The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.Steve Jobs
So you've graduated from a design bootcamp or you've been teaching yourself design for a little while. You have some skills. You've started applying for jobs and...
You haven't found a job yet. You're not getting a lot of interest at all. Isn't UX suppose to be really hot right now? What gives?
Well, you're probably unknowingly sabotaging yourself. But it's not your fault.
All of the career advice you've heard is bulls#!t.
I'm sure your mom and dad had good intentions telling you all that stuff. You're high school counselor probably didn't know any better. And most of the people in the real world, hate their job so their advice is suspect at best.
The truth is most "traditional" career tips don't apply to the tech world.
You need a degree... if you really want to put off starting your career for a bit.
No color on your resume... because color ink is more expensive? That's nonsense.
Always wear a suit... if you want to make sure Google never hires you.
Fake it 'til you make it... just sounds like lying to me.
We could go on but the point is... you need to be careful with the career advice you take. What works for accountants doesn't work for designers.
In the tech world, we have our own rules.
But I feel like an imposter.
Let me tell you a secret... everyone struggles with imposter syndrome because no one really knows what they're doing.
We're all figuring it out.
But imposter syndrome is especially bad in the beginning. You feel completely unqualified or like a "fraud". It's normal.
Bven seasoned designers, award winners on the top of the design world such as Tobis Van Schneider, have to deal with imposter syndrome.
Don't worry. You can learn to break through it. It gets better over time.
It's just part of doing any meaningful work.
You'll spend 90,000 hours at work over your lifetime.
Work is an interesting concept. We voluntarily spend an unfathomable amount of our lives there. That's time away from our families, friends, hobbies, hopes and dreams.
In a recent article, Business Insider uncovered some rather disturbing statistics:
- The average worker will spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.
- 100 hours are spent commuting each year by the average American.
- 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs.
- 13+ million working days lost each year due to stress-related illnesses.
- 64% of Americans canceled vacations last year. One-third did it for work-related reasons.
- 25% of people check into work hourly while on vacation.
- 59% said they check in for work during traditional holidays.
- 10,000 workers per year drop dead at their desks as a result of 60- to 70-hour work weeks in Japan. The phenomenon is known as “karoshi".
It’s not pretty. We work a lot... but we're dissatisfied with our jobs? That's odd. And we're essentially destroying every aspect of our life for it.
As designers, we're not immune to this stuff. If you're not being utilized well, it's easy to just go through the motions. Who likes wasting their time designing presentations for some executive?
But it doesn't have to be that way.
You can love what you do, do interesting work, like the team you work with, respect the company you work for, be compensated well at the same time and be respected for the work you do. It’s completely possible.
You just need to go find it.
What are you worth?
If you're a designer in the tech space, you're worth a lot in the marketplace right now. You're in one of the hottest career fields in the world.
Median pay: $95,600
Top pay: $150,000
10-year job growth: 22.1%
Total jobs*: 3,426,000
If you're not at that level, you're not being paid your market value and it's directly impacting your potential life time earnings.
This is saying... if you're making $60k at the age of 30, you're lifetime earnings are a little over $4M. But if you're making $100k at 30, you're looking at $7M+.
That's about $3M in life time earnings lost! Gone. Forfeited. You can't get it back.
Don't make the mistake of not taking action.
By the way, those life time earnings numbers don't even take into account promotions, annual raises, company matches, stock options, etc....
But it's not just money. You deserve better.
Money is nice, but more than anything, it's about being valued and happy doing what you're doing.
It's about doing your best work. Meaningful work.
Did you know... you can be compensated well and do interesting work for a great company you love working for? It's possible. Shocking, I know.
There's more opportunities out there than you'd think. Don't get your job outlook from the media or your broke unkle. It's there. You just need to put yourself in a position to take advantage.
You'e way too valuable to sit on the sidelines. You've invested in yourself. You have the skills. We just need to get you positioned correctly.
Don't be one of those people
Look around you. I know you see them.
The people that aren't going any where. They've plateaued and stopped growing.
They're probably going to be exactly where they are for the next 20 years. Yet, they complain about it every day and they don't do anything about it. It's sad but it will happen if you let it.
If you hate your current job or it's extremely toxic, it's easy to be motivated to change. But if things are just ok, that's where things get hard. It's not that bad. Complacency is setting in.
But you're getting boiled.
You're skills aren't getting better. You're not advancing as fast as you should be. You're 3% annual raise is meh. All around, you're not growing.
You don't want to be like that. You want to get better. You want to be challenged.
By constantly improving, you can set your sights on lofty goals in all aspects of your life. Your career in particular is one that's pretty quantifiable and completely in your control.
You can work at a great company, love your job, do your best work, get in line to be promoted and make more money over the course of your life.
You just need to take action.
You've never had more control over your path in life than right now.
I'm now in a senior design position on a great team and almost get paid twice as much as I did in my previous job. I can focus on the important things and it all feels really really good.Sandra, UX Designer
This could not have happened so fast without reading your book.
If you're not 100% happy where you are, it's about time you put yourself first and start setting yourself up for longterm success.
