Episodes Recorded

Ep.24 LevelUp (Dec 10 2020)

How do you get into a more strategic position now that you have several years UX experience?

Stickynotes episode 24 Dec 10 2020

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Details from this session

How do you get into a more strategic position now that you have several years UX experience?

You’ve been in UX for a couple of years now. You’ve built up expertise as an individual contributor, maybe even as a team lead.

How do you make the jump into more of a management role or a strategic role (often called “architect” type positions)?

Some thoughts from the session:

  • You need to already be demonstrating that you’re performing at the next level before you’ll get promoted. Making strategic conversations happen, strategically solving problems on or beyond the teams you support.
  • You’ll be influencing without authority. First, listen to what other team members want/need, then show how what you offer fits with those needs.
  • It’s fine to ask for help. From your manager, from team members in other disciplines. If you go to people with a problem that they can help with, they’ll most likely love to talk about it.
  • The higher your level in the org, the more collaborative you have to be across different groups. You might start just within one team, then a department, then get to the level of solving problems across departments or even across the industry as you progress.
  • It’s surprising how small a role your knowledge of certain tools plays in advancing. Beyond a core job-specific skillset, it’s more about social skills.
  • Keep a constantly updated list of what you’ve accomplished. Try to work out the business benefit of each thing. This is useful for annual reviews with your manager (they’ll have forgotten half of your contributions). It’s also useful if you change roles.
  • Sometimes the only way to move up is to move out – to another team or another company. Think now about what you’d need to demonstrate in a job interview, and use that to guide how you prioritize what you learn.

Some links for you:

Cory wrote The UX Careers Handbook (amazon link) with its associated web site.

Cory also created a LinkedIn Learning course on Planning a Career in UX

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