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080: Everything I Know (So Far) on Landing a Job in UX with Jason Ogle

User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
User Defenders: Podcast – UX Design & Personal Growth
080: Everything I Know (So Far) on Landing a Job in UX with Jason Ogle
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This is the last episode of 2021. After nearly two years of outlining the content for this episode and nearly two months (at time of writing) of recording & editing, here’s everything I know (so far) on landing a job in UX. I hope this content is not only useful to you and anyone you know looking to land their first (or next) job in UX, but I sincerely hope this episode is greatly inspirational and even life-changing for you. I forgot to say it at the end of the episode, so Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Joyous New Year dear Defenders! Take care of yourself and each other, and I’ll see you on the other side of this year with more amazing UX/Design content! 👊 Jason Ogle

Bio


Jason Ogle is human, not dancer. He’s a growth-minded, avid reader and listener whose vehicle is a rolling university. He’s an innovative and strategic design leader focused on product creation, growth and conversion. He’s a passionate user defender who fights for the users who are victims of bad design decisions. He’s an influential podcaster who uses the enchanting magic of audio to inspire and equip an audience of hungry and ambitious designers. He’s an evocative (often contrarian) writer who believeth in the power of the written word. He’s a confident, highly self-aware servant-leader who believes that humans are so much more than resources. He’s a loving husband (22 yrs and counting) and father of six here on earth (which speaks to his leadership abilities), and one already in heaven (which speaks to his deep capacity for empathy).

Fun facts: He once had to get a manicure to be a hand-model for a tech ad, got his uvula surgically removed while recovering from ankle surgery, and has a rare essay titled “Altars of Satan” given to him and signed by Eldridge Cleaver.

Timestamps


  • Origin (4:50)
  • Count the Costs (9:53)
  • Portfolio (21:18)
  • Resume (29:49)
  • Networking (35:03)
  • Applying (40:38)
  • Interviewing (50:11)
  • Negotiating (1:02:32)
  • In Closing (1:09:45)

Links


Jason Ogle Twitter
Jason Ogle LinkedIn
Jason Ogle Website
Jason Ogle Resume (Before) [PDF]
Jason Ogle Resume (After) [PDF]
Land a Job in UX Series
079: Listener Spotlight – Landing My First UX Job [PODCAST]
055: How to Get Your Foot in the Door with Andy Budd [PODCAST]
056: Building an Effective UX Portfolio with Sarah Doody [PODCAST]
057: Interviewing Like a Boss with Andy Vitale [PODCAST]
058: Finding the Right Cultural Fit with Justin Dauer [PODCAST]
Ken Coleman Show [PODCAST]
Ken Coleman Resume Guide [PDF]
Imposter Syndrome: Why We Have it and How to Kick it in the Privates [PODCAST]
Radical Empathy with Seth Godin [PODCAST]
Best Advice for Someone Looking to Land Their First UX Job (LinkedIn Thread)
Build your design portfolio around one awesome story [ARTICLE]
2022 UX Salary Guide (US + Canada) – Vitamin T
aText (Text Expander)
Song credit at the end Comeback Kid by The Midnight

Merch


Transcript


Show transcript

Origin

So, let me kick things off with a quick backstory. Toward the end of 2019, actually just before the holidays, worst possible time to be told you don’t have a job. Spoiler alert. I was called into an office, and immediately saw one of the VP’s of design, and also an HR person, and I knew immediately, okay, this is the end of my tenure. I had been at my company for nearly seven years. I was working for an extremely toxic leader. The first moment I realized that, my goal was to get as far away as possible from this person.

An opportunity opened up for me to help out on more of a user experience focused team within the organization. And so, what I ended up doing was I ended up moving onto that team and into a user research capacity, which is really out of my wheelhouse, honestly. I’ve done little bits here and there, but I’ve never actually taken on that responsibility. But, it was a good stretch for me. And I learned a lot in a short amount of time was able to conduct some important research.

I found myself sort of in limbo because there were a lot of changes that were actually started beginning to happen on this new team that I was on new leadership, and you know how that can happen. It’s happened to me before. You get hired by a specific leader, that person leaves, and a new leader comes in, and maybe they don’t like you for whatever reason. Maybe you’re not a yes man or yes woman. And they have an ego trip. This is a true story. And they don’t like that. And maybe there’s some age-ism issues, that happened to me too at the same place. This guy just wanted young people who would just comply and just do whatever he said and not challenge his decisions. So he got rid of me. Anyway, that’s sort of what happened again to me, just in a little bit of a different capacity. New leadership came in and I kind of found myself the new guy. And last one hired first one fired kind of thing. And so I ended up. Getting the talk and told, “Hey, we got to let you go.” And so of course that was, it’s always a gut punch, right? Especially when you’ve been committed to a company for so long and everything, but, all that to say they handled it extremely graciously with me. And gave me, like, I think two more months to kind of wrap things up and gave me time to even work on my portfolio. Got the severance, and everything, so I was super grateful for how they handle that. It was a just total pro way to do things and companies listening.

I know you have to lay people off. I know it’s business, it’s not personal, but it certainly feels personal to the person being laid off. Really, please try your hardest, do your best to let that person off as gently as possible. Don’t just give them like a day and to just be gone. Right. It’s not cool. Especially when somebody served there, and been loyal for a while. Please take that to heart and please be respectful and empathic about how you go about doing these things because it hurts. It just, it just does it’s it may not hurt you because you still have a job, but it hurts the person being told they no longer have the means to provide for their family.

So, the very beginning of January, 2020 before the great plague, I found myself in transition. It had been seven years nearly since I had to pound the pavement, and all of a sudden, here I am. I’m like scrambling to get a portfolio together and you’ve heard me talk about it before my website. I wanted to hand code it, and it’s still not done. And I had started it even before this happened. I was able to at least get a project on there and I was able to at least kind of get a homepage together. It was a rude awakening for me to all of a sudden find myself on the hunt. To all of a sudden find myself searching for work. And I really, honestly, I felt like a fish out of water. That’s the best way I can put it. It’s been a long time. I didn’t know what the market was like. And honestly, even in 2020, the supply of designers, I felt like was much higher than the demand.

It’s been a journey, and I’m very grateful that my transitional period was only about a month, honestly, I’ve been in transition for a year before and that sucked. That really sucked. That was hard. And, I was able to thankfully do some freelancing in the midst of that, but, man it’s hard. I have empathy for you having been in your shoes not long ago.

Count the Costs

So, before I jump into really giving you as much information and knowledge that I’ve learned about landing a job to date. I really want to actually take a second here to sort of challenge you. And I, honestly don’t do this and I haven’t really done this before. I want to ask you sincerely, and I want you to ask yourself, do you really want to do this?

