Career Choices for Kitchen and Bathroom Designers

Working within the KBB Industry The Kitchen, bedroom and bathroom market, often shortened to KBB, is one of the most diverse industries in which to work and one which is rarely truly appreciated or understood by recruiters. That is why it is prudent to seek out an agency that both understands this diverse niche and is quick to realise your personal goals and ambitions, in summary expert in KBB recruitment.

There are many different levels at which to work within this sector, albeit as an experienced Kitchen Designer or Showroom Manager. The skill sets are quite varied and the paths that can be taken alter depending on the ambitions of the individual. As an experienced kitchen designer you could be using the latest CAD software to design and inspire your customers, providing them with a 3D visualisation of their final room layout.

Planit or 20-20 are commonly used but there are a variety of packages on the market and familiarity on one will usually lead to a quick understanding of another. Some kitchen designers prefer drawing their designs on graph paper and with the right artistic interpretation this can be equally eye catching. The career path that many designers take is guided by a number of factors. The market itself is divided into three key segments, Retail, Trade and Bespoke. At the retail end of the market, a good designer will turn out many winning designs in a week, often being rewarded with a basic salary and good commission on every successful sale, this may be through national DIY sheds or local Independents.

The emphasis within the retail market is to be able to both design and sell the given product, quite often you will be multi tasking, almost project managing the initial design through to order and organisation of the final installation. The retail position is both fast paced and the financial rewards can be great for those with good organisational skills, drive and tenacity. At the other end of the spectrum is the bespoke market.

Typically not as fast paced as the retail market the emphasis here is on high end quality delivered with exceptional precision and a service level that would be expected from someone paying in excess of 50,000 pounds. Good design and fashion trends play key parts, but as with retail, an understanding of customer expectations and the ability to deliver the "dream" are vital. The other side of the business is trade, here again the role is quite diverse as you could be dealing with an individual sole builder all the way through to a large developer, price will always be an issue but so will the tight timeframes that you will be expected to deliver within.

As with the bespoke market, the remuneration is quite often weighted towards basic salary with a lower level of commission. However high earning levels can be accomplished through good management of what will become a critical client portfolio. Although many people choose to stay as designers, often transferring into differing parts of the industry, there are other options available. If management features highly on your wish list then a move into showroom management is an obvious choice.

Those with a strong ability to sell will look to transfer to the supplier side, often servicing the showrooms where they once worked. Other options include Area or Regional Management, managing a number of sites within a geographical location.

Finally for the brave and industrious, there is always the option of taking your talents and skill into the self employed market, working in either a freelance capacity or setting up your very own showroom. If you are looking to move within this market, a good agency should be able to help you. You will however need to find a company that specialises within this field and understands all levels of the KBB industry. They should be able to understand your key drivers and aims and be able to assist in facilitating the right move, whatever your long term plans.

Be careful of companies that profess to be expert, it is always worth asking just how much your chosen agency knows about the market and what proportion of their overall recruitment KBB actually is. You should see your agent as your eyes and ears in the market place and as with all business contacts, establishing a strong rapport with your consultant is vital so work only with someone you feel comfortable with and who truly understands your requirements.

Good luck in your career search in what is an exciting, dynamic and constantly evolving industry.


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