Thank you for sharing. I found your article very informative and helpful.
Last year, I studied UX (via Skillcrush and personal research), and really enjoyed the topic. I even went to Awwwards in NY; it was my first trip to NY. Skillcrush sponsored my ticket to the event so I figured why not go and see what it was all about. Loved the experience, though I must admit I felt a little out of my element with so many talented designers and creators. Many of them had been in their roles for many years, so it was a hint intimidating.
With the ever-growing implementation of technology, there is a whole crop of tech careers beyond being part of IT or a programmer, like UX. After I completed Skillcrush’s blueprint, and after copious research on the topic, I considered taking up UX Writing or something of that ilk. I’m something of a problem solver and certainly advocate for users.
I wanted to get some hands-on experience and sought out something local — making a connection during a networking event. From it, I had an opportunity at an advertising firm to shadow members of their team and was scheduled to begin once I finished by the educational blueprint. Alas, for whatever reason, the director of UX for their marketing team changed his mind and brushed me off with a vague email blaming budgets etc. I was really disappointed, especially since I wasn’t expecting to get paid. I just wanted to shadow a project for a few weeks and get an idea of how things operate in a real environment. My biggest struggle is it is difficult to get a leg up as a fledgling UXer, even though I have 20+ years of other hard/soft skills and continue to upskill my tech skills.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of UX opportunities in my area; more specifically, not a lot of them yet. I suspect as the field becomes more popular and businesses realize the benefits, there will be and I would like to get in where I can. Until something else becomes available, I’m doing more research and seeing what my options are.