Do you really want to do this? I was reflecting on this a little bit and I love this stuff so much. Obviously. I love this work. I love talking about it. I love talking to others about it. And I love inspiring new designers. It’s one of my favorite things. And honestly, I never get sick of hearing when you tell me, thank you so much for what you’re doing, because of your podcast and this information that you shared or your guests shared. I got my first job in UX. I never get tired of hearing that. But I realized something about myself in reflection, and particularly before even thinking about doing an episode like this.

I found myself really reflecting on how I can tend to possibly over-glamorize this field and only talk about the great parts. And that sort of stopped me in my tracks and it made me want to take a step back and try to make sure that I’m honest with you that even though this work is really, really awesome. It is really, really challenging. And it can be very trying. It can be very stressful. It can be deflating.

I’m going to take a few minutes here and I’m going to challenge you. I’m going to challenge all of us, especially Defenders, especially you who are trying to get your first foot in the door. That you haven’t worked in this field before, but you have done enough research. You’ve listened to this show. Maybe listen to a few episodes and they inspired you, and I’m glad for that. I really want to talk to you, especially because folks that have been doing this for a while, you may already have an idea, but still tune in, listen to this. Because I really think this is important to count the cost of this work.

One of the big challenges, which is again, is a great thing and I enjoy this particularly, but it also makes my head hurt, is solving some really big problems. UX is all about problem solving and trying to make life better for people you’ve never met. Think about that. There’s a lot of sacrifice and that’s why I say it a hundred times, but the superhero metaphor really works in this field. Because you are laying yourself down for people you probably have never met and you may never meet in your life. But you have empathy for these folks because you’re trying to help them. You’re trying to solve a problem they themselves cannot solve on their own. That requires a lot of effort. Especially the big problems. Small problems are easy and they’re fun to solve. The big problems, it’ll make your head hurt and honestly, sometimes it’ll make your heart hurt. Okay. So I want to put that out there, especially if you’re working on complex software. Which thankfully my new job. I am doing a lot of that. So It’s exhilarating and it’s incredibly intimidating. Think about that. If you love solving problems. If you fall more in love with the problem than the solution. Keep listening, and keep pursuing this work cause I believe you’re going to do well. And I believe we’re all going to benefit from that. From you being in this field, working.

The other thing I want to say, you have to be okay with ambiguity, and you have to get comfortable with not having all the answers. And then here you go. I’m wearing a shirt right now. that says, “Your ego is not your amigo.” That’s honestly one of the pillars of doing this work and getting into this field, you’ve got to check your ego at the door and you got to leave it there. Okay. If you don’t, you’re going to have a lot of problems in this field and if you’re a leader, God help you and God help the people that are serving under you. Because you’re going to be a terrible leader.

You gotta be okay with admitting you do not have all the answers because you don’t. And be willing. To take it a step further. You need to be willing to find those answers wherever you can. And here’s a great response, if somebody asks you, do you know this or like kind of looking to you to have the answer. If you don’t know, be honest and say, I don’t know the answer to that, but I can find out. Right. We have the cannon of the world’s knowledge in our pockets now. We can find out the answer to pretty much anything, I think. To be successful in this work requires immense humility and confidence. It’s a really interesting dichotomy, but it’s possible. It’s hard, but it’s very possible. Because again, this is not about you. This is about solving other people’s problems and providing valuable service. Not shining a spotlight on how awesome you are. I’m sorry. if that discourages you and you want to show boat and you want to be the one in the spotlight all the time, this is not the work for you.

That’s a hard truth. But it is true. The best products that I’ve ever worked on and that I’ve ever seen, always involve a team of very different people working together to make it so. If you have introverted tendencies like me, this is another one you’re going to wrestle with. You have to take your headphones off. Get out of your chair and talk to others, a lot. Okay? And now in this pandemic age of remote work, that means of course, many more virtual meetings where you’re talking and you can’t see the faces and reactions of the folks on the other side, that can be unnerving, because not everybody is going to have their camera on all the time and that’s fine. It’s a new normal, we have to be used to that. And we just don’t know. If you lack confidence in that and you just wonder if people are hating on you on the other side and you can’t see their faces, That’s unnerving. You have to grow a lot in confidence and you will when you put yourself out there and you just do it, even if you fall again, get back up more on that later.

Expect to be called on and contribute to meetings. That is if it’s not you setting the agenda and running the dang things, a lot. Designers are leaders. Okay. I don’t care if you have a title or not, you are leading the design of the thing that you’re working on. You will be leading a lot of meetings. So be prepared to be called on for answers. Again, be honest about it and, and be transparent. But be confident. You’re the expert. You’re the expert here. So. You’re going to probably be running a lot of meetings, design reviews, and things like that. You gotta get comfortable with discomfort. Okay. So. Introverts unite, separately in your own homes.

Again, I touched on this earlier. You want to fall more in love with the problems than the solutions, and that’s hard, especially for newer designers. I know this personally, because I remember the beginning of my journey, I tend to love everything I create.

You can’t do that. You can’t fall in love with your solutions, because going to be called out on it. You’re going to have to articulate your design decision. You’re going to have to sell and persuade stakeholders and leadership and customers of your design, and you’re going to have to defend sometimes defend your design decisions. Especially when it’s backed up by research, hopefully it is. So you’re going to throw away a lot of work.

Especially work that you love. So be ready for that. It sucks. It hurts. But kill your darlings, right? Like Bob said, Bob Baxley in his episode, I think 78. He said it’s like we’re building sand castles on the beach. Here today, gone tomorrow. In essence, that’s true. And that can be discouraging. So, if you’re wanting to create an art piece, like Van Gogh or something like that, that’s going to stand the test of time, maybe this isn’t the work for you. If you hate throwing away your work and especially your blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. This may not be for you. Okay. Again, in the same vain, be prepared for your work to be rejected. Hopefully not ridiculed, but Hey, it may happen. By your peers and stakeholders. You really have to grow thick skin in this work. That’s a fact.

Countless iterations, countless refinements of something that isn’t even going to last terribly long in the grand scheme of things. Again, be willing to kill your darlings. But also in light of that, right? The flip side of that coin, be willing to put everything you can into making that the best possible solution for your users, for your business, and for your own sense of self pride with what you do. Pride in what you do and arrogance are two very different things. So, I’m not saying be arrogant about your word. I’m saying take pride in your work because you know what. It’s going to be better if you do that. There’s a designer out there who wrote this article that said, here’s my advice to new designers. If you hate everything you’ve ever done, you’re a designer. I disagree with that. I do disagree with that. I feel like if you don’t take pride in everything you do, you’ve got more work to do. I agree with Bob Baxley sentiment there as well. So, yeah, you’re going to probably hate it later. Because we’re designers, we want to make things better, but honestly, if you are shipping stuff that you hate. I don’t think you did a good enough job, and you should try to spend more time if you can doing that. I know sometimes our hands are tied with unrealistic deadlines.

