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Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Berlin Liew

By Academy Xi

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Being introduced to UX design was a defining moment for Berlin; one that changed her career path and set her on a journey of self discovery. Berlin spoke with us about her experience studying UX Design and her ongoing passion for mentoring.

What was happening in your life before Xi?

I worked in digital advertising as a media buyer for 6-7 years. A manager from a previous life had met up with the user experience design team at AGL and she got in touch with me as she thought that I would really like the industry. She said ‘I think it lends itself as a discipline to your skills and if you haven’t already looked into it, I really think that you should’. And for me that sparked a whole journey of self discovery and finding out what UX was – at that point I didn’t know anything about it. It was just an acronym to me. So that’s how it started.

I studied UX Elevate in 2018.

UX is just an acronym for many people. In your own words, how would you describe UX?

I haven’t quite nailed it yet, which I think speaks for itself. There’s not one definition of what UX is and it depends on who I am speaking to as to how much I break it down, but a go to description of what it is: ‘helping digital experiences feel less clunky, more user-friendly and intuitive based on the customers’ needs, but also balancing what the business’ needs are and what tech can build’

I think that’s the best explanation I can give – otherwise it can lend itself to terms that the public may not understand. I don’t think my definition is perfect, but I think it can explain to others what I do.

Can you tell us about your experience of studying at Xi?

I completed my training in-house in Melbourne part-time, with classes twice a week after work. It was sometimes pretty tough balancing study and working full time. I was working at an agency back then, servicing NAB as our client, that alone was quite time-consuming. I was very busy so it was challenging and I did my work on weekends. 

The more I studied UX, the more I fell in love with it and I soon had the goal to switch careers into the UX field. I pushed myself to work harder to achieve that outcome for myself. Regardless of how busy work got, I found the time to make the balance between study and my job work out. It was an intense few months for me because I couldn’t let the ball drop at work and I really didn’t want to waste the Xi opportunity either.

Did the training enable you to achieve your goal?

Yes, but not at my existing workplace. In advertising as a media planner and buyer, it’s very numerical and quantitative. That environment is a great training ground for spotting trends, data analytics and stakeholder management, all of which I took on board when I moved into UX. What the course taught me was how to dig in deep to understand user needs, pain points, and then communicating that to a wider business. More of a customer focus. So the qualitative side of research and how you can translate it to any product or service you might be building. That mindset, I found, wasn’t always aligned in the advertising space. I felt if I wanted to switch careers into UX I would need to work elsewhere to make that happen.

The course helped solidify terminology, the process, and it exposed me to a lot of thinking that I perhaps wouldn’t have gathered on my own. That’s my learning style – I like being guided and I love the classroom experience when you don’t know anything about the topic. I loved studying UX, big time.

What did you do after your training?

About 5-6 months after finishing my course, I left the agency and then moved over to work in-house with NAB as an Experience Designer. They were one of the only companies at the time in 2018 that were hiring juniors, or people with less than two years’ experience in UX, so I jumped at the chance. Those opportunities were hard to come by then, they were very scarce in 2018. It just so happened I was familiar with them from my previous work.

Did you feel the training at Xi enabled that to happen?

I used what I learned in the training to get through the interview process. NAB asked for a design challenge to be completed. Had I not done the training, I’m honestly not sure I could have responded to that design brief. I basically had to reflect on what I had learnt and put it into a real-life context in this interview process. 

I didn’t have specific UX experience, but I could show that I was passionate and my existing skills transferred well with my training. I interviewed that morning and got a call that afternoon to learn I had landed the job. I think it was one of the best days of my life. It was such a tough transition, but I did it. Really the start of a whole new journey.

Where are you working now?

I was at NAB for about 8 months, then I left for a Telecommunications company called Belong. An opportunity opened up there and it was too good to pass on. Despite me moving companies, I left on good terms with my team at NAB. I stayed at Belong for a year and a half, and then moved onto Xero, which is where I’m at now as a Product Designer.

Was there a particular training highlight for you at Xi?

I was one of the earlier intakes of students for UX training. Back then, I think I was most excited by what I was learning. It was a whole space that was new to me. It opened my mind to a totally new way of looking at problems. The course content was delivered in a way that was consumable, it wasn’t too overwhelming and I truly loved it. I lapped it up! 

How did you find changing careers?

