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Canada Senior UX designer Joined over 4 years ago
Formal design school training plus about a decade of graphic design experience in various roles, mostly editorial design at publications. Since 2009 I've been a UX designer, from junior to senior and even at one point leading a small UX team. I've worked in the UK, Germany and Canada. My UX roles have been very T shaped and I've done everything from user interviews & research to prototyping, design sprint facilitation, and implementing research into designs. My deep-experience on the T would be in the middle, moulding research results into ideas, wireframes and final designs. My experience has been less visual, from my background I'm better with the structure and system rather than the dribbble-worthy gloss visuals/illustrations. (Someone one called my work 'budget'... which given my lack of budget was fair but blunt—I've made how-to motion design videos for $50 and a full Christmas campaign photoshoot for about $150).
Where am I looking? Across most of Canada... especially the cool parts (Vancouver, Montreal... Vancouver).
I had another major rejection last week. I've asked for feedback, but I've not heard back.
Can anyone recommend any of the UX career coaches around? (I've googled names, but I don't know any of the lovely people purporting to do UX coaching).
I've recently engaged a recruiter but it has been slow progress. I'm hoping this will help me either land somewhere needing my amount of experience or will show me the local market is tapped. Not to sound full of myself, but most of the people in the most senior design roles locally have less experience than I do... sometimes half and not good experience. I can understand working for someone younger, that's going to happen, but someone who's less experienced seems too much to take.
TLDR... my boss. He's not a good manager, and not a very good PM so I'm not learning the proper skills or doing typical PM tasks. I was once told off for sketching out a form layout while talking to the designer. I would consider another PM role but I feel both unsure and awkward with having this short sample experience.
Great feedback from everyone! I really appreciate the helpful suggestions.
Pardon my lack of clarity. I've at least been prompted to a senior/lead level in the past. However this is where I've plateaued. I did leave a company because there was no direct route to the next level. To be fair, if it appears that I've never been prompted, that could reflect poorly.
That said (I'll say this a few times), there's nothing wrong with being happy staying an IC, and it's unfortunate that most companies only offer better salaries when you go to the management side. (I'm stealing that thought from the most recent Product Breakfast podcast)!
And Weston, thanks for the tip on adding data. With only tier 2 or 3 company experience, those aren't processes I've had to encounter.
Thank you for your words. I'm quite good at suppressing frustration during an interview (and to be fair I'm focused on so much else). Forums like this are where I channel my venting. I tend to tailor my message to the role I'm applying / interviewing for, whether that means putting myself forward as someone with management experience, or focusing on pure design experience.
I've hit the 10 year mark in UX (there's another 10 years of graphic design before that). I have held lead roles but have also kept working as an individual contributor. I've failed to get a job at a higher level, and where I where I have been a lead there was no opportunity to grow further. I don't have the leadership skills, and I'm now finding I can't get into a company with a track to leadership.
I'm also beginning to wonder if I appear long in the tooth, that because I've not progressed something must be wrong with me. In fact with all the rejections I've been getting, I also wonder if age and over experience is stopping me. I'm not even in my thirties anymore. I can't imagine being stuck like this in another decade. Actually I'm really struggling now. I left a dead-end company for a lateral change but it's not working out. I've made my life worse and I'm trying desperately to undo, but no one wants me.
Anyway, for a number of years I've been considering the designer pyramid. The further up the ladder the fewer roles there are. So where do these well experienced designers go when not becoming a manager, director, vp, instructor?
Any job at a senior/lead/experienced level. Some are 'top places' and some are not. We're not talking Apple or Google... second and third tier.
But I'm raising this question more broadly, rather than show work (or in my case a lot of process). Is a decade of UX design experience without a major promotion a bad sign? How are people reinventing their careers?
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