That’s my next point. You know, sometimes you are up against super aggressive and unrealistic deadlines where you’re still expected to deliver great work. That is hard to do. you will learn the more you do this. You’ll learn to manage expectations. The worst thing you can do is to set such an unrealistically high expectation, and not be able to deliver on that and/or burn yourself out while trying to uphold that standard that you yourself have set. You’re going to burn out. I promise you. It’s not worth it.

I’m sure there’s a lot more on the negative side that we can talk about, but honestly, I think that covers some of the major stuff. You’re going to run into this. Now, if I’ve dissuaded you from pursuing this after hearing that, you can stop listening now. Honestly, you can stop listening now. This may not be for you. But if not, if you’re like, If I like motivated you, then, let’s keep going. Right. Let’s keep going. Let’s go into this. We’re going to get into portfolio next.

Portfolio

All right, let’s talk about portfolio. What is the purpose of a portfolio? Well, it’s bait for landing your first interview. There’s a lot of questions around how many projects should I put in there? And there’s a lot of different answers depending on who you ask. I used to be of the mindset that I should just put all of the things I’ve worked on in my portfolio. And as a result, I had graphic design in there. I had print design. I had flash animations. I had logos. I had web designs. A lot of different stuff. I thought. That’s cool. It’ll show how well-rounded I am right. There’s a couple problems with this approach. One, you lose a lot of focus with trying to emphasize one really important project that you worked on. And two, you may have work that doesn’t reflect your career trajectory. Where you’re trying to go. I didn’t want to be a graphic designer any longer. I didn’t want to do print design any longer. If you look at my portfolio, it may tell you otherwise. And so it’s again having empathy for the recruiters looking at your work. What do you want them to see? What do you want them to know about you? What do you want them to focus on? I came across this really interesting article by Jake Knapp. And this article he wrote is called build your design portfolio around one and only one awesome story.

That definitely grabbed my attention. So I checked it out and I tried it and it actually worked for me in getting my current job. I was able to really tell the story of this one project that I was most proud of at my previous position where I was able to actually not only design and help build, but actually ideate around this product solution. I actually came up with this product idea. And was able to pitch it to executives, get buy-in. I mean, this is a multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars of a product build. And I was able to be a part of the business case and everything, the whole life cycle. That was a compelling story. I was able to tell. I did that and again, it worked so there’s something to be said, but I worked for Jake Knapp because he got a job at Google doing this. Anyway, that’s something to consider, I’ll be sure to link that in the show notes, I highly recommend checking it out and giving it a shot Another thing to keep in mind is to treat your portfolio like a screenplay. Now I mentioned this to Sarah Doody in her episode, building an effective UX portfolio that’s episode 56 in the Land a Job in UX series.

I used to study screenwriting a long time ago. I’m still an aspiring screenwriter. One of these days, I’ll write one probably in retirement. One of the major takeaways that I learned is that. Any of these movies that get made, it’s because they grabbed the attention of the producers or filmmakers or studios in the first page. They hooked them. And then they also wrote a great story too. They call that a page-turner. But the, how does that begin? It begins with grabbing the attention on page one. Telling a really interesting story. So think about that, and as it relates to your portfolio. And again, check out that episode with Sarah Doody yet to episode 56, I’ll be sure to link to all of this in the show notes as well.

Here’s another really important thing to keep in mind that I wished I had known earlier on. Document your journey along the way. Now, what do I mean by that? I mean these projects, this one awesome portfolio story that you want to tell, if you’re not capturing data along the way, if you’re not capturing the struggles that you encountered, the solutions that you came up with to overcome how you collaborated with other team members, the lift that this product or app or whatever it is you created made, those things are going to be far more difficult to try to recall later than if you would just capture it along the way.

And then here’s the other thing. If you have an analytics team, you may not, it’s not totally common yet, but it’s getting there, I think. If there’s an analytics team there make friends with them, buy them a coffee, buy them lunch or whatever. They’re the ones you’re gonna want to go to after the fact for data around what you contributed to in your role in this product, in this process. I was able to get some good data from one of my jobs that had an analytics person, and it made a big difference and it looks really good on my resume.

I know it’s really popular to put pictures of stickies and post-its, and maybe you in front of those and. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just, it’s so common now. And it’s almost like, okay, great, you have a bunch of stickies in front of you, right? Again, I’m not knocking you if you’re doing that, that’s fine. And I know that there’s a lot of work that goes into finding that solution, and it shows our research mind, which is great.

But, I want to encourage you just to think more about, again, empathy for the recruiter. They don’t have a lot of time to look at your portfolio. They don’t have a lot of time to read your case studies. Think about this, try to frame your one awesome story and project in this way. Problem, solution, and lift. And of course your role in making that happen. Document your struggles. The problems you encountered, how you were able to innovate to overcome those. Those are great stories too, and what you learned, how you grew as a contributor, as a designer, as a thinker. But when you’re doing a case study, think about problem, solution and lift. That’s it. Don’t worry about the process as much, in my opinion, if they really want to know it, they can invite you for an interview and ask you about it. That’s just my opinion. I just feel like, they don’t have a lot of time. Keep that in mind.

And then how about a call to action maybe at the end that says, Hey, I’d love to discuss my process with you. Here’s a button request an interview with me, right. Why not? And then give them a way to easily contact you for that. And please for the love of God, don’t send screenshots to anyone without a case study and then to go a step further. Don’t send screenshots in even a case study without an appointment to talk it through. I made that mistake once, and I learned really quickly. All they’re looking at is visual design. Essentially and they may not even read your case study. It doesn’t make sense. So, if somebody is interested in seeing your work, if you don’t have a portfolio online, of course. I’ll show you my work, let’s set up a time and on. I’ll send you the samples I’d love to talk you through it.

Here’s another really important thing that I tried and really paid off. On this one awesome story or this project that you worked on or that you’re working on, make sure that you get some recommendations out of it. And these could be LinkedIn recommendations, those are great too, because that reflects on your LinkedIn profile, and also is you can extract it out and use it on your portfolio, on your project. I did this and it was really awesome, and I knew that my job, my tenure was coming to an end at one of my previous companies. On this project I worked on. And so I was able to actually ask all of the folks that I worked with on this project for recommendations, for endorsements about my role in this project. It’s awesome. People will generally oblige and it just goes a long way. It continues to tell that story of what you did, what you accomplished. It’s other people speaking on your behalf about your contributions and validates your story. So. Definitely check it out. I, I did this on my website and I’ll point you to it where you can see what I did there at jasonogle.com/work.html. If you’re interested.

