A UX Designer and researcher who uses design principles to make engaging experiences, Erick Gavin was in the middle of a law school when the designer bug bit him.
When did the idea of a career transition to UX come up?
After a lot of conversations with mentors at the time as well as internships and shadowing that left me very un-inspired I started looking outward to new fields that might draw my interest and to my past to remember what excited me about previous career decisions. My search kept leading me back to technology so I reached out to an alumni who had a foot in the tech community and asked to intern with her. After talking to some practitioners about a scholarship for a bootcamp I went for it and landed it to subsides my transition. I then gave myself one year, six months after I graduated, to find a job in tech or go into law until I find a company to pick me up. With luck and perseverance I got my first job as a product designer two months after my bootcamp ended. The things that allowed me to be a better designer after being in law were being detail oriented, effective communication, and a comfort with reading and taking in a lot of information.
What were some of the struggles that you faced?
Each time in interviews I had to put forward why I would opt to take less money and such a large risk, but over time it became easier to explain. They heard the passion in my voice and since day one I always asked myself why I chose design and the way that I designed, making it easier to express my appreciation for my new field. Second, I faced what most new designers faced, imposter syndrome. It was endless until it hit me six months in that we are designers as soon as we chose to fully embrace this career path. Designers aren’t determined through projects. Designers are those professionals who fully embrace the designer’s journey.
Message to UI/UX aspirants with no degree
Don’t do it because someone told you it’s a good switch, ask a designer what their day looks like and then decide if it’s the rightpath for you.
This article was last updated on November 26, 2023; Originally published on December 28, 2020