Succeeding on the Dean Cabinetry Design Team: Insider Tips and Advice

Sean Ahern | Kitchen Designer | Dean Cabinetry

By: Sean Ahern

We’re writing this blog to help you understand what it takes to be a part of our design team. We hope to pull back the curtain on what we do, and how we do it. We want to show much fun we have designing the hearts of people’s homes!

Dean Cabinetry Design Team Meeting

How do I succeed on the Dean Cabinetry Design Team?

Every day, you are tasked with budgeting, designing plans, problem-solving, and most importantly building lasting relationships with your clients.  Time management is a necessity, and it is very easy to fall behind if you are unorganized.  Working hard comes with the territory. There isn’t much time to relax when you are at work.  Every team depends on each other to keep this well oiled machine moving forward.  I have worked at Dean Cabinetry for about four months now, and the learning never stops. 

This team of kitchen designers has decades of experience. They are willing to take you under their wing to teach you how to be successful.  The one thing that they are unable to teach is the passion, ambition to learn, and the drive to better yourself as a member of the team. These are all things you must bring to the table.

Once you realize that you do want to be a part of the team, you then learn that relationship building is how our business grows.  Without referrals and great reviews, the company as a whole loses a portion of the market.  The designer spends the most time with the client, and that experience is how they view the entire company.  You represent the entire team every time you step out to meet with a client.

If you want to succeed as a designer you must be able to adapt to customers’ needs. You must listen to what they are asking for, even when they are unable to clearly explain it.  We are the professionals, and they are coming to us for help on their design.  Our team digs for as much information as we can, listening for their needs and wants. We try to really listen for what the client wants, including when they can’t articulate it. If you take things at face value, you may never be able to connect with your client, and their vision may get lost through your design.  

Dean Cabinetry Kitchen Design

What do you do on a daily basis?  

Every day is different, and that is what keeps me driven to succeed.  I usually get to the office in the morning and check emails.  This usually paves the way for the rest of the day.  Based on the emails that I receive, I create tasks to get done.  Along with those tasks, other designers may ask for me to do a drawing based on time restrictions.  The designers work well together and always try to balance the workload to maintain efficiency.  We are always adopting new ways to better our process.  The discovery team sends over new leads to us to budget and contact.  Other emails may be answers to questions, or requests to change parts of a design we sent.  

When the emails are completed and tasks are created, I look at the schedule and check the appointments for the day.  If I have an appointment that day, I like to print out plans and have everything ready for when they arrive.  Once the day is scoped out, I begin to work on designs and budgets based on the last conversation with the clients. 

Unlike most companies, when lunchtime rolls around we try to eat together to build team chemistry.  This is just one way that our team really sets us apart.  You spend a lot of time each day at work with your colleagues, and this helps create a sense of family.

For the second half of the day I try to go out and measure projects, or even meet with clients to review designs.  By the end of the day, I take time to create tasks for the following day.  Finally, before leaving the office the design team usually has a recap of the day.  We talk through the issues we have come across, and we try to create a plan of action to keep it from happening again.  I leave work everyday knowing that the following day will most likely be completely different.  That is what drives me to keep pushing forward and learning.   

Dean Cabinetry Custom Kitchen Design Rendering

Is the work fun?

Coming into work and never knowing what the day will bring makes this job very enjoyable.  You can be drawing all day on Monday and then Tuesday you are traveling around the state meeting clients at their houses.  The owners also organize team building events and lunches to keep the energy levels up.  We laugh and have a great time kicking back for a few minutes away from our desks. Some employees play basketball after work, there is a gym to lift weights, and the people who work here really make this the most fun job that I have personally ever had.  It may be a biased opinion, however I have worked for many companies, and the level of care for employees is unmatched.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of our design team or any team here at Dean Cabinetry, check out our hiring process here!