Resume

So CV or resume, and some of you listening may be going, well what’s the difference? A resume is typically one page with work history, brief summary of skills and education. Nothing too personal. Strictly business, right? A CV equals curriculum vitae, and that’s Latin for course of life. PhDs don’t have resumes. They have CV’s. Here’s the challenge, do both a CV and a resume and do it on one page. What I’ve done with mine is I’ve actually put accolades on the left. And those are podcast episodes, published articles on prominent blogs. Et cetera. And what that does is just gives you that wow factor for recruiters to go, oh wow cool, this person has done some things, and it also gives them an opportunity to know you a little more if they’re interested. To get inside your head and your heart as a designer. And some of you listening, Defenders, I know right now. You want. I’m just starting out. I don’t have accolades. I get it. And I would encourage you, don’t wait to be invited to be on a podcast or to be published in a blog. Just start writing, just start contributing, start sharing on your social channels. Start adding value right now where you’re at. You have value to add, even if you’re just starting out. Don’t buy the lie, that you don’t have something to share and something to say that will encourage and enlighten someone, and someone that’s in your shoes similarly right now. Start anywhere, make sure you document those accolades, put them in your resume, start having a section in mind you’ll add later. It does stand out for sure. You don’t need that to get noticed. You don’t have to have that to get a job, but it will help you.

When I was just going through my transition in 2019 into 2020, I was very discouraged. I’ve got a lot of kids. I we’re a single income. I was concerned. All of a sudden the livelihood that we had, the way to pay bills, et cetera, was stripped away from me. There’s this tug of war, right? Emotionally, at first you’re like, cool, something new, right? We do like newness sometimes, we do like change sometimes. Sometimes we hate it too. But, at first there’s this exhilaration of cool a new adventure is awaiting. And then after the first few rejections, you’re kind of like, crap, am I going to find a job? Is this going to work? So I found the Ken Coleman show and I don’t generally recommend podcasts, but I honestly, if you’re. In the midst of a search and you’re feeling discouraged, I found a lot of encouragement from his podcast. He takes questions from listeners and he gives them great insight and encouragement. He’s definitely an encourager, which is really helpful. and it helps you to feel like you’re not alone. So check it out for sure. I’ll be sure to link to it in the show notes. And here’s the other thing I learned from Ken Coleman. He’s got this. Resume guide that is so helpful. It’s a template. And it’s structured like this: in the beginning of your resume as early as possible reference someone you know at the company. That makes a huge difference. If it doesn’t land you that first interview, it will definitely get you to the top of the pile amongst the hoard of resumes that they’re probably getting on this role. So definitely always be networking, I’m going to get into that in a minute. But, also when you’re putting your, job descriptions, your job history, No paragraphs, nobody’s going to read that. Just bullet points. Just maybe four or five, whatever. Bullet points of what you did and the success it brought. Simple.

So the first time I tried this, it worked. Now, I’m not going to say this is going to work every single time, but I will tell you that I was super encouraged that the first time I tried this at what I thought would be my dream job, it actually worked for me. So I’ll tell you the story really quickly. This is a nonprofit organization. They are all about rescuing kids from child sex trafficking. They use technology to do that. I just think that’s a super important mission. And so I was looking at their website all the time, and I just never saw any UX design roles. And, but I kept looking and I finally found one. It was right in the midst of my transition. I was like, perfect timing. I happened to know one person at the organization, I submitted that resume. I got a confirmation, they received it, but I kept waiting. It took about honestly two months before I heard back. And by that time I had already accepted a role at the company I’m still with presently. But I’m telling you they did respond and they said we would like to proceed with you. We’d like to move forward with you. Let’s go through the next steps kind of thing. So I’m just telling you, I was so elated to get that validation and that confirmation that this worked. But here’s the kind of the sad part of it is I had already accepted this role. I had already gone through the orientation and I know how expensive it is for companies to do that. So I did feel some loyalty to where I was at and I liked the people I was working with too. I sadly declined moving forward with them at that time, but hopefully kept the door open for future. But all that to say, this worked for me and you can check out my before and after resume on the show notes page at userdefenders.com/080.

Networking

One of the most important parts of this entire process is networking. And you want to remember this acronym. A B N always be networking. Just as Andy Budd shared in episode 55, how to get your foot in the door. Most jobs that he’s hired for have not come from the spray and pray of the resume. It’s always been, someone knows someone and someone inside the organization enthusiastically recommends that person. So with that, it’s really important to always be networking and dig the well before you’re thirsty. And I’m not on Facebook anymore. Cause I kinda hate Mark Zuckerberg, so I deleted mine several years ago. And when I was on there, this happened all the time. I would get a DM. And I would look at the sender, and it would be somebody that I knew or worked with or went to school with whatever many years ago, and I hadn’t talked to this individual for like 10 years or more. And so there’s that initial like, oh, cool. That’s neat that this person thought of me and is reaching out. And then you’d go to open the message. And it’s them asking you in just a really canned impersonal way to like sponsor their marathon or something.

Now that’s great. I’m all for sponsoring a marathon or helping a good cause. But it just feels so impersonal and even icky to just hear from somebody that you hadn’t again, talked to for decades possibly, and the first communication, the first point of contact is them asking you for something. That happens. That’s not the way to build your network. That’s not the way to foster your network.

Dig the well before you’re thirsty, it’s far more natural and authentic, not to mention well-received, to hit that person up when you’re in need if and when you’ve kept the relational fire kindling. Now I’m going to raise my hand here and say, I am not great at this. So I’m kind of talking to myself too here. I have more of an introverted personality. So this does not come natural to me at all, but here’s an idea: Maybe once a day, go through your LinkedIn or your Twitter or whatever social network that you happen to use the most and have a lot of business connections to, especially, I’d say probably LinkedIn. Go through your connection list and look for somebody in there and just send them a note. Don’t ask for anything. Just send them a note and sincerely just say, Hey, I was thinking of you it’s been a while. How are you? How’s your family? Is there anything I can help you with? Even offer to help in some way. It does it makes a difference. And there’s the rule of reciprocity, right? I won’t get into that too much, but it’s a psychological principle. When you do something good for somebody, they naturally want to respond and do something good for you.

So again, please let your motivation be sincere. Don’t try to give to get. We all have BS meters. I’ll get into that a little more in a little bit. But we know when somebody is trying to get something out of us for a lack of good motivation. So keep that in mind. Hollywood. Is famous for saying it’s all about who you know. And, I want to kind of disagree with that a little bit. It’s not all about who you know, it’s all about who knows you, and who will enthusiastically endorse you for an opportunity, and think of you even. We’re building our personal brands all the time. What are you known for? What do you want to be known for? Work on that. Work on your personal brand. Let people know who you are and what you’re really all about.

When there is an opportunity, somebody will think of you. If you’re known for something, they’ll think of you. So keep that in mind. Just keep fostering your network.

And I’ll just end this section with this: Most of my opportunities that came my way, especially the great ones have been through people who knew me and enthusiastically endorsed me. Always be networking.

