As we celebrate our 15th anniversary at Designer Society of America, we hope you still celebrate each and every milestone in your interior design career as well. When schedules get tight and clients get cranky, it can be easy to forget why we got into this line of work in the first place. Just remember, every career has its challenges, but not every career has the rewards that ours offers!
Think back to those very earliest of days, back when working as an interior designer was perhaps just a dream for you. Then move forward just a bit to that period of time when you were studying and honing your craft, setting loose those creative juices and seeing your ideas and work come to life. Now remember your very first client, the first time you stood back and saw your design in someone's home, the first check a client placed in your hand, payment for a job well done.
How we wish that excitement could be bottled! It could be saved for moments later in our careers when we hit a brick wall or are struggling with a difficult client or can't seem to get the creative juices flowing. Taking time to refresh our passion for interior design is good for our mental and emotional health as well as our clients and our bottom line when we're happy, we're more productive!
Here are some general tips to help you restore your enthusiasm:
Appreciate What's At Hand. Keep a running list of things you're thankful for, adding one thing every day. Whether it's a coworker who particularly makes coming to work enjoyable or being selected for a fun client project, keeping tabs will not only add up to a wonderful list of reminders but also help you define those parts of your career you find most rewarding.
Do More of What You Like. If you have the power to seek out only the types of projects you most enjoy, take advantage of that. Don't limit yourself, however, as expanding your expertise will serve to make you more valuable to your business and your clients. New challenges can reignite interest in your position or alert you to areas where you have a hidden passion.
Be Realistic. There will always be parts of your job that are less exciting than others. No job is completely free of the mundane. Just remember, each task, no matter how mundane, is a stepping stone that makes the next one possible. Understanding that the parts of your work you find dull often set the stage for the aspects you enjoy and will help you better appreciate all facets of your work.
Search for Significance. When you're buried under the minutiae of your day-to-day tasks, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture. Take a moment to remind yourself of all you've accomplished so far, whether as part of a creative team or on your own. You'll find great satisfaction when you recount how much you've already accomplished, and it can do wonders in helping you set and achieve future goals.
Aim to Excel. High performers take pride in the quality of their work and aim for the top regardless of how they feel about the task at hand. Pride in your work and being conscientious about your reputation can help build enthusiasm for your job and branding your business.
Take a Break. Even if you genuinely love what you do, it's hard to be passionate about anything if you're burned out. That's why it's important to get away from the office on occasion, if possible. And it doesn't have to be 10 days in Europe...even a long weekend or day off mid-week can do wonders for your efforts to recharge.
So take some time for yourself and focus on things that will help reignite that passion from the early days. Too often we feel guilty about setting aside time for ourselves, valuable time that could be spent working. But remember this,both your personal life and your career stand to benefit from time spent gathering your inner strength.