My first 6 months of adult-ing, an abbreviated story


This post is not related to UX mishaps, which is the main purpose of this blog; it's rather a story of my first steps as a UX professional and the path that brought me here.


Amateur photo of Central Park in NYC. Proof of growth and new challenges: Travelled out of Europe for the first time, and took a lot of pictures of how everyday design is different across the ocean.

Adult life, I have discovered, is by no account as bad as popular memes and generic shallow 1 paragraph stories depict it. On the contrary: for me, it has been an exciting, adventurous, albeit tiring, 6 months.

Except for when I realised it had been indeed 6 months of me having a full time job- that was horrifying! It was that moment when I totally understood how years can pass and feel like a heartbeat.I also realised I do not intend to and will not stall: I love and enjoy learning and growing, in all possible aspects, so by all means I will not ever stop. Probably slow down at times. Maybe.

Now let me not anticipate myself and fast backward to a little before I got this job: I moved from being enthusiastic about the job searching journey, to total insecurity, to being offered a job and instantly buying a ticket home.

Long story short: I got lucky. I honestly believe I did, all forms of modesty apart.

I definitely did my share of work, but the most important ingredient, I believe, was going full on into everything I did, clean of any intentions and side plans, but rather doing everything because it made sense and made me feel good. I am not old and wise to share life advice, but of this I am convinced: if done for the right reasons, everything pays off.

I got invited to my first interview at a point in time when I was at the edge of giving up: I was crashing at my friends’ house, dwelling in feelings of insecurity. The night before receiving the email I had bought a ticket home and all my belongings were in 2 suitcases by the door.

After 3 interviews and a technical assignment, I got the job.I got a job! As a User Experience designer! In Barcelona! Someone (actually, quite a few people) gave me a chance, without ever having met me in person.

Fast forward 6 months: I learned that time does indeed fly. I travelled quite a bit and got a hang of remote work. I also learned that indeed work doesn’t feel like work when you do something you really enjoy and get along well with the people around you.

I also discovered quite some things about myself and my job. User Experience is not the easiest to explain, but the more I spelled it out loud, the more comprehensive I sounded every time. Being a designer is amazing, and soon enough I started to grow a curiosity about the craft (the science & art & field of interest) that design is. And there are endless opportunities, as there are challenges, that I plan on facing.

One other thing I am convinced of is that I will at all costs avoid staying in one place and getting stuck, physically and metaphorically. I have always enjoyed studying but have only recently switched to learning and I plan on never ceasing.

I probably didn’t learn as much in these past 6 months, but it’s fine. Between moving home, travelling almost twice monthly and trying to cut noise and clutter in my life, it has been a smooth adjustment. These are not excuses, but rather a reminder to myself that there’s a time for everything.I will be still travelling quite a bit, but the upcoming 6 months will be about shaping my routine and actively learning more.

#personal #career

© 2019 Egi Shijaku