Applyling

When it comes to applying as if you didn’t already need thick skin being a designer, you definitely need it, and to grow it when you’re applying for jobs. I love what Brene Brown says, “Strong backs, soft fronts and wild hearts.” It’s not rejection, it’s redirection. Always keep that in mind. That’s something I learned from Ken Coleman. And it’s important to keep that framed. Because, you don’t want to end up forcing a door open that wasn’t meant to be opened for you in the first place. More on that later.

One of the big questions in our industry that I’ve heard many times, it’s a very important question is, I can’t get a job without experience, and I don’t have experience because I don’t have a job.

And the answer always seems to be something to the effect of, make your own experience.

Find areas in your sphere of influence, in your local business arena that you can effect change on and build a case study.

It’s not easy. But it’s possible. And if you can even get one case study, one project that you’ve made, if you’re not in bootcamp. I know that bootcamps will do that with you. You can make your own. Don’t depend on somebody else to do this. No one’s coming to save you. So really, I just want to encourage you. You can do this, you can make your own project and you can document your case study. And show that on a website and you can put that on your resume. It does count for something and it, to me, honestly, if I’m a recruiter, that shows initiative. If I look at your portfolio, if I look at your resume and I see that you actually came up with this project without being told, all on your own, to me that shows a lot of unction, a lot of initiative and a lot of growth mindset, and I’m attracted to you already.

You can apply for what you already have experience in, or you could do something that’s the next logical step up. Now if you have enough runway, definitely apply for your dream job.

I think about real estate. I’ve seen this house. Probably for the past four or five months show up at my Nextdoor feed. I think they are listing it for a million dollars and it’s a local property here. I don’t think it’s worth that much, and obviously neither does anybody else, because they can’t sell it. So they gave it a lower it down. I think it’s like 840 or $850,000 now. But it’s still there.

So, there’s something to be said for that, right? If you have the luxury of time, like these people do, obviously to sell their house at a really high price, then I’d say, go for it, go for that dream job, honestly. And again, even if you don’t have the experience, you will gain experience on the job, and recruiters and anybody in a leadership role hiring for a job. Inside of design in UX. Please, please listen to me.

If the people you’re interviewing, if the candidates that are in front of you, if they don’t have all that experience that the fluffed up job description is saying they need, can you please look beyond that, and think about the potential that this individual would have to come in and actually gain experience on the job. I think that’s so lost sadly, often in our industry and I understand the reasons for that. Obviously, there’s a lot of tight deadlines and it’s hard. I’m aware in a situation like that. Now we need more team members, but we don’t have the luxury. Of bringing on a junior at this time. We’ve we have done that and we actually have been able to bring I think three Juniors up, when we had more runway, more luxury, less really tight deadlines and less compounding projects that was more possible. It’s not always possible. I get it. But, I think the most important thing, and the thing that gets overlooked often is potential. Definitely try to keep the potential in mind, okay? So, all that to say I didn’t plan on saying that much about that, but I think that’s important and I do think that if you’re in a, an IC role now, an individual contributor role. And you want to move into management or even a director level role, I think you should. We need more great design leaders. We definitely do. And ones that care about their people and have a servant leader heart. Please step into a leadership role and try to do that. But if you don’t have the runway, if things are tight, if you like me have a lot of kids and/or a lot of responsibilities financially, you may not have that. So I say, apply for your area of expertise of experience where you are now, and then get your foot in the door and work your way up. That’s always possible.

I’ll use my son as an example. He just got a job recently at Target, and the job he applied for, cashier, they didn’t need any. So, he actually got her an automated kind of an automated rejection email.

And I love what he did, I love the initiative that he took. He went and took the time to call to talk to a manager about it and to see if there were any other areas of opportunity within Target, and sure enough there was. It was more of like stocking or gathering of carts kind of thing. And so he said, I’ll do that.

I love the initiative that he took and they’re like, great, you’re hired, and he got the job, and. He’s going to get his foot in the door and he’s going to have more opportunity, he’s going to be the first to know when there’s a cashier opening, cause he’s already there and, it’s a lot easier to bring somebody who’s already inside, who’s already gone through the HR orientation, all that stuff, to get them into that next level than it is to go and find somebody and go through the entire HR process with them. So keep that in mind.

Another thing I want to mention, and I remember this, like it was yesterday, even though it’s been awhile when I was applying. There’s just a lot of redundancy. And honestly, even applying for like three jobs in a day, that can be like 45 minutes, maybe even to an hour depending. On your energy levels and on all the questions that you’re being asked. And you will find, you get asked a lot of the same questions in this process, and it’s really tedious to go and copy even to find something that you had submitted before, try to find it, cause you’re drained at this time. You don’t feel like thinking a lot, cause it’s just exhausting.

Instead of going and try to hunt and peck and find all of this information somewhere, so you don’t have to think of it every time, and use that glucose in your brain, what I found to be super helpful is to use a text expander, to have all of these answers pre-canned. And again, I’m not talking about a cover letter that should always be custom, that should always be personal toward the company you’re applying for. But I’m talking about work history. I’m talking about bio. I’m talking about those things that you are repeating over and over again. It is so helpful to have a text expander, to just type a few keys and then have this information populate in that field. It saves you a ton of energy. It saves you just a ton of stress, and, it’s really great. gets you through the process much quicker.

Now a lot of folks would maybe immediately think of Text Expander, the app to use for this. I didn’t buy that software and I didn’t buy it because I feel like it’s a lot of money to use Text Expander. I just looked before I recorded this and I think it’s like eight bucks a month or something like that. It’s a recurring payment, to use the software that in my opinion is not that complex. I appreciate paying for software and I appreciate the engineers behind it, but, honestly, like if you’re looking for a job, you don’t have a recurring income and you can’t afford even $8 a month is a lot for a software to do this. So, I will tell you aText is the software I use, and I’m a Mac, I think they have a PC version as well. It’s a one-time. Time payment. I paid $5 for it I think. And you get updates, and it’s just really helpful. So check out aText, I’ll put that in the link. I don’t have an affiliate or anything. I’m just telling you it’s helped me a ton and it’s a one-time price versus a monthly price just for a text expander. I mean, how hard can that be? So definitely check that out.

And then listen. Honestly, heart to heart Defender. Keep yourself refreshed. This is such a draining process, as I was just touching on. And some of you may have even been feeling the pain when I was telling you about just how draining this whole process can be trying to keep entering information, trying to convince people of how awesome you are, they should already know, right? It’s really, really deflating sometimes. And then getting told no, after you put so much effort and heart and thought into even one application. So keep yourself refreshed.

Step away too from this, do something else in between before getting back to it. Here’s the other important thing: reward yourself at the end of the day or at the end of a really long application, with a favorite treat or relaxing hobby, whatever it might be, insert reward here. Go to a movie, or a TV show, or a special coffee beverage in my case, whatever it might be. Just treat yourself good. Be kind to yourself. Because you deserve it. And my empathy is with you.

You got this!

