Applying to jobs makes you a better designer

applying-to-ux-jobs-makes-you-better-designer

Job hunting is brutal.

Looking for a UX job is no exception.

Let me know if you’ve ever felt like…

  • An impostor designer who doesn’t belong
  • No company is giving you a chance, or worse…
  • Companies show interest in initially, then ghost you
  • Comparing yourself to those amazing designers on Dribbble or Medium
  • Job descriptions seem unreasonable, even for entry level jobs.
  • Maybe you’re not cut out for UX after all

If any of these points hit you hard, I can empathize. I’ve been through each of those scenarios myself.

So what do you do?

This is the simple reframe that’s helped me:

Applying to jobs makes me a better designer.

I once got a take-home assignment that asked me to redesign the ATM experience, but for children. That assignment stretched my ability and imagination.

I didn’t get the job.

But I was a better designer for it.

If you don’t win, then learn.

Perhaps you face a particularly hard design exercise.
Or get a tough interview question that threw you off.
Maybe you’re not getting any responses on your applications.

All of these are opportunities to up your game as a designer.

This is the reason that I encourage UX Coaching clients to apply before they feel “100% ready.”

Perfectionism and procrastination are the evil twins of the career transitioner, who will wait too long to become “good enough.” By then, the job they wanted is no longer available.

But applying to jobs can net you free motivation and career development.

Do you have an updated resume to share with us?
We have a design challenge for you.
Send us your portfolio please.

Nothing lights a fire under a designer’s ass like a deadline and the desire to prove oneself.

We all experience personal growth when rising to a challenge. In a sense, applying to a job is asking for a challenge.

And if you get rejected?

That also will make you a stronger designer.

This method is not only limited to new designers and students looking to nab their first UX job.

I’ve known of seasoned pros who apply to jobs just to see what the job market’s like and keep their skills sharp.

So if you have a minimum viable portfolio – start applying now.

And if you’re not having the best job search – remember that the process is making you a better designer.


Also published on Medium.

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