No matter what profession you’re in, changing careers can be tough. Some of the initial hurdles you worked hard to overcome are back again. Depending on how drastic the change is, you might have to start again from the ground up. Don’t be discouraged! Just because it’s tough doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You need to give yourself the best chance of success in your dream career. This is all big talk, but how can you actually go about it? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Keep reading to find out how to transition to a career in home staging!
In most cases, the biggest hurdle toward achieving your dreams is yourself! If you already have a full-time job that pays the bills, giving it all up for the uncertainty of chasing your dreams is terrifying! If you’re a smart cookie, like we know you are, you’re probably doing lots of research to ease the transition.
Doing your research to inform your decisions decreases your risk of failure. Take your time to get to know the industry. Is there a demand for home stagers in your local area? Is there a local real estate or staging association where you can find support? These considerations as well as salary estimations and employment rates are important! They may even encourage you to change careers. But remember, the most important thing you need to assess is yourself!
Ask yourself why you’re interested in home staging. Do you feel fulfilled when your work makes someone else happy? Do you love mixing different colors, patterns, and textiles for an array of different projects? When you know that you have some of the skills and talent required for a field, you’ll feel more confident. Your transition will be much smoother when you know that you already have some of the basic building blocks.
It’s tough to break into any industry, especially without any form of training. How else will you learn how to depersonalize, declutter, and create curb appeal for your clients’ homes? What about learning how to run a business, interact with clients, and work with real estate agents? You’ll learn all these skills in a home staging course. And if you can say you’ve learned your technical and soft skills from reputable school… you’re in the money!
Once you’ve decided that you need professional training, the next step is to look for a school/course. Since home staging isn’t a regulated industry in most places, there are some sketchy options out there. Look for accredited schools that provide certifications.. If your schedule is too busy to allow you to take courses at a brick-and-mortar college, look online!
Online home staging courses are designed to fit your busy lifestyle. You don’t need to travel to a campus every day and there are no hard deadlines to meet. You’ll work at your own pace and complete assignments when you have the time to do so. If you’re excited to break into the industry, commit a few hours a week to your studies. It’s easy to make a plan to complete your assignments but it’s another to follow through. You don’t want to rush your education, but you also don’t want to take too long. If it takes forever, you may feel like you’re better off giving up! Having discipline will ensure that you get the most out of your tuition fees and course.
Build a strong portfolio
Showing that you have professional training is just the first step. Your certificate tells potential clients that you have a proper education. But after graduating, what do you have to show for it? Learning color theory and selecting window treatments is one thing, but actually knowing how to do it to help sell homes is another.
As a fresh grad, you may be worried that you don’t have enough paid, professional staging experience to add to your portfolio. But that doesn’t mean you should omit a portfolio section from your professional website!
Dedicate a section of your website to showcasing your work. Include the assignments you worked on in your home staging class. You worked hard to get that certification, so why not show potential clients what you’re capable of? You may not have staged for homeowners just yet, but that doesn’t mean you’re not equipped to carry out excellent staging projects. Let those beautiful images speak on behalf of your talents. In such a visual career, you have to let your talent and creativity shine through!
Don’t quit your day job… yet
Once you’ve been certified in your chosen field, it can be tempting to quit your job and dive headfirst into starting your own business. If you have the means to give it a go, then dive in! But, for most of us, we need to start slowly.
Slowly get your name out there by taking on a few clients whom you can work with on evenings and weekends. Build up a reputation for yourself, and save whatever earnings you make from your work, so that when you ARE ready to go at it full-time, you’ll have a strong foundation to rely on.
Once you’ve built a solid client list and a good reputation in your local industry, you’re ready to jump into staging full time!
Be patient and keep learning
Rome wasn’t built in a day—and you can’t expect a great career to be built quickly. You have to have patience as you develop your skillset and client base. It can be frustrating to finish up your professional training and not be able to quit your day job for the first few months or year. Don’t fret! Just keep your head down and work hard. Your dedication and passion for the job will show through to your clients. We guarantee that there’s nothing better for your career than word-of-mouth recommendations.
Finally, keep learning! Stay up-to-date on new decor trends. Continuously educate yourself, it can do wonders for your resume and projects. Education doesn’t just mean enrolling in more courses. Attend conferences and tradeshows, join associations, and network with other home stagers and real estate agents. Keeping up with your industry and other professionals in real time gives you invaluable knowledge. Your career as a home stager will thrive if you refuse to become stagnant. Plus, your clients will be impressed and more likely to refer your services if they know that you’re at the top of your game.
How far along are you in your career change? Let us know!