Is it easy? Definitely not.
But it's completely possible to make a great living in the world without hating your job, the company you work for or the team you're on.
I believe strongly that anyone can get ahead with a little guidance and a strong desire to succeed.
Want some help getting there?
That's where I come in. I wrote a book to be like a career coach in your pocket (errr... hard drive).
It's called UXD: Everything you need to find a job and get ahead as a UX Designer. It's a practical and tactical handbook for UX designers of all levels.
In the book and bonus materials, you’ll find relevant career tips, tricks and insights to help you:
- Learn critical real-world skills not taught in design school
- Create an irresistible resume and portfolio
- Prepare for design interviews
- Learn how to evaluate opportunities and negotiate like a seasoned pro
- Evaluate your skillset and preparing for the next step in your career
- Gain insights on what makes a great UX Designer
- Know where to find different types of job opportunities in UX
- Setting and achieving your professional goals
- ...and much much more
What is the book like?
The book is 172 pages of tactical and practical tips for getting ahead in UX and standing out from your peers. Below is a sample of what it looks like:
Download a free sample of the book
Sign up for my mailing list, and I’ll send you a free sample of book.
I’ll also keep you updated on what I'm working on.
I purchased the book and am deeply in love with your excitement towards UX. The content rocks!Tayler Odea, Designer & Co-Founder at Frontend Foundry
Table of Contents
- 5 Introduction
- 7 My journey to UX
- 17 Getting Ready for a Job Search
- 18 Where are you going... and why?
- 25 Let’s get you a job!
- 27 First things first... lay your foundation
- 32 Your resume
- 40 Your portfolio
- 59 Your social media and online presence
- 66 Getting a Job as a UX Designer
- 67 Types of companies
- 70 Types of employment opportunities
- 72 Finding openings
- 79 Contacting companies directly
- 82 Working with staffing agencies or independent recruiters
- 88 Working your network
- 89 Preparing for UX interviews
- 96 Evaluating opportunities
- 100 Compensation, negotiation & accepting
- 111 Getting Ahead as a UX Designer
- 112 What makes a good UX Professional?
- 116 Technical skills you need
- 122 General business skills you need to be a professional
- 126 The most important skill you need to be a high-achiever
- 131 Developing your skills
- 133 Going back to school
- 139 Succeeding in the real world
- 146 Managing your career
- 148 My boss is pretty meh... so what do I do?
- 150 What's the career trajectory for a UX Designer?
- 153 Assess where you are in your career
- 155 Is it time to move up or move on?
- 161 Determine where you want to be
- 162 Preparing for your next role
- 167 Closing Thoughts
- 170 About the Author
Get The UXD Book
Choose the package that works for you.
The Coaching Package
The hands on option. Ideal for the career changer. Get the book and 1:1 coaching directly with the author.
* = There are a limited number of coaching packages available at any one time.
The budget option (but still great!). Get the book.
Who is this for?
I wrote the book for the ambitious UX Designer. Someone that has UX skills and looking to get ahead. Also, much to my surprise, my beta group found the book and resources to be good supplemental material for mentor sessions. Some experienced UXers are buying it for talented junior designers looking to be more of a professional.
Will this teach me design?
No, this book will not teach you "how" to design. It's not intended to replace Smashing Magazine or the A Book Apart books of the world. It's a career / professional development book for those that want to become more of a professional, find a job, progress in their careers and stand out from the creatives in design.
Which package should I buy?
That mostly depends on your budget. Obviously the premium package is the best, but the book by itself is still 170+ pages of tactics and ideas that will completely change the trajectory of your career.
Why are the packages so expensive?
They're not. I feel very strongly that the book is a bargain for the amount of value it provides. I wrote the book to help people prosper in the UX space. When coaching people one on one, I was able to get someone making $10/hr their first job as a UX Designer making $60k. She profited ~$40k in the first year from my help. I've also been able to get people making $50-70k in entry level jobs into $90-110k roles.
I put everything I've learned from my own career as an interviewer and interviewee, working for one of the largest talent resource organizations in tech, coaching dozens of people and things I've picked up along the way is in the book and it works.
I'm already working in UX. Is this useful for me?
Absolutely! I think the book could really benefit designers at every level. If you get a couple of tips that can get you a 5% raise in your current role or help you make an even bigger jump to your next job, it's easily justified.
What if I hate it?
Well, hate is a really strong word for a book... but if you truly regret your purchase for any reason, I'll happily refund your purchase. Just reply to your purchase receipt email within 30 days and I will issue a refund.
If you still have questions after reading this, just email me and I'll get back to you.
This book will help you navigate the job search process and set you up for success in your career. Using actionable and tactical instructions, you'll get everything you need to find your dream job.
Click here to read a sample to see what the book is like.
Video Tutorials - Over 1.5 hours of video content, including:
- Resume Workshop - tips 'n tricks and tailoring your resume for a specific job description
- Portfolio Walkthrough - Laying out your work as a case study and telling the story of a project
- Using the Skills Matrix - How to use a resource mentioned in the book to develop your UX skills.