The UX of becoming a UX designer (pt. 2) — The Job Search

Abel Quintero
3 min readJul 17, 2017
Clem Onojeghu — Unsplash

The job search is a full-time job in itself.

When I was younger, I thought that was just something adults threw around to scare the next generation of workers. However, a few months into my job search, I am realizing more and more the truth of this statement. In a time when truth doesn’t seem to be valued as much as it used to be, applying to jobs is most definitely a job that requires much time and effort. Political landscape aside, the fact is and has always been that a finding a job is not an easy process. Despite my 500+ LinkedIn connections, friends and family who work at companies like Amazon and Facebook, and work experience in startup and academic settings, I have not yet secured a full-time position and must continue freelancing for the time being.

If you’re a current college student, you might be wondering how the job search can be as hard as your school workload. I certainly never thought any type of work would rival the amount of time I spent writing research papers, lab reports, problem sets, etc. But here’s another truth that can be tough to swallow — all of your hard work in school doesn’t guarantee you a job when you graduate. Cue the liberal arts school jokes…

What does the job application process entail? In addition to the consistent updating of resumé, portfolio and cover letters, there’s the daily checking of LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Hired, and about a dozen other job-posing sites. It’s truly incredible how many jobs are posted every day in every city you can imagine — the demand for UX Designers is certainly high.

What keeps me going? Curiosity, resilience, and the drive to design better experiences for digital products. I continue to read design blogs here on Medium, follow influential designers on Twitter and Dribble, work on freelance projects, and take online courses. I continue to improve my skills in Sketch, Framer, Illustrator, and other tools not only because they will help me in my future career, but because I genuinely love discovering the power and potential of these tools. Designing is FUN!

These are some of the projects I’ve been working on:

website re-design I worked on in Sketch
mobile prototype for Thicket

Another tip that I’ve learned from more experienced designers is that writing is an increasingly important skill to have. Now I’m even more grateful for my liberal arts education!

The job search requires so much patience and persistence, qualities that I know will be valuable throughout my life. And now I await application responses from Facebook and the San Francisco Office of Innovation…

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Abel Quintero

Voraciously curious technologist/musician. A few of my passions: project management, DE&I, social impact tech, outdoor adventures, music, urbanism, and books