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By: Patrick Voisin
Starting out in a new career can be a daunting but invigorating feeling. Most of us understand that often the best way to learn is from our own experiences, but gaining that knowledge from the insight of others can help get us on the right track and career path much sooner.

McGregor Design Group Founding Principal, and Registered interior designer, Lynn McGregor, offers her perspective on what she wished she knew when she was starting her career as interior designer.
  1. "Running a design firm may look easy, and gratifying; (and it is indeed rewarding) – but it can be very stressful. I should have enjoyed my time as an employee more, when I was in that part of my career."

  2. "I should have started using the term “architectural Interior Designer” from the beginning, (instead of interior designer); as it would have helped eliminate so much confusion when explaining what we do."

  3. "You can’t always trust partnering consultants to not claim your work as their own. I should have been more prepared for this."

  4. "Sometimes the smallest, least funded job opportunities can grow into the biggest and most gratifying successes of your career. You have to follow your heart, when evaluating opportunities."

  5. "Our industry seems to be one of the most ‘hard-hit’ during economic downturns, but design can be the solution in bad times; we all need to constantly be planning for those hard times, while educating our communities."

  6. "The quality of your first employer really does tend to set you up for the rest of your career, so it is very important to choose your first job carefully: check the track record of possible employers before your accept a position, ensure they have integrity that matches yours, that they are known for taking enough time with new employees, to teach you the ropes, and guide you through your career, and that they provide a happy, respectful work environment."

*Editor’s Note:
Lynn’s article puts forward a view that the term ‘architectural interior designer’ could assist the public’s understanding of the professional remit and depth of experience and training of Canadian interior designers. The term is used by trained European interior designers but does not, however, govern Canadian registered interior designers.

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