10 things I wish I knew before my first job as a UX designer

Laura Angelica updated on 2024-06-06 13:46:57

first job

Every day, thousands of people take on new jobs. They are all worried and worried about whether they fit the new place. "The first three months in a new position is essentially a continuation of the interview," says career expert Amanda Augustine. The first job is always a serious challenge. You want to make a good impression on your colleagues, set your priorities correctly and avoid mistakes.

According to psychologists, the first impression about a person is extremely important and it is this that lays the foundation for future relationships. At the beginning of your career as a UX designer, you may not receive much money. But taking care of your own material well-being is the best thing you can do for yourself. In this article, we have some of the most important tips for starting a career as a UX designer.

Do some research

Do some background research to better understand the organization. Read materials such as annual reports, service letters to employees, presentations on development strategies, etc. that you receive from a new leader or find online in the public domain. This will add confidence and knowledge in your first conversations and help you ask more serious and specific questions.

Be yourself

Think of ways to be relaxed and project yourself as who you are. It's stressful to try to be someone else, so why bother? You want some consistency in who you are on day one and day 31. If you have the jitters, pretend you're meeting people at a business mixer or in the comfort of your own home, and that these are all friends getting to know each other. That's not far from the truth; you'll be working closely with them and enjoy building the relationship, so why not start now?

Be patient.

It will be hard at first. You will absorb and comprehend new information, and much less energy will remain for work than usual. It is normal to be shy and hesitant before asking colleagues a question. It's okay to ask again. It's okay to joke around. Feeling tired, even if you seem to have done nothing for the whole day, is also normal. These are temporary difficulties, which we agreed to accept at the very beginning of the text. In a few months, the tedious awkwardness will be replaced by your usual productivity. Well, well, not a replacement - you are unlikely to turn into a carefree, fun-loving person who loves to be in the spotlight. But you will definitely feel better, and going to work will stop stressing you.

Don't guess, but ask

It is good to ask questions on your first day of work, as it shows that you are genuinely interested in your new job and ready to learn. If you find that you don't know anything, ask your coworkers first, rather than guessing. It will be a more awkward conversation if you make a mistake than if the mistake could be easily avoided by asking questions in advance.

Don't step away from the team

Since you show yourself initially, your relationships in a team with people will develop. You may mistakenly believe that it would be better to get involved in business with your head. But you are under the gun of your colleagues, and they are waiting for the first step from you. Ignoring the situation is not the best solution. Greet everyone, be open, ask questions.

Understand what your bosses expect from you/Set expectations

Talk to your boss. When you first meet, try to understand exactly what is expected of you in the first week, month, and quarter in a new place. Remember that your behavior and communication style in the first week will set the tone for the entire work. Challenge yourself to demonstrate the strengths you talked about before in your hiring interview.

Do not let money influence your work

Keep your work fun. Better make sure that most of that time is enjoyable. For many employees, stress defines the entire working day. You cannot be successful at work without having fun at your own work. On the other hand, there is the question: is it really worth it? At the end of the day, money is not everything in life and you will only be truly successful if you do your job not only well, but also enjoy it.

Do what you do best

Try to understand how your colleagues work and follow all work points. You will have to show your competence in front of your colleagues in this way. If you are doing something for the first time, you should not say that you already know how to do it. In this way, you will shed a negative light on yourself and leave a lasting bad opinion for some.

Make decisions

It is a well-known saying that decisions are always made. Either by you - or by someone else for you. To be successful in your UX design job or any other job, you need to learn to take matters into your own hands. This can be difficult with important things, but must not lead to numbness of fear. Many employees do not climb the corporate ladder because they simply do not dare to climb the next level and tackle the associated change. But if you don't shape your path yourself, someone else will determine it.

Make sure there are senior designers in the company.

The concept of mentorship of a senior designer to a junior designer is often looked at as beneficial to the junior designer. However, pairing a senior designer with a junior designer is not only beneficial for the junior. It is actually quite beneficial for the company that intentionally pairs both designers together. Good design needs honest feedback, collaboration, and backing up.

Senior UX designer who has worked on multiple projects has a much deeper understanding of how to make a creative idea into an extraordinary design. Obviously, he has a good sense of which projects are worth doing and can help manage stakeholder expectations. This all impacts the company's bottom line and on junior's work as well.

Adapt changes

The UX design field is always changing and is changing pretty rapidly. If you have the chance to talk to a designer who has been in this field for +5 years, so he will tell you how much it's changed over even the last five years. So my tip here would be to don't get too attached to tools. As I know that a lot of designers in the past used Adobe Illustrator to create their UX designs and screen designs but now a lot of designers use the sketch. So things are always changing and you're going to have to be able to adapt to that. So what I would recommend is that look and research what is being used by most companies or even companies that you really want to work as a UX designer. And look at what they have in their job descriptions.

Learn to say no

No, I can't take on any further tasks at the moment". Or "no, unfortunately, we can't change the shift on the weekend". Rejection seems to have little to do with success, but in fact, it is an important success tip to point out limits. Those who do not know their own load limits or do not manage to adhere to them allow themselves to be constantly exploited and systematically overwhelm themselves until they come to a point where things can go no further.

Develop yourself

The designing world is very fast-moving. To be successful in your UX design job, you have to keep up with the times in almost all industries. Do not rest on the fact that you have brought all the important qualifications with you after completing your training. The demands on employees and managers can change quickly. Therefore, observe which new qualifications are important in your position and develop yourself further in this direction. Further education and training also help here.

Make a to-do list in the evening

Getting up in the morning and facing an unsorted mountain of tasks is frustrating and often means that the day is over before it has even started. Instead, make yourself a to-do list for the next day every night before bed. Write down three to five important tasks that you really want to do the next day. This has several advantages: You sleep better in the evening because you don't have the tasks floating around in your head, the next day starts more relaxed and organized, and after completing the to-do list, satisfaction sets in.


The path to becoming a UX designer is not an easy journey. Once you are hired, you still have to constantly practice and learn new skills. Remember that a UX designer is a life-changing and very interesting job. Especially for those who love continuous development. You will most likely feel uncomfortable for the first couple of days - that's okay! However, it is very important to overcome your shyness and introduce yourself to everyone. You will prove yourself to be confident and cheerful, which will help you get started right!