I think changing careers can be a very vulnerable time. It’s hard to explain or describe to someone. It can be a scary feeling to look at what you do and realise it’s not what you want and to make that call to change it. For those who define a lot of their identity with their work particularly that can be quite confronting. Taking a course is an investment, with no guarantee of what that will provide.

Xi provided great support during that transition, as did the mentors that I had while I was studying. I still keep in touch with them today, in fact I spoke to mine just a few days ago. This experience encouraged me to become a mentor myself.

Can you tell us about your mentoring experience?

About 6 months after I completed my training and was working in-house with NAB, I received a request to mentor for the same UX Design Elevate course at Xi. It was one of three mentoring experiences I had with Academy Xi. I think mentoring is really powerful. I’m still in touch with the first course I mentored, we got together for dinner recently. 

How has mentoring benefited you?

Mentoring challenges me to be extremely self-aware of what my own philosophy and opinions are. It encourages me to ask myself how I want to grow the next generation of designers, and consider what I did not have when I was breaking into the industry and what could be beneficial to others. I have been a part of the Xi Designer-in-Residence program since it started. I’m currently taking a break to give other budding designers an opportunity to mentor – I highly recommend it.

Looking at your career now, what aspect do you most enjoy?

I studied linguistics at uni and loved it – the study of language and how it works in society. I was told that if I wanted a career in this back in 2012 that it would have to be in academia and I didn’t want to work in academia. It’s very niche. Or I could do a masters in speech pathology; I didn’t want that either. 

The milestone for me during the study at Xi were the weeks where we looked into research to understand the benefits of talking to customers – actual interactions to discover their needs, wants and pain points and then translating that into something that you can use. That was similar to what I did in linguistics. Going out into the field, collating your findings, and writing your recommendations. It was an amazing moment for me because I could see that those same skills, that I had learned and loved, could be applied in a commercial sense. It was really exciting. 

I had filed that in my mind as something from my past that couldn’t be applied to a business setting. And now I can and I love that. A big moment of self-actualization that something I love could be a big part of what I do for a living. 

What would you say to anyone considering a career change into UX?

I would first ask myself:

  • What are the reasons for pursuing the change? 
  • What draws you into UX?

You need to listen to your own needs, not just jump because it’s a thriving industry or area to work in. Then you need to figure out how you want to get there. If you’re already working in-house, what are the chances you can explore UX within your organisation? Look for opportunities for a secondment or to shadow someone in the UX team. 

For those who don’t have the chance to explore in-house options, training with Academy Xi  is a great way to get the support and knowledge you need to be great in the job.

That place that I worked at at the time (in the agency) didn’t have an experienced design team. Because self-learning isn’t my strong suit, I knew that I’d benefit strongly from structured learning. Hence the course suited me very well. A pro of doing a course is that it is structured: there is a flow and you’re not always trying to work out what you need to learn next.

What is even better than the content at Academy Xi is their community. Xi strongly believes in support, so they’ve created the Designers-in-Residence program for that purpose, to connect full-time students to mentors. There’s also the alumni community, where you can connect with Xi alumni in the industry. That’s a huge factor with doing a course – getting access to those networks.

“I think what Xi offers as an education institution is amazing. I think they’re very attuned to the current needs and pain points of students and it is forever evolving based on that. To make a career change takes a big commitment, it’s not just about choosing the right training – you have to make sacrifices and it’s hard work. If you’re ready to do just that, I highly recommend Academy Xi.”- Berlin Liew

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Oshi Paranavitane

By Academy Xi

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While studying her Masters in Design, Oshi felt she needed something more. Then she discovered User Experience.

Course: UX UI Design Transform, completed May 2021

Life before Xi?

I did my Bachelor’s Degree in graphic design and worked in the industry for five years in Sri Lanka. I was an art director in an advertising agency for two years, then moved to a boutique digital agency working in the creative team and eventually became a brand identity designer. After two years working there, I made the move to Australia to join my husband and study my Masters in Design.

During my Masters in Sydney, I took a few units on interaction design and loved it. I would’ve liked to have done more units in this area, but wasn’t able to due to the structure of the university electives, but I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.

What encouraged you to study with Academy Xi?

The Masters in Design felt like it was lacking in terms of industry connections and job opportunities. I needed something more. While I was applying for graphic design jobs here in Sydney, I came across Academy Xi in my social feed – a promotion for the UX UI Design Transform course

After having already done a Bachelors and Masters in Design, the decision to do more study didn’t come lightly. I wanted to make sure that the training I was going to do ticked the right boxes for me and offered what I needed. 

