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How To Market Yourself As A UX Designer

(This article was written by Naomi Easson and was originally posted on LinkedIn on October 25th 2016).

Calling yourself a UX Designer without experience in the field may be deemed controversial, but I strongly support those people who are passionate about changing their career paths and who can see that they have relevant experience beyond a previous job title.

I have nine years experience in Digital and Creative recruitment and have been supporting a number of emerging UX designers find their new professions and really wanted to share the advice I give them.

When you have exhausted this book list http://uxmastery.com/resources/books and want to start getting yourself out there here are my tips;

UX Design, Digital and Creative recruitment

Image Credit:  Mark Conlan

Qualify your transferable skills

I recently supported Kristin Mark (https://medium.com/@kristinmark) a UX Designer from New York, who was looking for a UX role in Melbourne, by arranging interviews with UX hiring managers. Kristin was looking to uncover some solutions, for the lack of Senior UX talent we have in the market and how we can support the emerging Junior Designers.

It became very apparent how important soft skills are, here are some key ones to start fine tuning;

Empathy;

Get ready to start listening and caring about other people’s opinion.

Communication Style;

Active listening will become your priority for meetings as well as building the confidence to explain your ideas and defend their value.

Likability and Self-Awareness;

This is a people job, you have got to love working with lots of other humans.

Get on the tools;

You do not need to be a visual designer to be a great UX Designer, but having a toolkit to help you get job ready and understand the practice will be a massive advantage.

Check out these useful links:

Get noticed in the community;

Melbourne is a tight-knit community; there are lots of job opportunities and chances are you’ll find these through meet-ups and conferences. Try and get out to at least one event a week and get to know the thought leaders, they could be your next boss!

Form friendships and gain mentors;

Having a mentor can be life changing, to share their experiences with you, challenge your ideas and help support you to achieve your goals.

If you find a peer you think you can learn from, shout them a coffee or offer your skills in exchange for their expertise. It can be difficult finding the right mentor, so when you do, make sure you hang onto them!

Start creating a portfolio:

There is no time like the present! You can UX anything, maybe you could look at your current role and try and identify some problems you or the business have and take them through a process of Design Thinking?

Make sure to create a case study of your findings. Start with the problem, discuss your process and methods and then give the solution. The journey is the key to good case studies; make sure to keep it clear and concise.

Donating some time to an NFP or small business is a great way to get real time experience and show your potential.

If you do have the cash, I would recommend up-skilling at General Assembly and getting some hands on UX project time. However, it is possible to learn to be a UX’er yourself (https://generalassemb.ly/education/user-experience-design-immersive)

To all the cynics out there, let’s start empowering the next generation of innovators instead of judging their newly acquired skills.  When was the last time you turned your life around and put passion before anything else?

Thank you to Kristin Mark for being inspirational and Sabine Brix for her fine-tuning.

About The Author:

Naomi Easson is a creative and driven Digital Recruiter with experience placing both Permanent and Freelance talent from graduate to executive level across consultancy, corporate and agency environments.

Follow Naomi on LinkedIn.

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