Summer Refresh: Mid-Year Career Reflection

July 2, 2024
July 2, 2024 ThePost

Independence Day is here, which means we are in the thick of the summer season! As you’re reflecting on your career, you may even be thinking, “Gee, where did 2024 go?”

As a design professional, firm owner, project manager, or event sales executive, You may have found yourself caught up in a whirlwind of projects, deadlines, and trying to stay up to date on the industry. However, the summer months offer a perfect opportunity to pause, reflect, and refresh your approach to your personal life and your career. 

Let’s explore the different ways in which you can use this time to set yourself up for success in the latter half of the year.

Mid-Year Evaluation

First, take a step back and assess your current situation. 

How are your ongoing projects progressing? 

Are you meeting the goals you set at the beginning of the year? 

This is an ideal time to review your business performance and client satisfaction. Identify areas of your career where you’re excelling and those that might need improvement. A great tool to use to compare your business to your peers is our 2023 National Interior Design Business Survey, which is full of helpful performance data from the industry.

If you’re a designer and not a firm owner, this could mean reconsidering your current job or even your current market. If you’re looking to find yourself at a more established firm or increase your earnings, moving to a new city may be a great way to do so! If major changes like this have been on your mind, check out our relocation blog, where we provide you with a rundown of everything you need to consider before making the leap. If you’re a sales professional, this may be a good time to evaluate your numbers for the year and ask yourself a few questions: Have you been meeting sales expectations? If so, how do I continue to do so, and what strategies can I implement to exceed those goals in the remainder of the year? If you have had a difficult time meeting sales expectations, ask yourself why that is. Are you putting maximum effort into all aspects of your work? If you feel that you’ve exhausted all methods, this may be a sign that your company’s sales goals may not be attainable, and It could be time for you to take your talents to another showroom.

Personal Wellness

In our fast-paced industry, it’s easy to neglect self-care. However, don’t let this be you. Remember, a balanced creative is a successful creative. Prioritize your work-life balance by setting boundaries and sticking to them. Explore stress management techniques such as yoga or meditation, enjoy the beach, or take a walk in nature. Most importantly, cultivate hobbies outside of design to keep your mind fresh and inspired.

Professional Development

Summer is perfect for investing in your skills to improve your career trajectory. Attend workshops, upcoming industry events, or webinars to stay updated with the latest. Our survey partner, Business of Home Magazine, has a vast range of educational resources and workshops you can participate in to further your industry knowledge. Lastly, you can take the time to advance your education on important programs and software that your peers are using. Read our blog on building your professional network in a new city as guidance for when you find yourself outside of your city, whether that be a big move, vacation, or you’re at an industry event.

Seek Inspiration

Refresh your creative vision by stepping out of your usual environment. You can do this by attending interior design events, as previously mentioned, or traveling for leisure! Explore new locations, even if it’s just a nearby town.

Here is a list of interior design events to look into for the rest of 2024:

The Newport Show | July 27th – July 28th

Las Vegas Market Summer Edition | July 28th – August 1st

Shoppe Objet NYC | August 4th – 6th

Detroit Month of Design | Sept. 1st – 30th

Collectible New York | Sept. 5th – Sept. 8th

COVER Connect New York | Sept. 14th – Sept 16th

Another way you can stay inspired in your work is to keep your eye on what’s trending in the industry regarding products, colors, textiles, and more. If you do not already have subscriptions to industry publications and newsletters, make it a priority to do so! Some great publications to keep you in the know are Gray, The World of Interiors, Dwell, House & Home, Luxe Interiors, and Elle Decor.

Portfolio Refresh

Use this time to update your professional presence. Revamp your website and social media profiles with recent projects. Curate a portfolio that truly represents your career, current style, and skills. Some things you can look over as it pertains to your portfolio are narrowing down your work to your very best projects, incorporating your personality or what makes you stand out as a designer, and even giving it an extra skim for grammatical and spelling mishaps.

Workspace Reorganization

Deep cleaning is not only for spring! Your environment affects your creativity. Declutter and reorganize your office space and digital space. Create an inspiring work environment that boosts your productivity. Implement efficient storage solutions to keep your materials and samples organized.

Client Relationships

Reconnecting with past clients is necessary because you never know when they might need your services again. Seek honest feedback about your work and process to help with your strategizing process. Use the insights you receive to improve your processes, attract new clients, and retain the ones you already have.

Impacting the Industry

Lastly, take the time to reflect on ways in which you can impact the industry beyond your own career. Outside of creating work for your clients and furthering your education, it is important in any field of work to give back in some way. Consider utilizing the rest of the year to teach or volunteer your knowledge to individuals coming up in your field of work. Another way you can volunteer your knowledge is by participating in our survey, which helps gather and share important data with industry professionals. Take the time to start today.

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Remember, taking time to refresh and renew isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessary part of growing as a designer and as a person. Use this summer to recharge your creativity, refine your skills, and realign your goals. Your future self (and your clients) will thank you! 

Enjoy your summer!

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