Realizing what you want to do, at least for me, had been a long, drawn out process. But back in the fall of 2014 I realized the answer to that somewhat daunting question.
I want a career in User Experience.
At the beginning of my college career my path seemed clear. I was to spend five years at Kansas State University studying Interior Architecture & Product Design and then start practicing. Around the halfway point in my studies that path started to become unclear. I was realizing that architecture wasn’t the career path for me. From that point until the fall of 2014 I struggled to pinpoint where my knowledge, talents, and passions would take me.
I have always had a passion for creating great experiences for people. This has been evident in much of my work after leaving school. Working at my community church striving to exude hospitality and inclusion has shown me how creating great experiences fosters growth and meaningful relationships. Assisting customers at the Apple Store with their technical questions and problems has shown me how great experiences create lifelong customers. And, most recently, working at a user experience research and design firm (in downtown Seattle, WA) has shown me how creating great user experiences leads to enriching lives.
My work managing usability labs and the technology needs of my colleagues brought clarity to my career path. It helped me see that I wanted a career in user experience. Seeing the day-to-day work of those around me and getting to collaborate on several projects helped tremendously with that once daunting question. I knew that with the right education and training, in conjunction with my talents and passions, that I could excel in a UX career.
So I began pursuing my UX goal and have been documenting my steps along the way.