track of quotes, deposits, payments for product, and figuring yardage and square footage is about NUMBERS. And spreadsheets: Make them your friends!”
“Interior design is a wonderful profession, but it is hard to do it alone. Respect others, be humble and honest. Work in collaboration with others. Listen to your clients carefully.”
“Nothing happens without sharpening your selling skills. Some of the best wrought plans have been lost in the presentation. Enthusiasm speaks volumes in the tone of your presentation - it is contagious. However, keep one ear open and your eyes on your client to see if you have exacted perfection in their minds.”
I want to send a big THANK YOU to those who participated in the conversation over on LinkedIn.
Not only will your words of wisdom inspire a new generation of designers, but you’ve inspired me too! Your passion and optimistic attitudes prove just how much you love your work and this business of design!
➤ Pretend I just graduated design school...
What advice do you have for me as I enter the industry? (Comments w/the most Likes will be added to this article ;-)