My boss called me into a meeting room and said to me ‘Antonia, you need to grow up’ I was stunned, ofcourse I don’t give a believable poker face and he quickly added, ‘No’ *chuckles* ‘You are no longer a Junior here’ The first I thought of was ‘Already? Have I improved that much?’ Apparently, he thought so. Pleasing a German is no mean feat *pat pat* but I have pushed myself, not just in the quality of deliverables but out of my comfort zones and quality of engagement.
I started out learning the ropes and I stuck to one project at a time. I had to deal with people who use our products, Customer engagement officers, Developers, Product owners, Business Analysts, Gaming Analyst, Quantitative analysts. Some times I thought, ‘whoa the graphic designers have it easy’ But the beauty of my responsibility is being enable to bring all these elements, these resources to work together for the greater good.
Am I the best I can be? Not even close. I’m having to stepup every single day plus there are skills that I left behind I need to pick up again.
What are my strengths now?
Sticking to my word. If I state I’m going to deliver something, I deliver it. Sometimes you have to underpromise and over-deliver.
Handling Pressure. My boss said he was pleasantly surprised at how I managed to keep going and thinks it’s really good on me.
Listening to others. We should never ‘own’ projects. The result is always a collaborative effort. UX is never down to one person. But my job as a UX-er is to listen to what others are saying, and filter according to the vision of the project. It is not ‘my way or the high-way’ I particularly love how a project comes together and you know all who had an input, we are all proud.
Again, I need to up my pro-activeness. I got feedback recently that I was too quiet in the boardroom. While I will never be ‘the voice’ because I’d rather absorb information and then go to work, I can make better preparations before meetings so I understand and absorb much faster, and actually say my thoughts on the matter.
Using information. The UX team is lucky to have people who solely analyze user behavior and feedback off applications and our websites. These bits of information and research really go along way into our designs. I have to utilize this at every chance possible.
Maximizing time. One of our team members had to leave recently due to unfortunate circumstances. Right now, my workload has doubled even though we’d get replacement. I’m not sure it will ease but I think it’s a good thing. I need to learn better how to spread products out and use my time wisely. Seek out the right people who are involved on the projects, get questions out there, iterate and feedback.
So I am officially a Middle Weight UX-er now (Can’t wait for April, so my salary would reflect this. lol ), I got to interview possible junior candidates and even though I did feel a bit odd being on the other side, I was excited that I’d be able to mentor someone in this role.
Finally, I need to give credit where it is due. Yesterday I was at work, after dark and went to the kitchen to get a meal before heading out (long story). I met my CEO in there and he asked me how the six months have gone. ‘Really ok’ I smiled. ‘Your Boss’ he said, ‘Your Boss is the best, you are in good hands’ I laughed and replied ‘Oh yeah, He has set a real high standard, but I’m getting there’ ‘Your Boss is the best, and it is good for you’ ‘Yes’, I thought, ‘I want to be like him and better when I grow up’.