When I was a junior in my UX design career, the internet was saturated with resources for how to break into UX, how to climb the corporate ladder, and how to make the “big bucks”.
With all this information and “formulas” so readily available to the world, you would think that this career journey is meant to be super straightforward and simple.
Just do these “10 habits” and you’ll make six figures, right?
Just do these “5 simple steps” to land your dream job in a matter of months, right?
Just keep a look out for these “signs” and that’s when you know you’ve “made it”, right?
It was not as simple and quick as these articles, boot camps, and online courses made it out to be. Many of these felt misleading and for me personally, it became difficult to tell what was trustworthy, real, and what wasn’t.
I felt even more lost and anxious about the future of my career. I knew I had a lot of internal fears I needed to overcome and that the solution to them required more than a 10-step or 3-step formula.
I then sought out more practical, realistic, and actionable guidance in both my professional and personal life in order to get my right foot forward.
I am grateful to have come across these 3 books that I’m about to share with you. These books truly kept it real with me and kept me going during this chapter of my life.
(This blog contains only personal recommendations and does not utilize any sponsorships nor affiliate links.)
“When you have a strong need to control things, you’ll be less likely to invite change into your life because there aren’t any guarantees of a positive outcome. When you choose to give up your need to control everything, you’ll have increased confidence in your ability to handle new opportunities.”
Amy Morin really enlightened me on how to approach life’s biggest challenges. I can’t count how many times I’ve reread this book and how many sticky notes I attached to her words of wisdom.
This book breaks down… you guessed it — 13 things you should avoid doing in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. It is a very digestible read with topics that include overcoming your fears, how not to feel sorry for yourself, taking control of what’s yours, letting go of what isn’t, releasing yourself of any sense of entitlement, and many more.
I went into both my career journey and personal life with open acceptance of whatever the universe had to bring to me and maintained focus on only the things I could control. From then on, it was a domino effect of learning and blessings as I grew professionally and personally. Each lesson made me stronger and smarter for the next.
Purchase 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do here.
“Women are most likely to be evaluated based on their contributions, while men are most likely to be evaluated based on their potential — nebulous criteria that can result in a less qualified”
As an Asian American woman, I have experienced different levels of gender biases and micro-aggressions across various jobs. Especially as a junior in my past marketing and design roles, this had really affected my confidence and perception of self.
I hated where I was, I knew what I wanted and didn’t want, and I needed to figure out what to do next. During this time of feeling complete defeat, I turned to this book to figure out how to move forward from here.
This book addresses how gender biases and stereotypes show up in the workplace and provides actionable steps to how you can rise above them, develop new habits that will propel you forward, and ultimately advance yourself in your career.
Purchase How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith.
“That’s where we find ourselves today. In a meeting with people who have no idea how to do our jobs, yet consistently find it their place to tell us how to do it. It’s enough to drive any designer insane.”
This practical guide breaks down methodologies, best practices, and formulas for being an articulate designer. Presenting designs is a fundamental skill every product designer should have.
However, if you find yourself struggling with this and winning over stakeholders, this book will give you actionable tips to implement into your process.
This is the type of book that you can leave on your desk and easily refer back to it when in the middle of a design project or preparing for one. It’s timeless and forever relevant regardless of where you are in your UX career.
Purchase Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever here.
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