Needless to say, landing your first interior designer job will take a lot of time and effort. Along the way, you may have to encounter stress and disappointment – however, if you do things right, it will all be worth it in the end. Interior designing in San Diego is a suitable place to pick your maiden interior designing job.
How do you get started though?
Although daunting at first, launching a career in interior design is easier than you may think. Below, we will provide you with a step-by-step (albeit general) guide on getting a job as an interior designer.
Steps To Take To Get A Job As An Interior Designer
1. Consider getting a degree
These days, whether a degree is necessary to get a job is a hot question. Well, you don’t need to have a degree to be hired, but an associate or bachelor’s degree would certainly be a huge plus for you.
Unless you have reasons not to attend an interior design school, you should strongly consider getting a degree because:
- Most firms out there will not even consider applicants without a degree (unless you are really strong in other areas).
- In some states, you may be required to acquire a license to work as an interior designer. And in their turn, licenses usually do require education.
- An interior design school program will expose you to a wide range of topics that are essential to your field. In a good school, you will learn all the ins and outs of the profession. You can get plenty of skills through self-learning, but most likely, you will miss a lot of crucial information.
- Some educational programs may offer career support, making finding your first interior design job much easier.
2. Build your network
Building a network will allow you to make connections with other specialists in your area.
Connect with your friends, neighbors, professors, local associations, or local businesses. A membership in an organization like the American Society of Interior Designers will be a huge plus too because it will show your dedication to the profession.
We aren’t even talking about the useful skills you could acquire in an interior design association. Some organizations may assist you with launching your career as well.
Don’t be afraid of reaching out to other interior designers too. An interior designer that isn’t willing to share information or advice is a rare thing these days.
3. Get lots of practice
No experience is the worst experience. You should seek to get practice, even if it pays little to nothing. Work as an intern at a general contracting firm to gain exposure to the profession, even if it’s indirect. Look for jobs in related companies too – like showrooms or furniture firms.
With an internship or a related job, aside from gaining experience that you can showcase to a hiring manager, you will be able to expand your network and perhaps even find potential clients.
4. Work on your communication skills
Your people skills are paramount to your success at finding a job, especially if the position implies lots of contact with customers. Even if you won’t be communicating with customers directly, you should at least be able to clearly convey your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge to the hiring manager.
Aside from talking, you should also be able to listen to others. Don’t forget about your manners as well – they will help you build good relations with your colleagues and customers, as well as help you keep stress low in this already tough field.
5. Build your portfolio
Your portfolio shouldn’t be empty – even one-two projects will sufficiently demonstrate your skills for an entry-level job.
If you’ve never had a chance to work on a real-world interior design project, then you may start with yourself. Do a small redesign project – for a friend or in your own home – that will allow you to gain some hands-on experience and will also serve as the first item in your portfolio.
By the way, here’s where a degree can really come in handy. You most likely have done a few projects while at an interior design school – include them in your portfolio as well.
6. Before an interview, do your homework
If you’ve been invited to an interview at an interior design firm, then you should find out who is interviewing you. If you can, connect with the interviewer on LinkedIn and try to learn something about them – of course, within the profession.
Aside from that, make sure to research the firm and understand what it does. This will help you determine if the firm is really the right fit for you, and you will also be prepared for questions like “Why do you think you are a good fit for our company?”
7. Make moves
The final tip that we want to give you is that you should always try to do something. Don’t overanalyze the situation – doing nothing, you will waste time and most likely miss a lot of opportunities.
Do something, even if that means that you will make mistakes or will progress really slowly. Apart from bringing you one step closer to the start of your career, making moves will keep you motivated since you will be making progress.