I started researching, read a lot of glowing online reviews about the UX UI Design Transform course, which definitely influenced my decision. This was further reinforced by what I found on LinkedIn – lots of graduates talking so positively about their experiences with Xi in general and specifically their training in UX. I could see there was a strong alumni network, all working in the industry and even more great reviews. 

UX UI Design Transform sounded like it covered everything I was seeking. And it certainly did. 

Were there any training highlights you’d like to mention?

The first few weeks with our instructor Hayden were the main highlight for me. Hayden is amazing! We covered the Double Diamond framework and the entire UX design process with him. The depth he went into and the amount of information he shared with us – it was just so valuable to get that. I knew a little bit about the process from some of the units I took in my Masters degree, but it paled in comparison to the depth of detail provided by Hayden and the overall Xi training. 

Real client projects form a part of the UX UI Design Transform training. Can you share with us your experience of working on these projects?

We did two real client projects and both times we were put into project groups within our cohort – I really enjoyed this hands-on aspect of the training.

Our first project was working with IO Energy, a South Australian energy company. My project team and I worked on the customer sign up journey on their website. It worked out really well for us as a group and our learning and the client was very pleased with the outcome too. It was interesting to learn about the energy sector – so much new information and it’s definitely a sector I’d like to work in. Challenging, interesting and important. 

Doing the real life client projects gave us a genuine idea of what it would be like to work with clients in industries we might not be familiar with. Part of the job is discovering what the organisation or industry is about, understanding the jargon used and navigating how to best serve the needs of the client. This project exposed us to all of those things.

My second project was focusing on Anglicare in Sydney. As I am based in Sydney – I was invited, along with another team member, to actually go to one of the retirement homes in Castle Hill. We met some of the village managers and other staff, had onsite interviews and they took us through some of the processes they use in the centres. It was really nice to be able to conduct on-site research – I very much enjoyed that element of this project.

I also really enjoyed being able to actively apply the Double Diamond design framework to both of these design sprints. We got to see each step of the process in action and test out our new learning and skills. 

Online experience

With my final year of Masters in Design at University, everything went online due to the covid pandemic. Like many other universities and colleges, the transition from face to face learning to online was very quick due to the circumstances. I found that final year of online study to be really isolating and not at all engaging. The class sizes were really big, so it didn’t feel personalised and there just wasn’t the set up for any social interaction or engagement. With a Masters, there is also the fact that you don’t take the same classes as everyone else, so I didn’t get to know anyone I was studying with. It was hard.

Academy Xi online training was completely different. I made so many new connections and I felt a sense of community that I didn’t with university training. The class sizes were small, so we actually got to know each other – it was way more engaging.

My first project group included all Sydney based students, so we met up in person a few times both for our project work and socially – we still keep in contact now that we’ve finished our course. I genuinely feel that I made good friends from the experience. 

At the end of the course we had an online party – we played pictionary together, it was really fun, a great group of people. So despite the lockdown I had a community and really valued the social connection. 

Did you benefit from additional mentorship during your training?

Yes, (my mentor) Anna Paramita – she’s a UX Designer from Melbourne working for Suncorp and is totally amazing. It was very beneficial to have someone already working in the industry who was there to support and encourage me while training. We could really relate to each other’s experiences. I’m quite introverted so making connections isn’t my thing, but I challenged myself during this course to step up and reach out to people, which was new for me but I understand the importance of it. 

Anna recommended some books to read and was generally so supportive – it was a great experience with her, amazing advice. We are keeping in touch and I’m hoping to reconnect with her after the lock down. 

Anna is part of Xi’s Designer-in-Residence program. Read more about the program and how it benefits both Mentors and students.

Career Support 

I am now in the Career Support program where I’ve received guidance on my resume, which is now being shared around the industry contacts by Xi. I’m actively looking for a UX job now and have applied for a couple of positions. I’m open to working freelance, but would like to land an in-house role to start with.  

Ideally I would like to work in a large corporate organisation to begin with, because that way I will be more likely to get to work with a senior UX designer and learn from them on the job, but any UX experience to begin with will be great.

Would you recommend studying UX UI Design with Xi?

Yes, absolutely. Funnily enough, just after I finished my course, I posted on my LinkedIn profile my digital badge that we all received and someone I’m not even connected to randomly messaged me on LinkedIn and asked how I found the experience as they were thinking of studying it too. I would 100% recommend studying UX UI Design Transform at Academy Xi. 

