Interior designers often make hundreds of decisions every week when working with a client. Long before an interior designer starts to make decisions on the use of fabrics, furniture, colors and other elements in designing an environment, they will need to consider whether to work for a design firm or whether to strike out on their own as a private contractor.
Interior designers employed by design firms generally work regular hours in well-lit and comfortable settings. They are given projects based on workload, ability and experience. Working for a design firm often means giving up some control over the finished work because the designer will be expected to work with the firm's leadership as well as working with the client.
Designers in smaller design consulting firms, or those who freelance, generally work on a single contract or on a job-by-job basis. Because they frequently work by the project and not on an hourly basis, contract or freelance interior designers can adjust their workday to suit client schedules and deadlines. The flexibility to work outside of the normal workday framework allows these design professionals a freedom that their counterparts in design firms do not enjoy. While helpful, this flexibility also means that contract and freelance designers often work during evening or weekend hours. Consultants and self-employed designers also tend to work longer hours and in smaller, more congested, environments.
In addition, contract workers also enjoy the added benefit of working for design firms on a contract basis. Many firms hire this way for temporary workload crunches and often, after seeing your capabilities, will consider you for a permanent position if you desire more long-term stability