On My Path

On My Path and Getting Paid to Learn and Explore

January 15, 2013

Hi Anthony,

Wow, I had a wonderful time meeting with you! I am still on a high from our conversation last week. In fact, I registered for a couple of online courses on UX/HCI [User Experience/Human Computer Interaction], and have been doing a pretty good job staying on schedule. Also, I have been narrowing down my job search to opportunities that would feel my soul, rather than make ends meet.

May 22, 2013: I hope you are well. I have some very exciting updates . . .

  • I resigned from my role as a Technical Recruiter in April 2013. (Whew!)
  • In the interim, I took a class on Human Computer Interaction through Coursera taught by a Stanford professor. The class is wrapping up with only one more week. I designed an app that transformed budgeting from a solo to social activity with short-term rewards. I loved the course! The best part is that I have some work samples that I have been including in job applications.
  • The job search has been 1 month of focused soul searching. I know what I want and don’t want! I want to stay in the technology industry, but am finding it difficult to convince people to invest in me with only this 1 month HCI course under my belt. I remember what you said about finding someone pay me to learn/explore.
  • Well, I just accepted an offer for a Project Manager position at a small social media company in DC. It’s not UX, however, it’s a stepping stone and social media does interest me. The environment seems to be positive, and I will be a leader of a team (Extroverted-Maestro). I start next week!
  • I am hoping that this PM experience [in social media] will allow me to take the hypotenuse towards a PM role in UX, rather than struggling to get a UX designer position with the hopes of getting promoted to a PM. I am planning to take more UX/ design courses while I work. I am hopeful and will continue to pursue a path towards UX.

Anyways, just thought I would let you know where I am these days. Your advice from our meeting still resonates with me as I continue my journey. I feel empowered, excited and ready for the next steps in my life. I will definitely refer you to some of my friends who may be “lost” in their careers. Thanks again, and keep in touch!

20-something, recent college graduate