The blog where I try to find my first UX job.

Finding a job is hard.

That’s it. That’s all.

I know everyone knows this and I’m aware of how this works. I went through the same process to find my first architecture job. Finding a job is difficult until you actually find that job. But man, the process can be frustrating and it’s not fun.

A border collie looking off into the distance.
My dog, Chia, looking off into the distance for a job.

First there’s the job search. And by “job search” I mean applying for every UX Designer position listed and reading the actual job description later, only to find out that you need 5 years of experience to qualify for the job. I’m not saying you should do this but — there’s no but. You shouldn’t do this. Just take a few minutes, read the full job description, and find out if you actually match what they want. More importantly, decide if they are what you want.

Secondly there’s the interview. From my experience, there are only two types of interviews — “Yes! That interview was amazing!” or “That was so bad, they’re never going to hire me”. There’s never a “That was alright, I did pretty good here but definitely could have improved in other areas.”

What I have learned from my past is that no one is grading your interviews. Your interview is a time for you and your potential employer to get to know each other and decide if you’re a fit together. Yes, present your best professional self and be the most charming version of you but most importantly, be you. If they decide that you’re not a good fit, it doesn’t mean you suck — it just means there’s a better fit out there for both of you. When I go interviews with this mindset, it helps ease my mind and relieves a lot of the pressure. Works with dating too.

Lastly there’s rejection.

I’ve been rejected. A lot. In all sorts of ways.

“Hi, I’ll have a cheeseburger. Thank you.”

“No, we don’t have that.”

It’s rough but we all go through it when searching for a job. It’s really easy to start doubting yourself and thinking your work is not good enough when someone doesn’t pick you to work with them. We all love that feeling of being picked by other people for a group project but fear the scenario of no one picking you (for any reason). I guess rejection is like that sometimes. It’s you being left behind without truly knowing why.

I don’t know if I have “answers” or “solutions” for this feeling. I just tell myself it’s part of the process. Believe in yourself and be confident in the work that you do. I know this is easier said than done, and everyone will deal with this differently, but I hope you do find a way to deal with this.

I’d like to echo the beginning.

Finding a job is hard.

But I know it is doable and it will happen. In the meantime, I try to stay engaged in the design world — improving my past portfolio/projects, learning and reading more about design, networking, pursuing passion projects. The way I see it — improving myself a little bit everyday can only be a good thing.

I don’t know if this helps anyone but at the very least, I hope you enjoyed reading.

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I’m an architect turned UX designer. Oh and I run on the side. Check out my portfolio: https://www.simonthedesigner.com/

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Simon Chen

Simon Chen

I’m an architect turned UX designer. Oh and I run on the side. Check out my portfolio: https://www.simonthedesigner.com/

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