Interviewing

All right, let’s talk about interviewing. And one of the most important things I can tell you about this weird, super uncomfortable process known as interviewing, is simply be authentic. Just be who you are.

Jordan Burke talked about this in the last episode, and that was one of my favorite takeaways from our conversation. And I believe that really was instrumental in helping her land, her first job in UX. We all have BS meters. I’ve been on the other side of the table, many times interviewing potential team members on the design side and it’s unattractive. There’s a lot of ego. There’s a lot of overcompensation. It’s evident and It’s not a good look. Just be yourself. And if you don’t know something, admit it, but be sure to add, but I can learn it.

Let me tell you a bit of an embarrassing story about landing my first job in UX, which was then more Web/Interactive design 22 years ago now. I had a really awesome portfolio, but no real world client work. And that quickly became evident. But, before I even got the job, I was interviewing for an Interactive Art Director role. Which is pretty awesome. Like that’s a cool title for my first job and foot in the door. And, I thought it would make me look cooler and smarter, this is embarrassing, if I put that I knew PERL script on my resume. CGI/PERLscript. Do you know why I said that? It’s because I took some pre-written code and I created a web form that sent me an email.

So, yeah, I felt really cool about that, until they asked me about it in the interview.

I got called out on it. It was great. It was the humbling experience that I needed just getting started. They said, oh, so you know, PERL script? And I said, well, I’ve done web forms.

So the truth came out, which was good. It just was a bit of an embarrassing journey getting there. So just be honest on the outset, then you don’t have to try to remember what you possibly fibbed about, and then try to make sure that you can overcompensate, whenever you are expected to do something that you gave the expectation, you already knew how to do. It’s not worth it. Don’t do it. Okay.

I love what Sally Hogshead said, and that’s an awesome name. That’s really her last name. She said, don’t change who you are, become more of who you are. So I want to encourage you Defenders really take that to heart. Don’t change, who you are, become more of who you are. That’ll work out so much better for you in interviews. And here’s another great tip, too. Turn the tables. Have some prepared questions ready for when that door opens when they say, now do you have any questions for us? Most likely that will happen. And it’s usually at the end of the interview, after they’ve asked all their questions of you. So be ready. I’ll be honest with you. It’s. It’s almost as important as the questions they ask you. If not more. Because it shows that you’re thoughtful. It shows that you care, it shows that you’re curious. And it shows that you have a sincere interest in this role. I’m more concerned when I’m interviewing a designer and they don’t have any questions. Do they not care about this role as much? Because I would rather hire a designer who does, I’d probably end up passing on that person. Are they not curious? Are they not invested in this opportunity? Take that to heart, Defenders. That’s really important. Have some prepared questions.

I’ll tell you about a couple that I have in a second here, but Andy Vitale, we talked a lot about these things in episode 57. That’s a part of the Land, a Job in UX Series. The title of the episode is Interviewing Like a Boss. So highly recommend checking that out. I’ll have links to all of these in the show notes Defenders, so you can check that out. But here’s one thing I want to really encourage you to do also is to vet the culture. Please vet the culture of the organization that you will be hanging your hat at whether literally or virtually.

My buddy Justin Dauer and I talk a lot about this and his Land, a Job in UX episode 58, right after Andy’s. And we talk about finding the right cultural fit. I definitely recommend checking that out as well. You’ll likely be spending more time with these people than with your loved ones. Make it count.

Also keep this in mind, how you’re treated during the interview process is a great indicator of how they’ll treat you once you accept an offer. Think about that and really strongly consider that. I think some of the most pain I felt in this process personally. Has been when I’ve spent so much time filling out an application, answering all the questions, really putting a lot of emotional labor into selling myself, we’re marketing, just like we talked about in Seth Godin’s episode. We’re always marketing all the time, whether we realize it or not. And especially in the interview process, you are marketing your personal brand that you have created for yourself, whether you realize it or not.

That’s another thing that I hadn’t even planned on addressing, if you haven’t already start building your personal brand now. What do you want to be known for? What do you want people to think about when they think about you? Those are good things to consider now. Your personal brand will follow you.

I’m going to share a couple of my favorite questions to ask when I’m trying to vet the culture at a potential opportunity. What do you love most about the leadership here? That’s really important. We don’t think about that maybe immediately when we’re looking for a job, we just think, hey, cool, a job, I need a job. I get to do design. Awesome. Yes, those are all great things. But, how’s the leadership? Because the leadership in any organization. Will determine the culture throughout the entire organization. Those things always trickle down. Always. And if the leadership is lacking, if they don’t really care about their people that much. If they abdicate a lot of their responsibilities of being a leader. I’m not just talking about from the very top, I’m talking about departmentally too. If they’re just not caring about you, that’s going to affect your experience. I guarantee it. And in fact it could just, it may not even be an apathy thing. It may be just like your leader is an ego-maniac, quite possibly sociopathic narcissist. That sounds extreme, but I’m not kidding, I’ve worked for people like that. I can think of two right now. And just within the past 10 years. That I’ve had. That are that way. And it’s toxic, it’s completely unhealthy, and they’re literally killing you, one day at a time.

Consider that count the cost. Of where you land, where you accept an offer. I didn’t plan on talking about leadership that long, but honestly, it’s that important to make sure you know about the leadership as much as you can. And don’t just. Take the word for it of the people interviewing you, because of course they’re going to make it sound great. I would say, try your best to find someone on LinkedIn who works there, that you know, or have a network connection to, and thankfully LinkedIn has some pretty good algorithms that reveal that to you with your connections.

Try to hit that person up, or get an intro to somebody over there and just ask them. Because who better than the people who are already there, right? Working in the trenches. Vet the leadership.

People don’t leave companies, they leave leaders.

Here’s another one I ask, what gets you most excited about coming to work here every day? You can get some good insight from a question like that, about what. Folks are really excited about, and I honestly like pay attention to the facial expressions. If you have the opportunity to pay attention to the facial expressions when you ask that, and also the hesitancy, if there’s a hesitancy, that might be a red flag, that they’re having to kind of scramble to come up with something to, to make it look good. So that’s important too. Here’s another one that’s really good to ask. And again, I’m giving you some questions that I ask. I’m not telling you you need to ask these questions. In fact, I would encourage you to try to use these as springboards and then come up with your own questions too. You may have some even better questions in this, but here’s another one: what’s the collaborative spirit like with design and engineering. That’s important, right? Defenders who’ve been in the industry for a little while. How many times has that been a challenge for you, when you’re trying to build software and design and engineering are just butting heads all the time? And there’s a lot of questions around who owns what, and there’s a lot of peeing matches if you will about this, there’s a lot of ego and that can happen in an unhealthy culture, in an unhealthy environment. And especially one where the UX team hasn’t earned the respect that they’ve been trying to gain, or in a low UX maturity organization too, that will happen. Engineering will generally be the final decision makers on a lot of the design stuff that you’re trying to fight for. That’s worth considering too. Gauge the UX maturity level of the organization as best you can. Try to find out how long the UX team has been in place, and how long the UX leader has been working in the industry. And that’s a tough one, without sounding a little bit pretentious or whatnot, but it’s important to try to find that out too.

