So this is only relevant if you want to go and get a job at a company instead of freelance somewhere, and my two tips for you to get a job are:
Browse job descriptions because that’s the best way for you to know what a company wants, because sometimes if you’re hanging out online and seeing what designers are talking about, you’ll think that’s what companies care about, but is not necessarily the same thing when someone is hiring they’re looking for a specific set of requirements, and you may have like three of them, and they need five or six of stuff that you haven’t learned about yet.
However, just browsing job descriptions is a way to know what you need to hit and start to work on your pitch, and you’ll present yourself as someone who knows all these topics and can do the job for them.
So, you can browse any job listing website, just search for junior UX designer and you could find something like this what you want to focus on is the requirements, the skills, the experience and this will give you a good idea of what you need to hit to be able to get a job at a company.
The list of requirements should be a list of goals for you. You should browse a few job descriptions and create a checklist of items that you need to have so that when you begin to apply, you already have these things that you know you need rather than you finding out during a job interview. So, there is a concept that you should know, and now you need to go and learn about it.
One thing that comes up a lot when you’re applying for your job, even from junior positions, is that you’ll see the company is asking for two or three years of experience for you to apply to that job.
Now the reason most companies put that limitation is just to intimidate people and begin to pre-filter candidates who aren’t confident enough to apply.
So, as long as you’re confident enough and able to present your skills and show what you’ve worked on, just go ahead and apply to these jobs anyway.
What’s important in this step is to have something to show, so if you remember from step four of practicing, you must work on something and then post it online with a write-up. This means don’t just show me some pretty pictures or pretty designs. Write an article saying exactly how you went through the whole design process:
- How you did user research,
- How your design process was like,
- Your thinking process,
- The drafts that you tried,
- The alternatives that you considered before you settled on a design, and then
- The final design that came out, and
- How you tested it,
- What the results were like,
- What you learned from that, and
- Publish that as an article.
The biggest mistake that junior designers make is to work on some pretty screens, put them up on a website, and think that’s a good portfolio. It’s not a good portfolio because:
- First, you could have gotten those images from anywhere, and.
- Second, it doesn’t show the person looking at them that you know what you’re doing.
Maybe, you just happened to design something simple enough and look fine, but you didn’t show that you’re a good designer who knows how to think about design problems and design solutions all that a company wants when hiring someone is to answer the question can I trust that this person can do this job or not?
And if you have something documenting your thought process, any materials that I can just go and read and see how much you know about this topic? What’s your thinking process like? And that will help me decide whether I think you’re good enough for this job or not.
The last tip I have for you for getting a job is to employ a concept called the Canvas Strategy the idea behind is, to get a job at a company, in this case, you want to help that company do something and prove that you can be a helpful employee to them.
What I mean by Canvas Strategy is if you decide that there’s a company that you like and you want to work there. So, you start following the people who work there on social media and start looking for an opportunity.
They’re not going to come out and say, hey we need someone to go and design something for us but what you might notice is that there’s a gap so for example:
- Maybe something on their website is not great,
- Or, something in their app is not the best that it can be.
So, what you can do in this case is go and do the work, research, and create a solution for a problem you’ve identified.
Then you can go and say, for example; Hey, I like your service, I like your website, but I knew this part was a little bit lacking, and I did some research on it:
- I’ve talked to some people,
- I asked them how this could be better, and
- I designed the solution for you.
I just want to give it to you, and I don’t expect anything in return. So, this is you, just doing them a favor, something useful for the company and giving it away for free. And not expecting anything in return, and this is important, you shouldn’t feel entitled to anything they might just, say thank you, and that’s it, or in what like most people will be impressed enough to start a conversation with you.
After that, you can start talking about whether they have a design opportunity for you to apply for or that you know they can point you in the right direction to get a job, but it’s a great way to get a job somewhere.
Okay, so this rounds off the six steps that I wanted to share with you for how to go from a complete beginner to someone who can get a UX design job, but as you notice there are like six simple steps that simply don’t mean easy right?