Growing your UX career looks different for everyone.
We’ve helped UX professionals advance their career and get hired at top companies including IBM, Intel, American Express, Royal Bank, Microsoft, and more.
Hired as a Senior UX Researcher at a remote startup in the health industry
“I recently accepted my dream role – the first researcher at a healthcare startup where I will be building out the research function, woohoo!
Career Strategy Lab helped me solidify my priorities in a new role and refine my job search to find a company that aligned with my values and interests.”
As someone who wants to advance your UX career, you have a lot of questions … and you’re in the right place!
We’ve helped UX Researchers, UX Writers, Content Strategists, Product Designers and everyone in between advance their UX careers.
Get no-nonsense answers to questions related to advancing your UX career.
Stop drowning in vague advice and opinions you find through all your Googling!
We’ve curated some of our best interviews, articles, and videos for Career Climbers.
Hear directly from hiring managers what you should do stand out.
Looking for help with your career switch into UX? Look no further.
We offer a hands-on UX career coaching program for Career Climbers.
Answers to questions from Career Climbers about portfolios, resumes, and the UX job search.
How can I refocus my career after working in UX for a while?
When you’ve been working in UX for a while, it’s easy to feel like you’ve reached a plateau. Many people come to us because they’ve feel a bit lost and want to define a clear path forward in the next chapter of their career.
Just like products have roadmaps, your career needs a roadmap too. Creating a Career Roadmap™ is a key part of what we do inside Career Strategy Lab. A roadmap is crucial because it helps you stay focused on your career goals, frame your experience in your portfolio and resume, and not waste time applying to roles that don’t align with your goals, values, etc.
We all know what happens when products don’t have roadmaps … a lot of re-work and wasted time and money. The same applies to your career.
How can I move into leadership and out of an independent contributor (IC) role?
When you want to move into leadership or management it’s still crucial to be able to talk about projects you’ve worked on or led. Whether or not you will need a portfolio is beyond the point. The act of creating case studies for the projects you’ve worked on will allow you to go into interviews and confidently articulate your skills and experience.
So how do you demonstrate your leadership and management skills in a case study? For example, your case study may not focus on the nitty gritty of conducting user research. However, if you were the Director of User Researcher at a company, you might have projects that focus on operations and your team. Did you grow the team and train researchers? Did you establish a company’s research department and operationalize research? Those could both be create case studies for someone who wants to focus on leadership and management.
I’m tired of applying to roles and not getting interviews, what I am doing wrong?
There are many variables that could contribute to why you aren’t getting interviews, so not to take it personally. We find that people who’ve already been working in UX tend to sell themselves short because their portfolio, resume, and LinkedIn often sends a first impression that doesn’t highlight the breadth and depth of their experience.
As a career climber, it’s crucial that you convey to people involved in UX hiring your thinking, expertise, and impact. As a general rule, make sure you’re always communicating not just what you did but why and how you did it and the impact of what you did.
You may also want to check out this article we wrote about how you can apply product management principles to get more job interviews.
How long will it take me to get hired in UX as a career climber?
On average, people who work with us inside Career Strategy Lab get hired 3.5 – 4 months after they join. These people dedicate an average of 8 – 10 hours a week to everything that’s involved in getting hired (eg. portfolio, resume, LinkedIn, job search, preparing for interviews).
We’ve worked with many, many UX candidates who were previously applying to roles and not getting interviews or, who applied to 200+ roles and didn’t get more than 5 interviews. However, after working with us, people get hired faster and without applying the numbers game.
Our candidates are able to get hired faster because in their job search they prioritize people over platforms and they tailor their materials (ever so slightly) to the roles they’re applying to.
Hired as a Senior Product Designer at a large financing software company
“In this new role I’m able to maintain my desired level of pay and get a title upgrade, also there are opportunities for growth and support for my continuous learning!
The portfolio template gave me a point of reference so I could identify gaps on my own portfolio and fill them in.”
Featured podcasts and videos related to advancing your UX career
In this video, Sarah Doody interviews McLean Donnelly the Director of UX at Shopify to discuss UX hiring. They discuss topics including:
- How to find UX roles
- What you can to do stand out
- Why cover letters still matter
In this episode of the User Defenders podcast, our founder, Sarah Doody, discusses actionable tips for creating a UX portfolio including:
- How many projects to include
- What UX recruiters are looking for
- What “show your process” really means
In this video, Sarah Doody answers questions about the UX job search related to what types of projects to include in a portfolio, how to create an effective resume, the importance of authentic relationships, and why the “numbers game” is a bad idea in your job search.
career strategy lab
Want help advancing your UX career so you can get to the next level and get paid what you're worth?
Career Strategy Lab™ combines expert training, templates, and both 1:1 and group coaching to help you create an effective resume and portfolio and conduct a strategy job search so you can stand out and get interviews faster.
Career Strategy Lab combines the best of 1:1 coaching with a group experience.
Critiques of your work
Each week you can submit your resume, portfolio, etc for review and we’ll send you back a video critique.
Weekly group Q&A calls
In our weekly group calls, you can talk through questions and get answers from our coaches as well as your peers in the CSL program.
Weekly group co-working sessions
Join us for an hour each week for a co-working session to help you stay accountable, motivated, and have an opportunity to ask questions live.
Private 1:1 coaching calls
These calls are your opportunity to get private and personalized feedback so you can get unstuck, make a decision, and keep moving forward in the process to get your next role.
Private community (not on Facebook)
Connect with out people in CSL in our private community. Share stories about interviews, learn about job opportunities, and have thoughtful, not surface level, discussions about your UX career.
People from all educational backgrounds have trusted Career Strategy Lab to give them an edge over other UX candidates.
Students and graduates of undergrad and post-grad programs, as well as many UX bootcamps, have enrolled in Career Strategy Lab.