Get a job in UX with these 6 steps

6 Steps to get a UX Job: Becoming a UX/UI designer from 0 to 100

From taking a UX/UI course at Coderhouse to becoming an Ssr UX/UI designer at a multinational. That is how far I got by following the best practices, according to me, to get a job and pursue a career in the UX world. Based on my experience and what has worked for me, I share with you these six steps that you need to follow to get your first dream job. 

Whereas this is not a magical guide, it works because it involves various aspects that recruiters consider during their selection process. The key is to identify the main patterns, needs of the labour market, and make them match your profile. 

1. Decide Whether UX Is Right for You or Not

You probably know what UX and UI are, but maybe you are not sure if UX is what you want to do. 

During this first step, I highly recommend that you pay special attention to UX/UI study programs or courses that you find interesting or that are available on the market. Go through them thoroughly, google the topics to gain some theoretical knowledge, and see if what you are reading makes you enthusiastic to learn about it. 

Another good idea is to talk to someone who is already working on the position you are after. LinkedIn is by far the best social media platform for networking. Besides, you can search keywords such as “UX/UI Designer”, and “UX designer”, and filter the results by “people”; by doing this, you will find people with this job position. LinkedIn allows you to see their full profiles! You can see what and where these people have studied, and their previous jobs. You can get valuable information if you know how to search and analyse data. 

Something to bear in mind if you are thinking of studying UX is that you will be self-educated, there is no doubt of that. Of course, you can take courses, boot camps, and workshops where you will learn from tutors who will guide you on the way, but you need to do some extra. This modality is quite freelance, which can be something positive or negative depending on the person, but it is what it is. If you are looking toward working on UX, then you will have to do some self-education in addition to formal education. 

2. Take A Course to Learn the Discipline

I totally recommend taking a UX course not only to follow an organised content program, but also to meet people with similar interests as yours. Above all, I recommend it because courses are designed to prepare you to get into the labour market once you finish. They get you ready.

Taking a course is an incredibly healthy and rich experience. You get to make mistakes and learn from them; you network with your teammates, tutors, and teachers. You miss all these things if you study on your own. 

Before moving on to the next step I want to answer a recurring question: Do I need to have a university degree to become a UX/UI designer? No. Do I need to be a graphic designer to be a UX/UI designer? Also, no. Having a university degree is not mandatory to work in UX; however, degrees always add up, especially on user experience where all kinds of knowledge is useful to solve problems. 

3. Mastering Design Tools

Figma is a widely known and the most required design tool in the labour market. Its free plan is very complete, as it allows you to use almost every function and lets you work in teams in real time, like in Google Docs or Google Drive. Figma is a web-app, which means that there is a web version to use in your browser and a desktop app that you can download to your computer. This feature is very useful because no matter the device you are working on, you can always sign in to and work online. 

There are other tools like Sketch for Mac, and Adobe Xd. If you have the chance to use them, do it. Even for a little. Extra knowledge and skills are never enough, especially on your resume. 

4. Practice

Based on my personal experience, the easiest way to practise what you have learned is to take a product that is already available on the market and redesign it or take a design you really like and reproduce it. When you take a clever design and reproduce it element by element, you understand why it was made in that way, why they made “x” design decision, what is a good layout, fonts, and the right colour palette. Copying at first is not bad, in fact, doing it allows you to learn interesting things. 

Another exercise is to take an app or webpage that you think needs a little work, and you can come up with solutions and improvements. You can design a new model, run tests with people to see if your improvements did solve the insights that you identified in the beginning. This is how you obtain feedback from real users. You can test it with friends, family, even people with the tech community you met on the courses. They will always be there to give you a hand. There are no excuses to not run tests. You are not a user, set that in stone and start applying that in the early stages.

At the beginning it can be frustrating, and that is okay. Tomorrow you may dislike the design you like today, and you decide to redesign it. That is also part of the process.At the beginning it can be frustrating, and that is okay. Tomorrow you may dislike the design you like today, and you decide to redesign it. That is also part of the process. 

5. Join a Community

Although this step is included in the previous steps, the moment to do it is now. Join a community right before you embark on a job search. Now that you have completed a course, made a portfolio filled with personal projects, and mastered a design tool, you will see that Facebook groups, Twitter, Instagram, Discord, and Telegram accounts will become spaces to grow and feel that you are not alone. Communities are useful to find company, to ask for help and feedback, and, most importantly, to find jobs. 

One of the main parts of searching for a job is networking. Never underestimate the importance of building your own contact network or creating a personal brand to identify yourself as a professional among colleagues and employers. 

6. Learn What You Need to Learn to get the Job 

This step is relevant if you are looking for a job in a company, and not as a freelancer. During this step, I advise you to see the skills the job offer requires. Those that are repeatedly mentioned are the most required ones. It is your job to gain those skills to increase the probabilities of getting the job. Of course, one of the best places to do this benchmarking is LinkedIn.

This exercise will let you specialise on certain skills or include them to your to-do list. Continuous education is extremely important!

Reminder to fight against imposter syndrome: Apply for the job. You will notice that many job offers require 2 or 3 years of experience even for junior positions. Usually, companies do this to do a pre-filter, so if you are confident that you have the skills and that you can prove you can do the job, apply for it. Do not be afraid of applying. What is the worst that could happen, that they will not call you? It would have happened either way. 

Extra Advice: Work on Your Portfolio!

I am sure the worst mistake that juniors make is uploading pretty screens to a website and believe that is a good portfolio. Let me tell you it is not because, first, you could have gotten those images anywhere, second, it does not really show that you know what you are doing. Your portfolio will be the second part of your resume. Therefore, it is important that you take care of every detail and only show the best of the best. Your design is simple and pretty, but it does not show that you are a designer who thinks of problems and solutions for the design. Both recruiters and potential UX teammates are interested in this analysis. A portfolio containing a case study is super valuable, and believe me, it is the one that stands out from other portfolios that only show the finished product. In real life, all your teammates care about is how you think and work, and how you make messy wireframes on a sheet. They too have a say in the selection process.

To sum up, the six steps to get your first job as a UX/UI designer are the following:

  • Decide if UX is right for you.
  • Take a course.
  • Mastering Design Tools
  • Practice.
  • Join a Community
  • Learn what you need for the job.

I hope you share the news with me when you get your first job as a UX designer. Working in technology changes your life, which is why I want everyone to get their dream jobs. 

Thank you for reading! Until next post 😊