Moving Your Interior Design Career Forward Can Be Challenging, But It’s Worth It 1st November 2022 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

Are you hoping to take your interior design career further? Perhaps you have been stuck in the same spot for a long time now, and you have finally decided that now is the time for a change. Or, perhaps you simply think that you are now ready for something that you may not have been ready for before. If you are hoping to move your career forward, then you have got to make people notice you, including your boss. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the things that you can do, even though it’s going to be challenging. We promise that it’s going to be worth it when you achieve your goal. Keep reading down below if you would like to find out more about this.

Education is essential

One of the most important things we want to mention is that education is essential. You should have the right level of education for the role that you are hoping to go for next, which might mean that you have to take some courses at the local college or seek additional online training. Education is essential in this business because things are constantly changing and evolving – that means that you have to keep up to date on all the latest trends, innovations, regulations and so on. In fact, you should never really stop learning if you want to take your interior design career forward. Just as you get your head around one thing, there’s always something else entirely different waiting for you. Never take the power of education for granted – if you have the opportunity to keep learning, then you should take it! 

SBID membership provides interior designers with access to specialist, ongoing training through a unique CPD Directory for Continuing Professional Development. This is a great resource for fine-tuning technical design knowledge to advance your designs and skills! 


Make Connections In The Industry

If you want to further your career, you have got to actively go out and make helpful connections in the industry. The more people you know in higher places, the more opportunities you can potentially unlock, as they may be able to help you take your career further when there are openings. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? This is true to a certain extent for the interior design industry, but not exclusively. It’s about both of these things, so you have got to work on both first and foremost. 

Attend networking events and engage in general activities that encourage you to mingle with new people in the industry. You never know who you are speaking to at any given time, so try to keep that in mind when you are talking. The more connections that you make, the more likely it is that you will be able to utilise them in the future. Having friends in the right places is never a bad thing, so don’t underestimate the power of networking. Visit SBID’s industry event calendar for upcoming design events or subscribe for updates.


Strong Relationships With Clients Will Help

It is also important that you know how to build strong relationships with your clients. The last thing that you want is to be known as someone who does one job for someone, but nobody ever goes to back when they have future projects or interior design needs. You need to be well informed, open and honest to create solid foundations and loyal clients. There are a few things that you need to do in order to achieve this goal, and the first is to provide a fantastic service. While you are doing this, you should be friendly, polite, interested, present and overall, available to your clients when they need you! The more strong bonds you can form and nurture with people, the better. They are more likely to come back to you if they feel as though they have a real connection with you, and of course, if your work is completed to the highest quality.


Update Your Portfolio Regularly

Moving your career forward in interior design is not the easiest thing to do, which is why you have got to showcase your talent at every opportunity that you get. One way that you can do this is to update your portfolio regularly. If you update this regularly, people will be able to see the progression of your work, as well as your versatility and latest designs. This is what you need to showcase to as many different people as you can.

Always ask your clients after you have completed a project if you can take professional photos of the finished result. If you know it’s going to be a truly spectacular job, you should ask them if you can take before photos as well so that the two can be compared. There is no better way to showcase your skills than to show what you can create from a tired, unusable or uninspiring space.


Launch A Fantastic Website

You are going to need your own website if you want to take your career one step further. If you are someone who works on your own and is not part of a firm, then a website will massively increase the number of people who can find you. Make sure your website appeals to as many people as possible, ensure it’s easy to use, and most importantly, make sure it grabs attention with design-led detail and high quality images.

Your website should be there to showcase how incredible you are, to tell people about why they should choose you over the others on the market and so much more. It needs to be completed to a high standard, which means that no cookie-cutter sites are acceptable. For more advice on creating a website, click here.


Try Everything, Be Diverse

Grabbing attention in an industry that is jam-packed with other creatives is not the easiest thing in the world to do. As such, the best way to get noticed is to be versatile and diverse. Try every kind of interior design that appeals to you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try to create something beautiful while you are outside of it. Show that you can do whatever is required of you, no matter what this entails as you can always rise to new challenges and adapt to the project at hand.

There is something to be said for choosing a specific niche or focusing on a speciality, but there is also something to be said for being able to cater to other design sectors as well. If you can prove that you are someone who excels in multiple areas, then you are future-proofing your design skills and will likely rise in popularity as soon as word gets around about your versatile skillset! 


Learn From Your Mistakes

One of the most crucial things you need to do when moving your interior design career forward is going to be learning from your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Not all of your projects are going to turn out as perfectly or exactly as you envisioned, and that is okay. You need to learn from the mistakes that you have made and fix them as soon as you can. You are human like everyone else, so you’re allowed to get things wrong as long as you are willing to work with the mistakes and do what you can to make them right.

Just because you make a mistake does not mean that it is the end of the world. In fact, mistakes are actually the best way for you to learn. Take it on the chin, and ensure that you don’t make the same mistake more than once. Once is a mistake, twice is a pattern! 


Be Open To Feedback

As well as learning from your mistakes, you have also got to open to feedback and criticism. A creative field like interior design is largely subjective and open to personal tastes and preferences. Not everyone is going to like what you do, and people are going to want different things from their interiors, so you won’t always get it right in your first attempt. You have got to be open to criticism and feedback in order to improve your offering, whether this comes from the client or from another designer. Feedback is there to help you improve, not to tear down your confidence and make you never want to design again! 

In this industry, there is going to be a lot of feedback for you to work with on most of your projects, so you’ve got to be able to take it. If you can’t, then you’re never going to make it as a successful interior designer. Even top designers get feedback on their work, and it’s something that you should welcome. Someone is seeing something that you missed, or perhaps just seeing things from a different perspective. This is not a bad thing, and you should never act or feel like it. Use it as an opportunity to grow as an interior designer instead.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do in order to move your interior design career forward. In some cases, it can be extremely challenging, but it is going to be worth it when you see the kind of results that you are looking for. Everyone wants to take their career to the highest possible level, and this is going to take a lot of dedication, hard work and getting creative with how to hone and showcase your skills. Hopefully, the advice that we have given above will prove useful to you, and you will be pushing your career higher than ever before.

We wish you the very best of luck with your endeavors and hope you see results soon! Take a look at our website to learn more about what we can do to support interior designers and progress interior design businesses. Whether you’re a student or own your own design firm, the Society of British and International Interior Design is here to help.