3 Growth Hacks for a UX Career, No Matter Your Skill Level
With over 1.74 billion websites in existence and over 4 million mobile apps available to download, it’s clear that those with careers in UX will continue to be in high demand for the long term. But for anyone in the UX world looking for the next steps in their career, what should you be doing? We asked that very question to Alexa Mueller, UX Market Advisor at Motion Recruitment. Here are the three things people should do to take their UX career to the next level, according to Alexa.
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1. Network as Much as You Can
Network with everyone and anyone in your field! If it’s on LinkedIn, in a meetup group, in person or remote, it's the best way to get your story out there. UX designers, product managers, anyone in the UX field. They're storytellers, so the best way to advocate for your users and to tell the story that your product or your company is trying to tell is by figuring out what does everyone else doing out there.
A great thing about networking is that you can learn by networking and expand your knowledge through your network. Are you staying on top of current design trends? Are you talking to, other managers or leaders within your market and in your space within product and UX? What are companies hiring for these days? Are you keeping abreast of the actual hiring and job market at the moment? All of these can be answered just through networking.
Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues what they're seeing or if they have friends and other companies that are doing certain things. Be curious. You can constantly feed your repertoire with new ideas, understanding the trends, what works and where you are going to see success.
2. Keep and Maintain a Great Portfolio
Your portfolio is always going to be a work in progress just as we humans evolve and are constantly a work in progress. So, one of the best things you can be doing is showcasing your professional work, personal projects, really anything that defines your design skill set. If you don't have professional experience, and just getting started in the industry, a recent college grad, you've recently graduated from a boot camp, whatever the case may be. That's okay. Make something up and put it in your portfolio.
According to many hiring managers, the most important thing you can convey in an interview is insights into your thought process and making sure they understand what you bring to the table, and that can be done through a case study or any project. So even taking on freelance projects, or designing a website for your family business, your friend's business, just a website for yourself or even your pets, it doesn't matter. You want to design something to show so that when you go to interviews you have samples of work, you can talk through your process and then give them the understanding as to why you made those decisions.
Just because you're working doesn't mean your portfolio is working for you. We all get busy, we're tired at the end of the day, but if there's a major layoff or you urgently need to look for a UX job, you have to be ready, or if someone reaches out to you and is looking for advice and help, but I need to see some examples. With an up-to-date portfolio, you are ready to share the best version of your skills.
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3. Never Stop Learning
The biggest thing those in the UX field could do to set themselves apart is simply to never stop learning. Continue to evolve and redefine your brand and your skill set, and hone in on what that is. No matter how junior or how senior you get, you're always able to keep learning. There are so many resources that anyone looking to learn can take advantage of, with many of them free to use. Take online courses, attend conferences, go to seminars, listen to others in your community and join events like Tech in Motion's Product and UX AMA on Discord. If you want to grow your career in UX, continuously find ways to hone your craft.
This also means staying on top of the market news and tech trends that affect the product and UX design community. What industries are hiring or in urgent need of your UX skills? Spoiler: the NFT industry is hiring for UX Design - heavily. Having market knowledge will not only better connect you with your peers, but also allow you to be as prepared as possible for a new job or step in your career.
Are you in UX or the world of tech and looking for your next opportunity? Contact your local Motion Recruitment today. Offices are located across North America, with recruiters that specialize in specific skill sets inside tech, including UI/UX positions. Find out how we can put your career in Motion today.