UX Career Guidance

Thoughts on the New Year: you have all you need.

Joe Natoli's Thoughts on the New Year: you have all you need

Friends, I’d like to share a few thoughts on the coming New Year, and a little UX career advice I hope is helpful.

A few days back I answered a question in my Private Facebook Group, where a young man asked what he could do to prepare for a second round design exercise for job interview. Here’s what I said in response:

“There’s nothing you’re going to do between right now and the day of that interview that changes your talent or your ability to do the work well. You have everything you need already, right now.

The only thing that has the potential to sabotage your efforts is fear, worrying about it.

So my advice would be to look back at all you’ve accomplished thus far in your career. What you do and have done well. Those are the things that got you this far, those are the things that carried you to this point in the interview process.

There is no question you can DO whatever they throw at you. 

The only reason you won’t get the job is if someone else happens to be a better fit — not because you aren’t capable of doing the work.

Go forward confidently. Believe in your abilities. That, in my experience, is what will carry the day.”

I just turned 50 this year, and that advice is something it took the better part of half my life to understand and adopt. That at the end of the day, you almost always have what you need. Your skill set, your talents, your abilities are almost never the real obstacle.

Instead, what will hold you back is fear.

Self-doubt. Imposter syndrome. Call it what you will, but we all have it. Even if we don’t all admit it.

And instead of trying to overcome it, or wait for the moment when we’re fearless, you have to make peace with it. Accept it as part of who you are, realize it’s not some flaw that only you have, recognize that it doesn’t have to stop you.

It didn’t stop me, and it didn’t stop countless celebrities whose paths I’ve crossed who all had stories to tell about this silent friend we all have.

As my friend Melanie Spring related to me awhile back, fear can sit in the passenger seat — but it’s not allowed to drive the car.

I wish you all courage, confidence and continued success in 2019.

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