We can’t wait to hear all about the next stage of your journey, Oshi! 

————

Keen to study UX UI Design? Whether you’re just starting out your career, want to study part-time, we have several flexible training options. Learn more here

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Imogen Abandowitz

By Academy Xi

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With a background in International relations and languages, Imogen always knew she wanted to work in communications, with a people focus. Training in digital marketing has provided her with exactly that. 

Hi Imogen! Can you tell us about what you were doing before studying Digital Marketing at Xi?

Right before Xi I was working in the University space in business development. Prior to that, I studied my Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Languages in Melbourne and worked in Community Development and Partnership Engagement.

What encouraged you to study Digital Marketing?

My previous degree was very general. I knew that I wanted to work in communications and I am passionate about content creation and imagery, but I was after a substantial training experience where I could walk away with specific knowledge and skills. Something distinct. Digital Marketing felt like the perfect fit.

Why did you choose Xi for your training?

I had spoken to a number of friends and colleagues who recommended the Digital Marketing Elevate course at Xi, so that definitely helped my decision. I also liked that it was all online so it was accessible. Compared to other training options it was also well priced. During the pandemic last year I had some extra time up my sleeve, so I registered!

How has studying Digital Marketing at Xi helped your career?

Since graduating I have started working for a travel and fundraising agency, Inspired Adventures, as their Campaign Manager. We take people on incredible trekking challenges around Australia while fundraising for causes they are passionate about. We work with charities with missions in Public Health, Environment and social change.

I really love my job and do my best in the role with all the charities we work with. It’s really meaningful work for me, to contribute to the success of their campaigns and fundraising goals. 

I do a lot of work with all of the charities across the campaign lifecycle, so digital marketing is certainly a part of that. I definitely think that the digital marketing training with Xi helped me to land the job. The training has given me the ability to provide strong recommendations and help them with their campaigns and overall marketing success.

Was there a training highlight for you?

For me the biggest highlight was developing the portfolio piece. I had a freelance client at the time, so I based my portfolio piece on that project. Originally I had set out to freelance and then thought to upskill with this training. It was great to have the support of the mentor and my classmates when I was starting out.

How did you find the online learning experience?

I was blown away by how the course was put together and loved the fortnightly catch ups with my group. There were about 12 of us from all over the country, regional areas and major cities. The course structure and delivery kept us all engaged with the topics we were covering each week and a lot of the resources were very comprehensive and super helpful. I liked the mixture of mediums used for course instruction – video content, written and live tutorials – it worked well. I also really enjoyed the quizzes and having break out rooms to discuss concepts with my classmates. 

Mark Knobel was my tutor and presenter and he was very helpful in explaining key concepts and guiding the direction of the course. He really helped keep us motivated, with everyone having different commitments outside of study that was super helpful.

Any plans to study further?

I would love to do more training in content creation – blogging, podcasts and user experience design all interest me. In the digital age we are living in, no matter which industry you work in, I believe marketing and effective communication are crucial.

Would you recommend training at Xi?

Definitely. The Digital Marketing training is an affordable, accessible and practical course that guides you through developing a project to showcase in a portfolio. It has helped me build confidence in business and innovative digital skills. 

I have a lot of friends who were generalists like me that I’ve recommended this training to. Having the digital marketing training is specific, applied knowledge that I really needed. I would certainly recommend studying with Xi.

Connect with Imogen on LinkedIn

Check out the amazing work of Inspired Adventures

Academy Xi Blog

You’re qualified for more jobs than you think

By Saga Briggs

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“If an opportunity comes your way, you’re ready for it.”

Here we are: experienced, passionate, skilled, searching for work that feels meaningful. And yet the work we want to do is floating around somewhere in the distance, just out of sight. With seventy percent of us experiencing imposter syndrome at some point in our careers, we either don’t know what we want to do and so fall back on what’s comfortable, or we know what we want to do and don’t feel qualified to do it. We’ve got to get over this feeling that we’re not enough, starting with the notion that we must be a perfect match for a job on paper.

Let’s make a pact right now: we’re going to put less energy into finding the “appropriate” job match and more energy into selling ourselves creatively.

 

Staying open to possibilities

First thing for us to keep in mind: we’re qualified for far more types of jobs than we can even imagine. So many job roles exist now that didn’t exist five or ten years ago, such as UX writer and Chief Skills & Learning Officer, and more will continue to crop up.

