Being Grateful During the Holidays

Things are finally coming to a close for 2020 and as I write this, I remember about all the big events that have happened over the year. I’ve been job searching for full time work as well as freelancing as a UX designer during this whole time. It’s been difficult, as for many people across the world. To be honest there are times when I become overwhelmed with the challenge ahead. I compare the sensation to that of looking up at a steep mountain trail and knowing you have to climb it. The view is worth it, but we all know what you’ll end there with scuffed knees and a sore back.

It’s been a lot of work and continues to be so, but the Christmas time reminds me to be grateful. So I’m going to articulate what I’m grateful for and what I’ve learned so far in this job search.

For Those Who Have Helped Me Along the Way

This year was hard for human interaction. I haven’t seen many people in person since the beginning of the year. But it would be false to say this year was person-less. I’ve met many people from all over the world thanks to the internet. Covid may have taken my ability to network in person, but I’m grateful to still the avenue to connect with others.

This year showed me how kind people have the capacity to be. I’ve spoken with design people on the internet who were happy to take the time to talk with me. Some were LinkedIn connections and others were complete strangers. I was surprised how willing they were to let me ask them questions and I never felt that I was wasting their time. For my journey through the world of UX design, I gained a lot of insight through these human moments.

Job Interviews & Inner Peace (Can Both Exist at the Same Time?)

I’m grateful to have been able to land job interviews during Covid because I understand that that in itself is difficult. Waiting to hear back from employers can fill your head with stress, worry, and doubt. I’m grateful that I took this time to practice patience and mindfulness.

I keep in mind the book called The Four Agreements by Dr. Miguel Ruiz. The four agreements are rules that you apply to your life for mental and emotional clarity. Particularly the agreement “Don’t take anything personally” is one I’ve referenced many times during my job search. This mindfulness reminds me that if I get a rejection, I shouldn’t wallow in internalized frustration. For me it pushes me from feeling sad to feeling motivated about my next step.

Finding the Right Words

I’m grateful that I found the words to best express my ideal UX job. My networking and interviews have helped me find the right words to tell others what I’m all about. Practicing your elevator pitch 50 times in the mirror doesn’t hurt either.

User experience design work is about focusing on the user. It’s about observing people and making note of their behavior in context. So while I call myself a UX designer, I approach my work from a social scientist lens. It feels right because it speaks toå what I am at my core; curious, academic, and empathetic.

I write this as a testament to what I’ve been through this year. I hope it can resonate with others who are in a similar situation. Happy holidays everyone and I hope you never give up on becoming a better person.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
T. M. Southall

T. M. Southall

UX Analyst. Interested in the history of thoughts and beliefs. I often examine my own perceptions. anything is ends in an -ism intrigues me.