Design

Why we need to give new designers a chance

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If we don’t start giving new designers and UX pros a chance, the design industry will crumble.

We designers sometimes get stuck in a rut as the years go by. Our passion starts to fade, and we just go through the motions.

There are 2 great ways to snap out of that rut:

  1. Go to a conference
  2. Spend 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 who have more passion in their little fingers than most UX veterans.

But there’s a perpetual problem: a majority of UX and design jobs require many years of experience.

“If we don’t start giving new designers a chance, the design industry will crumble.”

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 it’s a huge loss for all of us.

meeting-coffee

I’ve been so focused on my own career that I hadn’t even given mentoring a second thought until very recently when an amazing woman full of passion for design, the willingness to learn everything she can, and a drive to grow in any way possible, 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!” (See? She’s spunky! Love her.)

“Consider mentoring a new designer—they’re the future of our industry.”

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 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.

Start mentoring—or find a mentor

If you’re a willing mentor looking for a mentee, or vice-versa, check out this little mentoring connection community!

Author

Jennifer Aldrich
UX and Content Strategist at InVision and UX Blogger at UserExperienceRocks.com. Fan of: my daughter, photography, writing, and beautiful usable things.

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