On the website Flexjobs.com, you can search for on-site or remote jobs in over 50 categories, from Advertising & PR to Software Development to News & Journalism. There are even freelance opportunities in categories you’d never expect, such as Transcription and Retail.

Make a mental note to stay open-minded and track these types of jobs down.

On the other hand, sometimes the insecurity comes from realising you might need a bit of professional development (e.g. learning a new software program) before feeling comfortable in a new role. Don’t let that slow you down either.

If a job description sounds eighty percent like you, but lists a few preferred qualifications you don’t have, apply anyway. The keyword here is “preferred.” Employers often create idealistic lists of requirements to weed out less confident applicants. You can always research, supplement your work with an online course here and there, and learn on the job. Trust yourself to grow into the role and pick up the extra skills you need along the way.

Plus, you already have transferable and additive skills. Transferable skills are skills you picked up from a previous job which may have been in a different industry but still apply to a new job role. One example would be the management experience you’d take from a Social Media Manager role to a Product Manager role. Additive skills are special skills you can bring to the new role that others can’t. Maybe the network or following you grew as a Social Media Manager would help you stand out from other Product Management candidates who aren’t as well-connected.

Note, too, that informal experience counts for a lot. Even if you haven’t been paid to do something you spend a lot of time on, like travel blogging or coaching, you still know how to do it and probably should be paid for it. Take stock of all the skills you have developed that could be valuable to a company in ways they might not expect. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with different backgrounds who can bring interdisciplinary chops to the table.

Finally, intention and passion are the most valuable skills you can cultivate.

Danielle LaPorte, CEO of a seven-figure lifestyle brand and a former Washington DC-based think tank director who consulted with the Pentagon (and who, incidentally, never went to uni), once said: “Your passion is your qualification. It’s your leading qualification.”

Hardly anyone has taken a predictable, linear path to the place they’re at now. Sometimes opportunities fall into our laps; other times we find creative ways to make things happen for ourselves. Below are the stories of four professionals who took interesting, unexpected routes to get to where they are now.

 

Surprising career pivots

Linguist to UX Writer

Kati Hoeschen, UX Writer at Nordstrom in Seattle, USA

“Like most UX writers, my background was a winding road of wordy interests—Italian language, linguistics, translation—until I found technical writing and help content. I loved the challenge and valued of good help content, but I was frustrated at the missed opportunities in the product itself. I was so happy to find out about product content strategy and UX writing because it’s the chance to help the user on the first go. I think my first product team got tired of hearing me ask, ‘What if we update the tool so the user doesn’t need this help content?’ And since I’ve had a seat at the table, it’s been my mission to be a part of the content strategy and UX writing communities.

For content writers transitioning into UX writing, I’d recommend that these writers consider context first and always. Content creators can get snagged by thinking that content is modular, but that’s not usually true. Instead, I understand the user flow first, and then identify the user and business needs in that context.

Credentials are helpful, but I don’t think they’re necessary. I never worked as a UX designer or copywriter. If you’re transitioning into UX writing, I’d recommend reading up on the fundamentals of UX and studying UX writing as deeply as possible. Torrey Podmajersky’s new book, Strategic Writing for UX, is a great read for that. You should also focus on assembling a portfolio that highlights your UX thought process.

UX writing portfolios generally live on a website or are shared with a PDF. Don’t spend tons of time or money on a sexy website—instead invest your time in laying out your process and ideas in a clear and logical way.”

 
Psychologist to UX Researcher

Ananda Nadya, UX Researcher at Tokopedia in Jakarta, Indonesia

“Near my end of study time in university, I had an identity crisis where I knew that I wouldn’t fit the popular jobs that were commonly available for a psychology graduate (i.e. HR, psychologist or statistician). 

I originally wanted to become a psychologist, but it’s an occupation that takes time and resources, as psychologists in Indonesia need to have at least a master’s degree to practice. So I decided to do something more pragmatic, that could provide good ROI for me and my parents.

I still checked the popular opportunities for psychology students, such as HR. I tried it and found that I disliked it. I even tried another job in the Public Relations, but sadly, it didn’t fit me either.

My first encounter with UX happened thanks a random meeting with my friend, who was in the computer science faculty. They were looking for a psychology graduate to work on some IT problems that would need a human-centric approach.

