Steven Steiner - 4 things to do when you want to find a job in UX


Steven Steiner shares his career coaching advice on setting yourself up to find a job in UX during his chat with Seth. From what hiring managers want to know about potential job candidates to what not to do during your job search, this episode includes many tips to set yourself apart from the crowd when you get serious about landing the UX job you want. Read the article below and listen to more of Steven's great advice in the full episode!

⚓️ Get specific about your anchor!

You probably have a whole toolbox of skills you can bring to a new role, but getting clear on what you want to do and having that anchor be the focus of your job search will land you in a role that will make you happy long term.

🎯 Don’t mass apply for jobs that do not focus on your anchor.

Weed out the opportunities that do not stay true to your anchor, and instead of using Easy Apply to mass apply for every UX job out there. Instead, spend that saved time polishing up your portfolio by building valuable case studies and work samples centered around your anchor.

👏 Be prepared to show a hiring manager what sets you apart.

Once you have applied for the jobs that are clearly linked to your anchor, get ready for your interview by preparing yourself to share your story! Make sure you have your elevator pitch ready with key points that show how your superpower links to the job opportunity and how your toolbox has you set up for success in this new role!

4 things to do when you want to find a job in UX

Kicking off season two with episode 28 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Steven Steiner, Founder of Career Coach for Designers, where he coaches designers to help them level up during any point of their career.

Steven has gained over ten years of experience as a designer and design manager at agencies, start-ups, and in-house teams. This experience and his passion for helping others led him to career coaching and gave him so much valuable advice to share that he has learned along his career path.

How Steven found his way into career coaching for UX Designers

Steven considers himself a Designer by trade and Coach at heart. In college, he pursued a degree in Informatics through the school of library science. He learned how data gets stored in a database and how to create an interface that allows people to retrieve that information. During that time, Steven found an interest in the mental model of a user and how they go about trying to find information on a digital platform.

Since then, Steven has worked up the corporate ladder as a designer and design manager for various sized organizations and agencies. As a manager, he enjoyed working with his teams to help them along their career path. Eventually, Steven realized that he would prefer to focus on teaching, coaching, and mentoring to help others level up in their UX design careers. This realization led him to create Career Coach for Designers where he gets to pursue this passion.

3 things NOT to do when you want to land a job in UX

Steven shared valuable advice on what to avoid when you are serious about finding a job in UX. The job search process is challenging, but avoiding these pitfalls will ensure that your effort is focused on the right tasks and help speed up your timeline to landing that first job!

📢 Don’t waste your time by mass applying to any job title you find interesting.

Instead, make sure you are applying for the right kind of jobs based on the area you want to focus on next. Be specific and focus your efforts in the right direction. If you have a quota to meet for a program or Bootcamp you are taking, then Easy Apply for three that are not worth your time and spend time on the ones that truly interest you.

🎯 Don’t dilute yourself with a “one size fits most” style.

Potential employers want to know what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Getting clear on this will increase your impact on them during the hiring process. It is ok to bring multiple transferable skills from previous jobs, but knowing your anchor will help you find the right role at a company that values what you do!

“There are so many Bootcamps and certifications that exist. All those programs are doing is filling an empty toolbox, but it's up to you to articulate how you use those tools to be effective.”

🔥 Don’t assume that simply applying for the job is enough.

After applying - differentiate yourself! Follow up on your application, and prepare for the potential interview questions. Take time to connect with people who work for that company, and if you already have connections, ask for a recommendation or referral!

4 key things to focus on as you prepare to find a job in UX

As an experienced hiring manager, Steven shares the four key things he would want to know about someone during the interview process. Take the time and check these boxes to ensure that you are prepared for an interview coming out of any applications you have submitted.

👉 Be prepared to tell your story.

Prepare an elevator pitch about YOU! Figure out who you are. Think about your superpower and how your previous skills are transferable to this new role based on the job description. Write the elevator pitch and practice sharing it!

🛠 Figure out how to explain what is in your toolbox to a hiring manager.

Put together a list of all of the tools you use in your design process so the hiring manager can quickly determine if you have experience with the tools they use.

👷🏻‍♂️ Be able to show how you use the different tools in your toolbox.

Pull together work samples for your portfolio to visually explain the experience you will bring to the new role. The purpose of these work samples is to show the hiring manager how you use the toolbox effectively.

📌 Close the loop with your contact information.

Make sure it is easy for a hiring manager to find all of the information you want them to see about you, including how to reach out to you with questions they may have. The easier you make it for them to get in touch, the better chance that they will!

“Just be genuine, realize that every relationship is a human trying to live their best life, and all you can do is be supportive.”

Thank you so much, Steven!

It was fantastic to get so many great tips from Steven in this episode. As a Design Manager and Career Coach, he brings a hiring manager's perspective with lots of experience from inside the industry. Getting advice on how to prepare during your job search and what to avoid will help so many product designers as they get their start. Thank you, Steven, for sharing your wisdom with all of us.

Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes a deeper dive into Steven’s career path into career coaching and advice on how to avoid common pitfalls people make in their case studies. Don't forget to follow Steven on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Check out what he is up to as a Career Coach at his website!

Where to find Steven

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