Navigating Success in UX Design: Overcoming Wrong Degrees, Job Struggles, and Boss Challenges

Navigating Success in UX Design: Overcoming Wrong Degrees, Job Struggles, and Boss Challenges

Designwhine Ssue 10 Self Discovery

Kartik spills the beans on what kept him going after a series of failures to finally achieving success in UX Design

I’m currently working at Microsoft, India and I describe myself as a full stack designer. This means that I can work from the conceptualization of an idea to research, analysis, design and take the product to its final implementation. I have a masters from NIFT, Delhi (one of India’s premier design college) with M.Des (Masters of Design) in Experience Design. Here, I’d also like to reveal that I was the topper of NIFT 2018 PAN India entrance exam with an all India rank of 1.

When I mention these facts about my life, fellow designers usually deem me as successful which might be true. But they aren’t generally aware of the hardship and struggle that went behind my success. I have now started coming out with my story so that budding designers learn something from my experiences and do not lose hope if their paths are laden with struggle initially.

I have faced literally every hurdle while transitioning or beginning a career in UX Design. Everything from wrong degree to wrong jobs, wrong culture to wrong bosses came my way. Being from a non tech background and with zero UX experience it was super hard to get into the entry level jobs. I ended up giving over than hundred interviews at various small start-ups to individual person owned companies, before finally settling at a startup. Sometimes even I am amazed how I got here! During the initial days of my struggle, for well over a period of 3-4 months, I just kept getting rejections and refusals.

But I never gave up. I used to come home daily in formals with a big folder of documents, rejected and judged yet somehow I ended up smiling through it all. At least on the outside! There were days of self doubt, sadness and I literally did not have a single person from the UX community to support me. Hell feels real when you are going through the toughest time of your life and there’s no one around to support you! Now when I look back at that time, it just makes me smile and laugh. I just muddled through it with hope. That’s all it takes. Hope can change everything.

One thing I kept doing was working on my skills and taking up any side projects that I could. I believe that the best you can learn is by putting yourself out there. And soon enough my portfolio started to look decent.

My advice to anyone who’s currently facing a similar situation trying to get into UX Design, know that everyone faces it at some point and don’t take it to your heart. Its just a part of your life.

Many of you just get demotivated from one bad interview, please don’t! Sooner or later you’ll realise that it all was for something greater! If your craft is perfect you won’t need to put your hands out ever to anyone.

Afterall what doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger.

This article was last updated on November 27, 2023; Originally published on May 5, 2022

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