Making a Career Transition Later in the Game
June 22, 2023
On our most recent From the Tap podcast, Molly McCabe, AKBD, CLIPP, CAPS, co-owner of McCabe by Design in Washington state, talked to us about how she decided to make a career transition at the age of 61.
She started out by telling us how she got into the industry – a surprising transition of events – and said she loved to design houses when she was a child. McCabe recently decided to hang up the construction side of her business (she is a licensed contractor) and focus solely on design. It was a lot of work for her and her husband to take on for several years, but she advised anyone in the design industry to work or collaborate with a construction firm and noted examples of the kind of experience it can gain you.
McCabe also addressed the challenges she has had to overcome with this new transition and noted that things will get easier once the construction projects have been completed later this year. Although she has been in the business for several years, she admitted that with the new firm, she may have to get out there and network to build up again. The designer also provided some words of wisdom for those also wanting a change, including getting a tight hold on your finances and find people who are willing to help you develop your new business.
McCabe’s firm has always focused on accessibility, health, wellness and sustainability, and as such, her new website follows ADA guidelines. Her site has a dropdown menu with a variety of ways to change the format of the site, including contrast and font size. There is also a feature for people who are dyslexic, which she talks about in more detail.
The designer also touched on basic things you can do for your clients to improve the health and wellness of their homes. She says that being able to design spaces so the homeowners can retain some independence and dignity is a huge reward, but you have to be dedicated to work with people who have limitations.
We wrapped our conversation with McCabe noting some products she saw earlier this year at Design & Construction Week that were of note because of their dedication to accessibility, health, wellness and sustainability.
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