It took me a while to realize that all the work I’ve gravitated towards has had a theme. It was right after I brought my daughter into the world that I started to take a hard look at my life and where it was going. I looked at her and I wanted more than anything to make sure that she never felt like she wasn’t good enough to pursue her dreams. I wanted to be someone she could look up to as she got older, someone who wasn’t afraid of doing the hard work and making big changes. That’s the moment I decided to drop my career in facilities and pursue product design.
Even as a young child, I have always thought it is so important to understand how your actions are perceived by the outside world. I honestly don’t think that any two humans can communicate with one another without constant misunderstandings. We are all walking around speaking our own language that others can barely comprehend. We are all our own complex network of ideas, situations, thoughts, and events that are so personal to us. That’s precisely why I always make it my goal to curate communications for the people I am talking to. I am always on the lookout for more information to feed this model. With every interaction, I am taking in data. This research has been my life’s work and will continue to be regardless of career.
When I first started looking for a new career, I decided to structure it as if it was my newest research project. I started asking everyone I knew what their thoughts were. This is something I’ve done my whole life — seeking out other’s opinions and thoughts in order to frame and flesh out my own mental model. I’ve never been one to rely purely on my own thoughts to guide my decisions. I took a really good look at the feedback I’ve received over the years about my work:
- People trust me to be transparent in any and all situations
- I have the ability to communicate very effectively
This next one was the one that I’ve heard my entire life, and one that I ended up thinking about the most.
- I have an innate ability to bring clarity when trying to solve complex problems.
People have always come to me with problems they haven’t been able to work out yet. They come to me with these issues and find my methods of thinking and framing the problem refreshing and incredibly helpful.
I have come to the realization that this skill I’ve been working on my entire life is exactly why I have found success in my various roles, both personal and professional. I have always been a natural researcher. I have the ability to dig into an issue from all sides, to understand the needs from all perspectives, and to create a solution that adequately satisfies all.
In science, it was the search for an answer that was so inspiring to me. In executive assisting, it was how I had to deeply understand the person I was assisting in order to be truly useful to them. In office management, it was bringing the needs of leadership and the needs of the team together. In facilities management, it was bringing everyone’s expectations together with what can exist in actual reality. In UX design, it is bringing humans and computers closer together, to get more work and better work done.
People and computers are just two entities that don’t speak the same language or have the same needs. Everything requires translation and so much can be lost in translation. I have always taken it upon myself to ease those translations, to make things digestible and understandable for both sides to comprehend and relate to.
I have always functioned like a bridge between islands of understanding.
What I love most about UX work is that it’s never done. You can always learn more, you can always take more data in. There are always new solutions to old problems and old solutions to new problems. I’ve always wondered why I seek out more experiences, more responsibility, access to new information and perspectives, and this is why. It’s not blind ambition — I just want more than anything to make the world an understandable place to live in, for everyone.