Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Unknown
If was that simple, everyone would skip off to work as happy as schoolchildren on the last day of school before summer break. However, you may be fortunate enough to find a vocation that inspires you. Is a job that doesn’t seem like work strictly a fantasy? Or should you have the attitude that a job is what you make of it? This is the mindset of the motivational speaker, Larry Winget, who wrote the New York bestseller-It’s Called Work for a Reason! If you happen to read this book or a synopsis of it, you will realize Mr. Winget has a flair for caustic remarks. He preaches to take responsibility for your results, particularly the failures.
What does this have to do with pursuing a degree in Interior Design? Quite a bit. Because this can be a tough business in which to establish a career. There will likely be good and bad times. During the latter, you may need to take Mr. Winget’s advice and admit-“This is my fault.” Then take the necessary steps to improve.
In this article, we will provide a view of some of the reasons this is a great career. As well as the pitfalls, you might encounter. The first section will look at the benefits.
As an interior designer, you are paid to be creative. After all, isn’t this the main reason for entering the profession? To work with clients who have the funds to bolster your creative urges. Your creativity did not come one day or miraculously appear overnight. Typically, your creative talents became evident at an early age. Design work allows you to manifest your artistic instincts.
Whether you work for an interior design firm or are self-employed, each project will be different. In residential interior design, each house, floor plan, client’s means, budget, and objectives bring diversity to the work. One project has you consulting with a client on new construction. Then, you are off to meet with a client who is renovating an old house that needs your creativity.
To be successful as an interior designer, you need to be an effective communicator. You need to thrive on the interaction between your client and all the vendors you will work with on each project. The backbone of the design process is to understand the behavior of the customers, their needs, and motivations. Your social skills will be on display as much as your creative talents and education. This can be a benefit for those who can allay a client’s concerns and navigate around contentious situations.
You can enter this business with an associate’s degree. An Associate of Science in Interior Design will launch your creative passions and your problem-solving skills required in design. At this level, you will study topics such as residential and commercial design, color and its implications for designers and artists, drawing techniques and how to draw using CAD for interior spaces, and the legal, financial, management, marketing, administrative, and ethical issues encountered by interior designers.
This educational benefit will save you time and money. In addition, there are many programs available online that afford the convenience of studying from home.
This section will be shorter than the pros, keeping with Mr. Winget’s philosophy of creating your own success.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job outlook or growth potential is below average at 4%. This calculates to a change in 2,900 jobs over a ten year period from 2016-26. The BLS reported the median pay at $51,500 as of May 2017. The salary could be a pro or con, however, the low job growth is a con.
If you work for an established design firm with a steady supply of clients, then all is well. However, as many as 60% of interior designers are self-employed, by some reports. It may take awhile before you have a stream of clients working on your own. You might look at this as a challenge more than a negative. It depends on how desperate you are for money. The first and most basic way is to start design work for friends and family. Then ask them to refer you to their friends and relatives. Start with small jobs. You may have to make concessions on fees in order to secure clients. The goal is to gain a consistent flow of referrals.
For self-employed designers, you require marketing skills. Social media is an avenue to promote your business. You will have to conduct marketing by visiting architectural firms, hotels, high-end furniture stores, and other places where affluent people tend to shop.
Design is as much creative as it is a business. To run your business, you must be able to understand customer relations, project management, tax and resale laws, financial planning and reporting, code requirements, and public relations. You really have to be able to do it all, as an independent designer.
Whether you are a freelance designer or work for a small interior design business, you may have to relocate. The greater the population, the greater are your chances to find jobs and clients. The interior design site, Joybird, reported the top ten cities in this field in 2017. The data revealed that Washington, D.C. is the top city for interior designers. Rounding out the top ten were four Southern cities: Atlanta, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami. Other cities favorable for interior designers are Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and Boston.
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