If we don’t start giving new designers & UX pros a chance, the design industry will crumble.
Sometimes as designers we get in a rut as the years go by. Our passion starts to fade, and we just start going through the motions.
There are 2 great ways to snap out of that rut:
1. Go to a conference
2. Spend some time chatting with a brand new designer
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to spend time getting to know some really amazing, mega new designers and UX pro hopefuls.
They have more passion in their little fingers than most veterans, but there is a perpetual problem: A majority of UX and design jobs require many years of experience.
These new kids on the block are brimming with new innovative ideas, and we aren’t giving them the opportunity to voice them. We aren’t even giving them the opportunity to interview.
I get it, companies don’t want to invest time and money in training new designers, but if we don’t start doing just that as an industry, our lack of new, passionate blood is going to make us irrelevant and obsolete.
Can’t talk your company into taking a chance on a newbie? Try asking if they’d consider an internship.
Still getting shot down? Please consider mentoring a new designer.
Many of them are so discouraged by the lack of jobs available that they’re abandoning their dreams of being part of our industry. It’s tragic, and a huge loss for all of us.
I’ve been so focused on my own career that for years I hadn’t even given mentoring a second thought. Then I was approached by this amazing woman, full of design passion and willingness to learn everything she can, and a drive to grow anyway possible, and she asked me to mentor her.
Not going to lie, my first sentence was, “I have no idea what a mentor does.”
She responded, “Well, if you don’t try it, you’ll never know. And besides you’re already doing it!”
So that’s how I became a mentor. At first I felt completely unqualified, but then it finally dawned on me:
You don’t need 10 years of experience to be a mentor — you just need more experience than your mentee.
Even if you’ve only been in the industry for a year or 2, helping someone else navigate that first crazy year will be massively appreciated.
The moral of this story? Give junior designers a chance to learn and become great! And please, please consider mentoring a newbie — they’re the future of our industry!