Michael Riddering shares advice on how to get the role you want in the next stage of your career and so many topics during his chat with Seth. From how to stand out to hiring managers to the things he thinks could have benefitted him earlier in his career, this episode includes many tips to strengthen yourself as a product designer in this industry. Read the article below and listen to more of Ridd’s great advice in the full episode!
Ridd has worked for his own startup and spent time building more experience through freelancing and agency work. He currently lives in Michigan and started working remotely for Maven last year. He spends his days thinking about online course platforms, marketing, and teaching design.
In college, Ridd pursued a major in economics but realized he did not want to go into finance halfway through, and he was more interested in tech, startups, and building businesses. Initially, Ridd jumped into a code academy to learn how to code and quickly decided that was not for him, but he also knew he wanted to be able to get his hands dirty and contribute to the product.
At this point, Ridd took his learning into his own hands. He spent time watching YouTube tutorials and building prototypes to learn. He also began learning on the job with his startup, where he was the only non-technical person. During this time, he worked on sales and customer success while also doing all of the designing. He uncovered the frustration that arises when designers do not understand code and work with developers. Hence, he passionately feels about bridging that gap between designers and developers from an educational standpoint.
Ridd shared how he successfully applied for and landed his current role at Maven. It is essential to consider the hiring manager and what may stick out for them in the sea of applicants for any function. Taking the extra time to show how invested you are in the process with them will tell them how dedicated you will be once they hire you.
“Don't underestimate the power of appreciating other people's work. If you use a product you like or see a landing page that catches your eye, find that person and send them a DM.”
Ridd has a proactive approach to going after the roles he wants, which has helped him immensely along his career path. He also shared some things that he wished he would have done earlier in his career or that he has seen the impact of long term as he put them into practice. These tips will help you expand your knowledge and your network!
“When I think about how I want to impact design education as a whole, so much of it comes down to this idea of, how can we make it way easier for designers to effectively think like developers and strengthen that relationship as a result.”
We had such a great time chatting and gaining insight from Ridd on this episode. Hearing his opinions on what to do when you find the perfect role offered some excellent tips that product designers looking to land their first role should consider. We are so thankful that he shared so much valuable advice with us.
Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes a deeper dive into Ridd’s career path, how he decided to create Figma Academy, and how long it took to create his own course. Don't forget to follow Ridd on Twitter, LinkedIn, dribbble, and keep an eye on his website as well!