If you aren’t mentoring, you’re missing out
I applied to ADPList.org and was rejected not too long ago. Since volunteering as a Math tutor in middle school and high school, I have been hooked on the feeling of being able to mentor others.
Is it all altruistic? Absolutely not. I get a huge rush when people listen to me (genuinely listen to me). I feel so fulfilled when I see people succeed, and I know that people like me in some part because I try to be kind and because I want to help people. When I die, I hope that’s what people think of me.
The benefits from mentoring are not only emotional: it’s one of the quickest ways to become a better UX designer. And here’s the secret: you don’t have to have 5 years of experience like ADPList claims in order to help others, if you are even a few steps ahead, you can help people.
When you explain something to someone, you are forced to:
- evaluate your own understanding of a certain subject
- Summarize your thoughts
- repeat information in a succinct and simple way
- reflect on your own situation learning about the subject to see the important points with more clarity
Essentially you are digesting the information you have learned more thoroughly, identifying the order in which someone should learn something, and then defining what is important for them to learn …
… and in doing so, you are internalizing in what order you should be conducting your workflow for this particular task, and what is important for you to focus on as you’re doing.
I am currently mentoring someone whom we shall refer to as S (not her real name). S is a bright young woman transitioning from a career in recruiting and looking to break into the UX design field.
I recently critiqued a presentation she was doing on the research portion of her capstone project. I noticed something.
After giving her advice on her presentation, I saw the flaws in my own presentation with more clarity. I was able to more effectively and clearly be able to internalize the advice I had heard from more senior designers and apply it to my own work.
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