Where can I find a good UX mentor? UX Question #11

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Nichelle from Robbins, Illinois, asks: where can I find a good UX mentor?

I love that question. Thanks for asking, Nichelle. This is UX Question number 11 and I am Ben Judy.

Where can I find a good UX mentor? Well, anywhere you can find someone who is experienced, insightful, personable, and candid.

Back in episode 8 I answered the question, what is the best way to learn about UX? And I mentioned mentoring as one of many ways to learn. I mentioned ADPList and MentorCruise as two places you can find a user experience professional to mentor you. Just Google the phrase, “find a UX mentor,” scroll past the ads, and you’ll find dozens of websites dedicated to helping you connect with a mentor.

I also talked about bootcamps. Episode 6 answered, what is a UX bootcamp? And some bootcamps offer 1-on-1 mentorship as part of their program. I’ve been mentoring for several years with Designlab and I love being a mentor.

You can also try to find a mentor where you work. If you’re employed at a company that also employs UX designers, see if one of them would be willing to be your professional mentor. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career if not for coworkers who were more experienced than me, taking me under their wing and showing me the ropes on the job.

Local meetups can be another good place. If you want someone you can meet with face to face to mentor you, try your local UX Professionals Association chapter or look at event sites like eventbrite.com or meetup.com for local gatherings of UX people. The kinds of people who take the time to attend those events are often the kinds of people who make good mentors. They’re enthusiastic about the career field and are willing to connect and share skills, knowledge, and expertise. Since the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, of course, many of these events have moved online so you can connect with potential mentors via online meetups, as well.

Linkedin is another way. Just search until you find UX professionals who have the work background and skill set you want in a mentor, and send them a message. The worst they can do is ignore you or say no.

Hey, wherever you find your UX mentor, just be sure when they’re answering you questions, they should be quick about. You want to get your answers in three minutes or less, otherwise, why bother?

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