Are you switching careers to UX and want to land your first role in the industry?
Congrats on making the decision to change the path of your career!
We’ve helped UX professionals get hired at top companies including IBM, Intel, American Express, Royal Bank, Microsoft, and more.
Hired as a UX Design Researcher after switching from Occupational Therapy
“I had been interviewing for 6+ months, often making it to the final rounds, and could never clinch a role.
Career Strategy Lab helped me to identify areas of weakness in my interviewing skills thus boosting my confidence but also allowing me to show the employer what I am truly capable of.”
We’ve helped architects, occupational therapists, psychologist and software engineers switch careers to UX.
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 switchers about portfolios, resumes, and the UX job search.
How can I frame my previous professional experience?
When you are switching to UX from another industry, it’s crucial that you identify and highlight the skills and experience that will be relevant to what you’ll be doing in UX.
For example, if you were previously a journalist, you likely have skills related to research, interviewing, and storytelling. Highlighting these skills will help give potential employers confidence that you’re not a newbie and that you have been utilizing and honing these skills.
As a career switcher, should I look for a junior or mid-level UX role?
We recommend that you don’t get fixated on job titles as they mean different things at different companies. Though many job descriptions will say 3 – 5 years experience, don’t fret about this, apply regardless. Through our research with people involved in UX hiring we can confidently say that these requirements are not hard requirements. “So why do they put that on the job description if it’s not really a requirement?” We wish it was different, but that’s how it is!
Read this Twitter thread about UX why you should apply to roles even if you don’t have 3 – 5 years of experience.
How can I stand out from other bootcamp graduates?
If you want to stand out from other UX boot camp graduates, one major thing you can do is make sure your UX portfolio does not read like answers to questions on a UX exam. The user of your UX portfolio doesn’t need you to define UX processes and terminology. Instead, they want to see evidence of how you’ve applied the UX process to projects.
For example, if you have a project that’s related to research don’t have a section in your portfolio that says, “based on the research I created an affinity map to help identify themes” because that’s a definition. Instead, say what you did such as “next we analyzed the research and identify key themes of x, y, and z.” See the difference?
How long will it take me to get hired in UX as a career changer?
We can’t say for certain, but what we can say is that it will take you a lot longer if you play “the numbers game” in your job search. When you aim for quantity of jobs applied to over quality of the applications (and materials) you submit, you’ll take far longer to get hired.
On average, people who work with us inside Career Strategy Lab are able to 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).
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.
Can I use work from my previous role in my portfolio?
Yes of course! Here’s a great example, we had a teacher who was switching into UX. In their teaching role, they had developed curriculum and in doing so, conducted a lot of research. They leveraged that research project and turned it into a research project for their UX portfolio.
Even though they were a teacher when they did that research and didn’t have “UX” in their job title, they were still doing research.
When it comes to your past experience, consider what projects you’ve worked on that you might be able to use, in all or part, to demonstrate key skills related to UX.
Hired as a UX Designer after switching from nearly 10 years in architecture
“I was hired this last week as a UX designer!
I am so thankful to Sarah and the team for providing such a helpful platform. I used all of the tools provided and experienced first hand how they will come in handy for everything from presentations to future employment options + negotiations!”
Featured podcasts and videos related to switching careers to UX
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 switching to UX so you can get hired without applying to hundreds of roles?
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.