Here’s here’s one more. What’s the company philosophy on training and education? And is there a stipend or a budget for these things? That’s pretty important, right? This is a good indicator of how much the organization and the leadership values its people. If they’re willing to actually put skin in the game and fund your growth, knowing that you will likely eventually leave them and use that somewhere else. It’s a good indicator of the amount of trust they have in their people. And again, the amount of care they have for the people there. I’m always concerned if there’s no budget or no emphasis and strong philosophy on growth. And also allowance of time to continue to grow. We know this field is constantly evolving. It’s ever changing. So if we don’t have the opportunity to stay sharp and stay on our game by continuing to learn. We’re going to fall behind and it doesn’t take very long for that to happen. So important things to consider. And it’s easy to overlook, especially if you’re desperate for a role. Because like Monteiro said. “Staying alive is not a soft skill.” Just do your best with this. I know it’s tricky. There’s no real science to this. There’s a lot of subjectivity again, because every person you talk to is going to have their own bias. They’re going to have their own points of view and outlook, and so you’re just there. You’re being authentic, and you’re being honest. And you’re keeping your cool. And you’re being confident too. The best you can. I know it’s nerve wracking, but be confident the best you can, because they can also see and smell that.

And we talk about that again, check on Andy’s episode 57. We talk about some tips on how to calm yourself down in the in the midst of this nerve wracking process.

The last thing you want is to be doing what you love in a super toxic environment. Especially if it’s your first foot in the door. It can give you a real false sense of how great this field actually can be in the right culture, and with the right leadership in a mature UX- driven organization.

Negotiating

Now let’s get into negotiating. This is one of those things that’s really tricky, and there really is no science to this either. Because again, subjectivity. Depending on where you live. Depending on what the role you’re applying for is. Depending on your experience. Those are all factors that will determine your salary for your role. If you struggle with confidence in your skill set, it’s going to be hard for you to ask even what you are deserving in this role. So I want to encourage you right now. Don’t be swayed by feelings, go after the facts. If you are lacking in some skills, you can learn that. And if the organization you’re applying for is worth its salt, they’re going to give they’re going to foster the ability for you to learn on the job. And if they don’t seem to do that, Pass, move on, find another organization that does understand that you’re going to learn on the job.

I think it’s ridiculous. Some of these junior level job descriptions in UX. Five years experience for junior level? That’s completely unrealistic.

So, definitely do your best to keep a pulse on the going rate for the role you’re applying for in the area you live. Now with virtual, this doesn’t matter as much. This mattered a lot more before virtual workforce was the new normal. So that’s one thing that’s really, really cool about where we’re at presently in UX and in technology, and being a knowledge worker.

And I’ll be honest with you. The best thing, in my opinion, that I’ve seen come out of COVID is the move to virtual workforce. Trusting your people that they can actually get work done in their home. I think it’s so stupid that that was even an objection before. If you can’t trust your people, then why did you hire them?

If you can’t trust that they’re professionals, and they’re going to get their crap done.

Maybe the problem is you, you know, I’m getting a little fueled here, but it’s so true. Thankfully, this is becoming the norm. And I know a lot of folks are going back to work in the office, and that’s great. I know that many of you may be extreme extroverts where you’re just like can’t wait to get back in around other human beings. And I respect that too. But for the rest of us. It’s great that the playing field has completely been leveled. As a result of COVID and the opportunities that exist. If you’re a us citizen like myself, you could be working virtually in Ireland. Or Australia, like it’s kind of mind blowing, isn’t it? If you think about it, And you can be working if you, if you live in El Salvador or Uganda. You could. And you’re not used to making a very high wage because of the economy and the way things are. You could technically be. Somewhat of the equivalent of a millionaire, I would imagine. If you got a job in New York City or one of these high paying San Francisco. One of these high paying locations, you should be able to get what they’re paying their other people where you happen to be for the work you’re going to be doing. And if you’re not, that’s kinda messed up. You should look into that. We should talk about that. ’cause I I’d love to hear about it too.

There may be many of you listening, who you’re just trying to get your first foot in the door and I respect you. I respect this journey. I know how hard it is. Keep going. You may be closer than you think.

But for those of us who have been in the field for a while and we’re going onto our next job, always make sure you ask more than you made at your last job, you want to see a growth trajectory as much as possible. And I know the economy can sometimes play a role in this, but generally speaking, you should always ask for more than you made at your last job. That’s just how it should be cost of living increases we don’t get raises until we get a title change often. A lot of us IC’s, we don’t want a title change. We don’t want to be a director right now necessarily. We don’t want to be a manager. We want to design. And you just will not be designing the way you’re used to the way you like to design as a manager, you won’t. You’ll be doing a lot more administrative work, and as Bob Baxley said, I agree with him, and he would know. You’re designing still, it’s just in a different capacity. It’s in a different way. You’re designing the organization success as it relates to people. More than, as it relates to artifacts and digital outcomes. So that’s something to consider as well.

One more thing that I want to leave you with on the negotiating side, and this is advice that came from a manager that I had. Every spring and every fall. Take a look at your resume, touch it up, update it. Same with your portfolio. Get some fresh work in there, if you need to.

And put it out there. You have a lot less to lose because you’re employed, married, people are more attractive. That’s that’s the truth. You’re in a less desperate situation when you’re looking for work. When you already have a job, I know this to be true personally. So do that, and just see what happens. If anything, you’re just staying sharp in your interviewing skills, and you’re also keeping your confidence high. And I think most of all it’s giving you negotiating power for pay raises. Because think about this, like I just stated a bit ago, you will not likely be getting any raise other than possibly a cost of living increase, I hope you’re getting that, even if it’s 1 to 2% or even more would be awesome, which is not very much, honestly. You’re not getting a significant raise unless you get a title change, and that you’re not getting a title change, unless you want to generally go from being an IC to a manager or a director, or even as executive level. Right. So this gives you the negotiating power to ask for a raise where you are now and show the evidence that I got at an offer somewhere else, I want to stay here, I like this job, I like the people, but I need more money. Cost of living has gone up, my salary has not for the most part. And I I need to grow. I need to keep growing. So I’d like to do that here, but if not, then I have an offer for this X amount of dollars somewhere else. Can you, and will you compete with that? Boom.

But again, always be confident. Always. Stay brushed up on your portfolio and resume. It’s just good practice anyway. And never settle. Never settle. There’s a lot of opportunities out there. Design thankfully is finally getting the recognition that it deserves within organizations. It took a while. We’re still not completely there yet, but we’ve come a long way, baby. So keep those things in mind and hope that is really helpful when it comes to negotiating.

