Overcoming rejection and self-doubt while shifting careers

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

“You’re too junior.”

“You need more experience.”

“Your skills are rudimentary at best.” (ouch)

“You’re very talented but…”

In my on-going hunt to get into the UX/UI industry, these are phrases that I’ve heard countless of times. And they were starting to really frustrate me, especially when I would get to the last step in the interview process, only to be told the company went in another direction. But, what do you do when they keep telling you no? How can you gain experience in an industry where no one seems to want to give you a chance to earn that experience?

Honestly, you need to do your best to push past those feelings of self-doubt and rejection emails if you really want to reach for what you want. Sometimes you need to take what seems like a step back initially, in order to move forward.

With enough time to think on it, I’m quite glad that so many people turned me down. While frustrating, it taught me to believe in myself and to fight hard(er) for what I want. To never stop learning and pushing myself to be better in all aspects of life (whether work-related or otherwise).

They may be brief and seem pretty straightforward, but these are some ideas I’ve been given by my local UX/digital community to gain more experience in the field:

  1. Write blog posts. Show people your knowledge and your thought process if this is not apparent in your work.
  2. Find (or create) challenges for yourself to keep up and expand your skills. I highly recommend the Daily UI challenge. Even though the challenges seem simple, you can combine multiple prompts together to create something more in-depth that you can use more of your research and testing skills on.
  3. Keep looking for jobs. Maybe apply for positions that might be a little out of your comfort zone if you think you (and the company) are willing to step up to the challenge.
  4. Join Hack-a-thons and other activities in your industry to help you get “real-world” experience if you don’t have the resources to work with clients. Research methods can be difficult to practice when not applied to real-life situations!
  5. Find any opportunity you can in your current job to use the skills you are growing (if possible).
  6. Never give up. It may hurt, but take a good, hard look at yourself and what you are currently doing to achieve your goals. Is there something that could be improved or eliminated from your routine? Are there different tools you can try to reach your goals?

Hopefully, these ideas can help you out as well! If you have any suggestions about getting into the digital design/UX & UI industry, feel free to leave them in the comments below!