I had a really interesting coaching session with my amazing boss Sarah Spagnolo about professional strengths and weaknesses. It came up because I sometimes feel like I’m too supportive when working on projects, instead of being direct and tactical. She pointed out something that should have probably been obvious to me but it wasn’t.
Every team member has professional strengths and weaknesses. It’s great to want to grow, but keep in mind that your unique skills set you apart. Being on a team that is built by hiring individuals with complementary skillsets is extremely powerful. …
I came across a beautiful thread by Julie Zhuo focused on the differences between cultures when it comes to career aspirations.
It got me thinking, sometimes the response when people are asked about their career goals isn’t culturally driven, it’s life circumstance driven. As a single mom in my 20’s when someone asked me what my 5-year plan was, my immediate, truthful internal response was, “to survive”.
At that time in my life, finishing my degree, working 2 part-time jobs, and caring for my toddler while fighting to make ends meet encompassed the only things that fit on my plate…
I never create New Year’s resolutions. Instead I focus on revelations I’ve uncovered about myself and what’s most important to me vs. things that aren’t adding value and joy to my life.
Two years ago I wrote a blog post about my daughter having her first ever epileptic seizure. Prior to that terrifying experience, I hadn’t truly understood what standing by completely helpless as your child turns blue could possibly feel like.
Once the convulsing is over, you’d think that would mean the worst part is behind you. But for parents of epileptic kids, the worst part is what follows.
My daughter is taking 3 AP classes. It’s her senior year, and she’s kicking ass with top grades in AP Calc, AP Chem and AP Psych.
Her neurologist decided to wean her…
Creative inspiration can stem from anything in the universe. Some people are inspired by the texture of an orange peel, a shadow through a slatted window, 17th century architecture, remnants of a dream, the flecks of color in a partner’s eye — the source of material is limitless.
The design industry is massive. There are subcategories distributed across digital and physical products. Architectural design, home interior design, industrial organizational design, graphic design, interaction design, animation design, product design — the list goes on.
Every area of design, though very different, has a common thread. They all impact the person using…
It’s been six months in a global pandemic during which we’ve also experienced civil unrest, the all-too-real effects of climate change, and an unprecedented economic downturn. Living through this time period has understandably left many feeling like their lives are completely out of control. So let’s talk about something that IS within our control.
As designers, engineers, UX professionals, and product team members, we have the power to use our skillsets to change the world right from our living rooms. Right now, at this very moment, people across the nation are deciding who to vote for in November’s election. This…
I’m 5 years into my fully remote work life, and there are 3 budget friendly items that I couldn’t live without.
I am not a YouTube star, I didn’t need a monstrously huge ring light, I just needed something that kept me from looking like I was in witness protection during Zoom calls. This little guy does the job. It clamps to your desk, and can either be powered by plugging the USB into your laptop, or you can plug it in to the wall. It’s only 6 inches and can be positioned in any direction…
The last few months have, let’s be honest, been a dumpster fire on pretty much every level.
The economy crashed and recovered and is teetering on the edge again. Friends and family members have lost their jobs, and some their homes.
People who were living comfortably, pay check to pay check, are now in line at food banks, trying to feed their families.
The world is on fire. Social injustices are getting the air time they SHOULD have gotten for the last 200 years, because people are at home and have time to actually deeply think about how terrible we’ve…
I was chatting with a friend tonight, checking in to see how he is doing during all of the current goings on. He’s one of the most kind hearted, empathetic people I’ve ever met.
I’ve had managers in the past tell me that my level of empathy for customers is a benefit to the business, but that they worry that I may take my work home with me and continuously brainstorm solutions to problems without stopping. (They’re right.)
Empathy can be a beautiful super power. For those in the design and UX fields it’s especially impactful—you genuinely feel what your…
Why is accepting compliments so difficult?
I was in a 1:1 with my mentor Stephen Gates this afternoon, and he complimented my work on a recent project. I immediately deflected and launched into a compliment about a project that HE is working on and mentioned how many more people he was impacting at once. He rolled his eyes and said, “It’s not a competition!”
Twenty minutes later he complimented another project result and I immediately changed the subject.
He called me out and said, “In the years we’ve known each other I don’t think you’ve ever just accepted a compliment…
UX Blogger ~ Product Designer ~ Sr Mgr of Design Community Partnerships @InVisionApp Opinions are my own ❤ (© 2014–2019 Jennifer Aldrich)