I didn’t know what career to pursue, so I felt like I had nothing to lose. I gave it a try, without really knowing what the role was all about.

It turned out the IT company that my friend referred me into, was a venture company that was looking for UX research intern. The role wasn’t common in Indonesia in 2017. I got accepted because I had done a freelance project, helping my mentor on his thesis regarding the use of applications.

I had no formal skills in UX, but I had informal experience, due to the random work I’d done as a university student, helping out friends and mentors finding participants for their thesis.

When I got in the office, I didn’t know much at first. I didn’t understand what a UX researcher does. Fortunately, the workplace environment was very nice. They offered me a proper on-boarding, with a series of workshops and presentations from experts during the course of one week.

My supervisor also encouraged me to read several must-read books regarding product development and UX, such as Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me ThinkHooked by Nir Eyal, and Inspired. Moreover, she always ask me and the rest of the interns to attend free startup events with her, to hear experts’ opinions.

From there, it became a habit for me to go to free events, as there are fortunately quite a lot here in Jakarta, Indonesia, to find inspiration from experts and to network.

From these new encounters, I received good recommendations for books, seminars and classes. I began taking classes, seminars or workshops to sharpen my skills in UX.

I then created a solid Linkedin profile and tried to befriend many UX experts through LinkedIn. Once they accepted me as their connections, my feed became filled with UX-related content, teaching me about the latest trends happening in Indonesia and around the world.

I started to repost articles on trending UX topics. I put down my thoughts and opinions, and waited to see if anybody responded. Which did happen! By publishing articles, I made more network connections and gained more recognition. 

So I would say that after all, changing jobs was not so scary. You just have to know where to look for opportunities, where to learn, and more importantly, how to sell your profile – which is a mix of knowledge, eagerness to learn, and talking to the right people.”

 

Slam poet to voice user interface writer

Matthue Roth, UX & VUI Writer at Google in New York

“I think I was doing UX writing before I realised it was UX writing. I was a novelist who’d been asked to write for a video game. The game’s directors said they wanted a literary tone, and I realized about 5 steps in that what the game needed was to be tighter, not wordier.

After that, I worked on more games with the same team. I really learned to appreciate the sparseness of language, and how the fewer words we use, the greater the impact. Writing spoken language was even more powerful. When I wrote spoken strings for the Google Assistant, we were acutely aware of word density—every syllable was another fraction of a second that we had to hold our users’ attention, that they might lose their internet connection, or zone out, or change their minds.

Each UX writing job is reskilling, in a way—you’re creating a new connection between the technology and the user, and you have to start from scratch each time. So I don’t think I’ve ever consciously had to stop and reskill, but at the same time, I think I’m constantly reskilling.”

 

Musician to Service Designer

Richard Easton, Service Designer at Telstra in Melbourne, Australia

“Initially I was a musician, so my focus was sounds (and words). When I decided to get ‘a real job’ all I could see was middle management or manual labour (both of which I had done plenty of). Then a friend suggested I try a professional writing course to harness my talent, so I followed an online course in Melbourne. That led me to copywriting and it felt like a good fit.

I think it’s super important to stay as close to what interests you as possible, even if it feels like a wandering trajectory. I liked being a copywriter but I was always arriving at the end of the design process: “Hey mate, we need some words here that describe what the customer has to do next.” And I used to think, “They should have been told earlier, or they shouldn’t need to do all these steps.”

After a few years of that I became frustrated that people weren’t designing things properly, so I started asking more questions, questions many people don’t like hearing, like “Have you spoken to any customers about this?” and “Maybe you need to wait a few months before releasing this product.”

With some mentoring, I started running workshops so I could understand what was inhibiting good design and good customer experiences. I leveraged design tools from designers and read online articles about design thinking. Apparently, I had become a Service Designer.

Ironically, I sometimes use the working backwards method and write a future-state email or press release to understand how to best start the design process. So, the skills you pick up along the way always come back. My advice to anyone evaluating their career is to embrace a wandering trajectory but stay close to what makes you feel right.”

 

We don’t need more formal education; we need more self-reflection and creativity. Let’s stop pining after our dream positions and starting doing them now, before we feel completely ready. As the inspiring transformational coach Jazmin Medrano once said, “If an opportunity comes your way, you’re ready for it.”

Author: Saga Briggs.
Saga Briggs is a journalist covering trends in learning, creativity, intelligence, and educational technology. Follow her @SagaMilena