Congratulations! You’ve successfully graduated from interior décor or design school, and now you’re ready to embark on an exciting journey into the professional world. As you step into this competitive industry, it’s essential to have a clear roadmap for a successful career. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the post-graduation phase and set yourself up for success in the field of interior décor or design.

Building a Strong Portfolio

Showcase Your Best Work: Your portfolio is your professional identity. Curate a collection of your best projects, including design concepts, sketches, renderings, and completed work. Highlight a diverse range of styles and aesthetics to demonstrate your versatility and creativity.

Digital Presence: In today’s digital age, it’s crucial to have an online portfolio. Create a professional website or use platforms like Behance or Dribbble to display your work. Ensure that your portfolio is visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Internships and Freelance Projects: Gain practical experience through internships or freelance projects. These opportunities not only add depth to your portfolio but also provide valuable industry exposure and networking opportunities.

Networking and Building Professional Relationship

Join Professional Organisations: Consider joining professional organisations such as Decorator and Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada). These organisations offer networking events, workshops, and resources for emerging professionals – check out DDA Canada Events.

Attend Industry Events: Participate in industry events, trade shows, and design exhibitions. These platforms provide an excellent opportunity to connect with industry professionals, potential clients, and fellow designers.

Utilise Social Media: Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest to showcase your work, engage with the design community, and connect with potential clients and collaborators.

Job Searching and Career Opportunities

Research Potential Employers: Identify firms or companies that align with your design style and values. Research their work, company culture, and employment opportunities.

Customised Resumes and Cover Letters: Tailor your resumes and cover letters to each job application. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and projects that demonstrate your suitability for the role.

Internship to Employment: If you have the opportunity to intern at a design firm, make the most of it. A successful internship can often lead to a full-time employment offer.

Continuous Learning: The design industry is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest trends, materials, and technologies. Consider attending workshops, seminars, and online courses to expand your knowledge and skill set.

Follow Design Publications and Blogs: Subscribe to design magazines, blogs, and newsletters to stay informed about industry trends, emerging designers, and innovative projects. Refer to for excellent and thorough resources, blogs, and guides!

Social Media and Influencers: Follow influential designers and industry leaders on social media platforms. Their insights and experiences can provide valuable learning opportunities.

Navigating Challenges and Making a Name for Yourself

Embrace Challenges: The early stages of your career may come with challenges and rejections. Embrace these experiences as opportunities for growth and learning. Stay resilient and persistent.

Unique Design Perspective: Develop a unique design perspective that sets you apart. Whether it’s a signature style, sustainable approach, or innovative use of materials, establishing a distinct identity can help you stand out in a competitive market.

Client Relationships: Building strong and trustworthy relationships with clients is crucial. Effective communication, understanding their needs, and delivering exceptional design solutions are key to establishing a positive reputation.

In conclusion, the journey from interior décor or design school to a successful career in the industry requires dedication, creativity, and strategic planning. By building a strong portfolio, actively networking, staying updated with industry trends, and navigating challenges with resilience, you can carve out a fulfilling and impactful career in interior décor or design. 

Remember, every project and interaction is an opportunity to grow and showcase your passion for creating beautiful, functional spaces. Best of luck on your professional journey!

Written By DDA Accredited Member,
Erin Lanigan