Most interior designers spend the first five years after graduation (or after entering the profession) gaining experience, building up a portfolio, and a good client and supplier base. It also takes time to develop your own style and approach, and perhaps to work out which sector suits your skills and interests.
Interior design does not have the structured career path or clear promotion-based approach found in many other industries. This is partly due to the very diverse nature of the design world and its penchant for self-employment, but also because this is a creative industry. To a large degree, interior designers must make their own career – initiative, ambition, and individual skill and creativity are key to success. Most interior designers spend the first five years after graduation (or after entering the profession) gaining experience, building up a portfolio, and a good client and supplier base.
To improve employment prospects, interior designers need to:
- Recognise the importance of continuing professional development (CPD). The Chartered Society of Designers is very active, and encourages members to add 100 CPD points to their personal “log” each year.
- Keep adding to their skills base, and keep up-to-date with technological advances and new techniques
- Build their portfolio to show a range of projects, approaches, and clients, and to showcase individual style
- Make the most of marketing and networking opportunities
Design fairs and competitions can help your career by showcasing creativity. Events like New Designers are often attended by journalists and professionals on the lookout for new talent. Competitions are an excellent way of ensuring your work is regularly viewed by the wider art community.
The skills you will have developed as an interior designer are also transferable into other design based sectors and designers are employed in a variety of roles such as:
- Theatre/Set design
- Ceramics designer
- Exhibition designer
- Furniture conservator/restorer
- Furniture designer
- Graphic designer
- Landscape architect
- Museum/gallery exhibitions officer