When I accepted the invitation to join Fresh Tilled Soil’s AUX program, my initial goal was to have a full-time job lined up immediately after the AUX end date – December 9th. Looking back, it’s safe to say that my goal was slightly over-ambitious. The apprenticeship kept me extremely busy between weekly design challenges, client work, and meetings – not to mention that I was freelancing nights and weekends. Instead of focusing on getting a job, I focused on learning as much as I could from the apprenticeship and pushed off the job hunt until later.
As November rolled in, I re-adjusted my job expectations and aimed to have a start date for January 1st. During Thanksgiving break, I worked hard to design and develop a new UX portfolio and resume, and submitted a few applications. With networking help from people at Fresh Tilled Soil, I lined up 2 promising interviews and several coffee meet-ups during the last week of my program.
Everything was going great post-AUX – and then the holidays hit. I realize that it’s common knowledge that almost all interviewing shuts down during the holidays, but as someone who was eager and ready to start working full time again, I felt heartbroken. I took the “radio silence” as an opportunity to submit as many applications as possible, and create a job seeker profile on Hired. It was clear at this point that my (2nd) goal of a Jan 1st start date was not in the stars for me.
The quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s also provided me with time to prep for the UX/UI interviewing process. I made a list of commonly-asked questions and made sure that I could easily walk through each case study in my portfolio. These notes would become critical during my initial phone screen conversations.
Finally, by the second week of January – I was getting requests for phone screens and interviews daily! Hired was also an amazing resource and I interviewed with 3 different companies through the recruiting platform. By January 15th, I had multiple offers and signed a contract with an amazing team and company!
It was clear to me that AUX had opened so many doors for me as the many requests to interview filled my inbox that second week in January. I felt confident and capable during interviewing, and I owe that confidence to my mentors and colleagues at Fresh Tilled Soil who took the time and effort to share their skills, design theories, processes and projects with me.
I look forward to starting a new position as a UX Designer in the Fort Point neighborhood on January 30th. Until then, you’ll find me on the slopes in Vail, Colorado. It’s finally time to enjoy a little #funemployment!
Advice for future AUX-ers? Learn from my mistake of believing you will secure a fantastic UX position overnight. It’s unrealistic! All great things take time – including applying and interviewing to join a great team. Be patient and kind to yourself.