In Closing

So as I start to wrap up here, I don’t know how long this has been. It’s probably longer than I thought it might be, but I really sincerely hope. That every bit of this. Has been super helpful to you and possibly even instrumental for you in either landing your first job in UX, or your next one.

And this is here for you now. hope you’ll bookmark this and come back to it as often as you need. I hope you’ll tell others about it. Because I’m confident that the information in here is going to be really helpful to your friends or others that you may end up meeting along the way. in similar shoes as maybe you are. Uh, where again, I, like I say. Every single one of us. Unless we work for ourselves. We’re only one conversation away from meeting this content again.

I really want you to know that I have empathy for you. I know firsthand having done this not too long ago, It’s exhausting in every way. Mentally physically, emotionally, spiritually. You really do have to have thick skin and steel resolve. But I know you Defender. I know you have a growth mindset. I know that you have a hunger and passion to learn and grow and to apply yourself with the ultimate goal of making a difference through this amazing, awesome, incredible field.

Make landing a job in UX a UX project UX, this stuff, right. That’s what we should be doing anyway. We’re designers. Design, research, test, iterate, repeat.

If you have the opportunity to ask why you were passed on. Ask it.

If they can disclose it, the reason. You can learn from it and you can iterate again.

Maybe you don’t need to know why. Just take the quote unquote rejection, which I like to reframe as redirection. And use it as empowerment.

I did this and it really helped me frame this in a much healthier way than, I’m no good. I suck. I’m never going to get a job. It’s really easy, especially after multiple passes to start feeling that way and to start wondering what it is about you.

That’s not the right way to frame this, that’s not the right way to approach this.
Use the rejections as fuel. You’re going to regret passing on me because I’m about to change the world at your competitors organization. And I’m going to probably be invited and warmly welcomed to effect change there.

Whatever you do, do not let yourself fall into a limiting belief. Because your brain is always eavesdropping on your self-talk. And you know what, after multiple times, your brain will start to believe it. And it’s not true. And this is where the imposter comes from. This is where a lot of that stuff comes from. I did an monologue on imposter syndrome. It might’ve been my first one, I think. I’ll link to that in the show notes as well, because that was a really good lesson too, because that voice, that unwelcomed voice will always try to rear its ugly head.

And when you fall and you will. Get back up. Everyone falls, not everyone gets back up. In fact, I want to draw your attention. Those of you on the video, you can see. I have this tattooed on my forearm. Fall: 7. Rise: 8. It’s a constant reminder, that no matter how many times I fall, as long as I rise one more than I’ve fallen. I’m on the right track. And that’s taken from Proverbs 24:16 that says though the righteous fall seven times, they’ll rise again.

And I just want to remind you, you can do this. It’s not out of reach. Use this information, use the content, build your network, all the things we talked about today. Actively work on this stuff. It will pay off. I’m confident in that.

Reach out and let me know how it’s going. I really would love to hear, especially if this content helped you land your first or next job in UX. That would greatly encourage me, makes this all worthwhile this labor of love. So, that’s it. You got this. And keep fighting on. Never stop fighting on.

Share your takeaways, Defenders. I’m @UserDefenders on Twitter. And I’m also on LinkedIn at Jason Ogle. I would love to hear from you and just hear how all this made a difference in your life. And in your career. I love to share that with others as well to encourage them. So definitely do that. I would really be honored if you would talk about the episode, if it’s made a difference for you.
If it hasn’t, I don’t really want to hear about it?

Now if it. I still would be interested in hearing about it, but less so.

Definitely want to plug again the Land a Job in UX Series. userdefenders.com/uxjob. And I do want to give a couple Patreon shout outs really quickly here. I’ve got Adnan Puzek joined recently. Hey, Adnan! Thank you for coming aboard. And Ellen Bibb. Hey, Ellen! And Ellen, and I I’d mentioned this in the last episode, we did a one-on-one and it was really cool to get to know you Ellen, and kind of see where you’re at, and how you’re really using the content to break in with your first more UX focused role. So. I got high hopes for you. I know you’re going to do great.

And I want to thank. Editor X for being with me on these last few episodes. and even before that. They’ve been a really great sponsor and, they’ve helped keep the lights on here on the show, because there’s a lot that goes into this. There’s a lot. A lot of various bills and things that are required to keep this thing going. So, I greatly appreciate Editor X, please help me thank them by checking out their offering. They’re making a really cool product to help you accelerate your website designs. Check it out, userdefenders.com/EditorX.

Lastly. I’m going on a nice holiday break. Um, I’m definitely excited about that. I’m going to take several months off here and just be with my family, and just recoup from the year and just be present with them. Holidays are my favorite time of year. I just really love this season, even though it starts getting cold out here in the Rocky Mountains. Uh, it’s just a really neat time of year to be with family and loved ones. Just to remember all your blessings and just to remember all that you have to be thankful for. And I know that that’s different. I know we all have various challenges. I really like the quote, “Be kind to everyone you meet, they may be fighting the biggest battle of their lives.” We’re all human. None of us. He gets through this life unscathed. It’s impossible. But. I do believe that we’re better together. We’re stronger together. And we can do great things together. So don’t forget that I tend to be a loner. I tend to kind of stick to myself, but I need you too.

All that to say, I really hope that you have some plans this season with your loved ones. I hope you maybe can get away even, take a vacay and just break away and just find a quiet place. Not the movie, although that was a really cool franchise, but just find some quiet places wherever you go. And just spend some time alone with your thoughts, with God. And just really meditate. And just be still and know that he’s God. It makes such a big difference in my life. There’s been so many stressful things, especially through the course of this year. And, so many things that are really anxiety inducing. We owe it to ourselves to just break away and just breathe, and just be. So, let me encourage you in that.

I care about you and I definitely want you to succeed no matter what it is in life that you want to succeed at. Unless it’s like dealing meth or something, right.

I remember my conversation with Laura Klein. I was asking her about success. And what’s her habit of success. And she said, Well, it depends on how you define success. And I thought that was great because it’s true. I mean, Heisenberg thought he was pretty successful dealing meth. So anyway, I hope your version of success is a positive one, and I’m confident that it is. So I wish you much success the remainder of this year of 2021. I’m kind of interested to say goodbye to 2021, but I’m going to still be in the moment. I’m not going to wish that this were all over. I’m going to stay positive. I hope you will too.

But that’s it. Uh, honestly, I just I care about you and I appreciate you giving me your attention. You pay attention because it costs you something. And I know those of you who are even listening now who have gotten this far, it shows me that you care about this, about me, about the show, about this content, it’s making a difference. And that just pumps me up. So thank you, thank you, thank you. I probably don’t. Thank you enough. I wouldn’t do this if it weren’t for you.

You’re why I do this. So, yeah. Take care of yourself. Take care of your loved ones.

And until next time, next year. Fight on my friends.

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