The tree on the background make my hair a bit heiry.
At the risk of boring you with the fairly uninteresting details of my life I will try to keep my bio as short and entretaining as possible.
I was born a sunny day of June but I cannot remember a single moment of the most important day of my life, so I would just fast-track to a more meaningful past event.
Before becoming a UX designer, I dwelt for many years in the language teaching profession. As industry rockstar Jim Scrivener did, I entered the profession as a way to find out what I would like to do later in life. But the thing was that my time as a teacher was so full of undull and unforgettable moments (with the occasional very very very dull moment), that I stayed in the profession for a decade.
I travelled, met new people and made not a very big sum of money, but it kept me going. 700,000 Wongs monthly allowance might seem tempting, but it barely pay the bills at the end of the month (600 USD). Anyway, during this time I started to wonder if there was something else out there for me. The universe is humonguous so the ESL profession must surely cannot be the only one there is.
So I started exploring different constellations of crafts and trades, in the hopes of finding one that would spark enough interest in me as to abandon the education sector altogether.
Was there something that I didn't like about my past profession? Well, as I pointed out two paragraphs earlier, the pay wasn't the best, and although I could make more money than the average teacher I still knew that there would be a treshhold which would be impossible for me to surpass.
Another reason was that I wanted to gain some marketable hard skills that I never had. I always had the impression that I was really bad at handy work, I could really never create anything from my own hands. The same went for intellectual white-collarish work. This gave me a sentiment of inadequacy, like I didn't really fit into society as I had very little to offer.
The IT industry quickly caught my eye, as it filled both requirements. But what profession to choose? At that time I didn't even know what a UX designer did, and this would be the avenue I would end up choosing.
I took a few free or very cheap courses in coding, computer science, and data analytics. I also did some web design and content writing as a way to explore more jobs. But, all in all, I knew I would need to invest a few thousand bucks if I really wanted to learn new hard skills with the help of reputable mentors.
So after finding more about UX, I chose the path of the UX designer. Why UX? Although many people might find this totally unrelated to the teaching galaxy I found many points in common such as building empathy and care for the user (and the student), finding out more about their wants and needs, as well as presenting new ideas to the person who is not so knowledgeable, and building a solution. Yes, I know that creating reading materials is not exactly the same as wireframing and I really had a hard time learning to wireframe at mid-fidelity level (thinking about all these interactions was something totally new to me)!
But in an abstract sense, there were many commonalites, which led me to ask whether there was a superior process that could inspire all other processes across different jobs and industries. I am still searching for the answer :)
So off I went, into the study of the UX design craft as I enrolled in a bootcamp in Berlin called CareerFoundry. These guys are real pros at selling you stuff, and at advetising the UX design profession with all bells and whistles, without really pointing out how hard it is to enter the industry (even more so as a UX designer). But they taught me some valuable hard skills. I took it as a foundation in UX design and I did it for a year. Sure, I wouldn't have any experience at the end of the course, nor any access to internships (big minus, if I were to retake the course), but the advice from senior designers that I had was a big plus.
Now, I know the web is plagued with senior designers criticising bootcamps, but hey, they give a fair knowledge base, and give you access to mentors (seniors themselves), and help you build a more than decent portfolio (even if it kinda ends up looking as another 500 portfolios as the project briefs to choose from are only 4).
And even if at first I was thrilled with my portfolio, I came to the realisation that it wasn't enough. I had to gather some kind of demonstrable experience.
And sure I did. Viewing that my application was going nowhere, in the beginning of the year I started to do some freelancing gigs. It wasn't much at first. I had to build some personas there, collate some data there, interview some people there.
Occasionally, I would get a really good offer to work on a more extensive project, but it wasn't until June 2021 that I landed my biggest gig. that I'm still proudly a part of today.