In 2022, interior decorating will continue to be one of the hottest career fields for young, hard-working adults who have the right qualifications. But, it’s not enough to just want a job; you have to have the right qualifications to break into the profession. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective ways to acquire the education, experience, and contacts for building a long-term career as an interior decorator in the residential or commercial sector. Paid or non-paid internships are the most common entry point for those who want to get their feet wet and find out what the day-to-day job challenges are like for full-time practitioners.
But a college degree can be the icing on the cake for anyone who wants to build a portfolio of internship work alongside a solid educational background. One of the best ways to add real work experience to your portfolio is to do a few no-cost jobs just to develop skills and make a few initial contacts. It’s also imperative to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in the profession. But a universal skill of all prospective decorators is networking. Here are some suggestions for getting your new career underway.
Earn a College Diploma
For most careers, a college degree is a perfect starting point. For anyone who aims for an interior decorating career, a diploma from an accredited four-year institution can do wonders. That’s because, even if you intend to start your own company, it’s essential to gain experience with a company first. Employers prefer to see academic credentials as well as experience. Many colleges offer specific majors in ID-related fields.
To pay for school, don’t forget to use a search-and-apply service to find scholarship opportunities. Companies like Going Merry Scholarships can help you scan the available resources and apply for dozens of scholarships simultaneously, which is a smart way to save time and maximize your chances of finding cash for school. You can use the money to cover some or all of your school-related expenses.
Do an Internship
Find a company that’s willing to take you on as an unpaid intern. The value of working for free, temporarily, of course, is to build up a portfolio, gain core experience, and make industry contacts. Keep in mind that most interior decorating interns work for independent firms and do so on a part-time basis that allows for flexible hours. That way, it’s easy to keep your day job while interning.
Learn How to Network
One of the ways to increase your career prospects and one of the advantages of doing an internship is the ability to build a professional network. Learning to develop an extensive list of names and contacts takes time and effort but is well worth the struggle. Join local chambers of commerce, make contacts in the real estate industry, attend as many ID events as possible, and go to job fairs. Trade shows are another source of potential contacts and network building. Some of the professionals you should focus on when creating a list of names include home appraisers, real estate agents, home inspectors, house painters, furniture sellers, and anyone who services or sells to the home-building industry.