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Career Course Workbook

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UXWC Career Course Workbook - PDFCareer Course Workbook
As you work through the Career Course, you'll learn things like how to get an interview, how to market yourself to hiring managers, and how to put your best foot forward.
But that's only half the battle!
You also need to understand your values, the skills you need to land your dream job, and the types of organizations you want to work for. These exercises will help you answer all those questions and more.
Who is the workbook for? The workbook is only for you. You can share the summary of your exercises with a career coach after the course is complete to talk through your game plan or get help with a plan for filling in gaps. You won't turn it in as part of your course, but if you skip the exercises you'll miss out on a lot of self-discovery.
What will I get out of it? After completing all the exercises, you should have a much better vision for where you are and where you want to be in your career. That vision will include:
Understanding your values better so you can focus on finding rewarding work Establishing some career goals Understanding what role and organization you see for yourself now and in the
future Discovering the gaps between the skills you're good at and where you want to be Knowing which skills you want to invest your time and energy to develop Planning steps to boost your skills, and know what to get rid of to make room for
growth How to reach your career goal
Let's get started!
How to use the workbook
After completing each unit in the Career Course, you'll complete the corresponding unit exercises in the workbook. Each unit exercise will help you articulate your career plan.
Unit 1: Values puzzle Strategic career plan
Unit 2: Skills matrix Org & role map
Unit 3: Portfolio practice
Unit 4: Time and energy allocation Strategic activities
Unit 5: Strategic trade-offs Reaching your career goal
We've created summary pages at the end of the workbook to collect all your insights. You can share the workbook summary during your follow-up coaching appointment, or just keep it handy at your workspace to keep you motivated!
UNIT 1
Exercise: Values puzzle
In the course, we've just covered the state of the content design market, and how to begin looking for jobs. That's a great start!
But there's a very important aspect of your career journey to consider: your values.
Understanding the skills you need to succeed, where to find jobs, and how the market is changing—it's all great stuff to know. But none of it matters if you take a job where you feel like your values are not being fulfilled—or worse, there's a serious mismatch!
Values will be your north star on the way to reaching your career goals.
INSTRUCTIONS
Cross out the least important values on the grid one-by-one to help you focus on what does matter to you.
You're done when you'll have 5 values left. These are the values that mean the most to you.
Write out the 5 values remaining:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Exercise: Strategic career goal From values to goals...
In this exercise, you'll determine how to align your career appetite with your values. As designers, we often start with a lo-fi version, a sketch, as a beginning basis for our thinking. Similarly, let's first define your high-level career goal.
INSTRUCTIONS Based on your 5 most important values, define your goals using the example on the next page. Don't be too detailed. We'll get there in the next step. Take your time and think about each statement for a while before filling it in.
That said, don't overthink it! Remember, you can always go back and change or update your goals.
Here's an example so you know what we're looking for:
Where I want to be in 3-5 years...
UNIT 2 Exercise: Skills matrix In Unit 2, we looked at the different skills we need to succeed in the job market, and how we can tie them back to our own experience. As you move through your career, it's important to understand where you stand in certain skills areas, and where you might want to improve. That's what we'll do next.
INSTRUCTIONS Take a look at each skill in the skills matrix circle. Grab 2 pens or pencils with different colors. Use each color to draw a line outwards from the center. Use one color to represent how confident you are in that skill today, from level 1 to level 6. Use the other color to represent how good at that skill you'd like to be in the future.
LEVELS
2 Taking steps to learn and practice
3 Practicing, still needs guidance
4 Independent, well practiced
5 Confident, can deal with complexity, a lot of experience
6 Perceived as authority, mentors and guides others
Then, no matter how confident or experienced you are, draw a heart next to your 3 favorite skills.
TIPS Be realistic. Don't diminish or overestimate your skills. Try to be objective and look
at yourself as if you were a stranger and describe that person's skills. Optional yet cool: To hear someone else's perspective, ask your trusted
colleague, your manager or someone else you work with to mark your levels.
Here's a low-fi example so you know what it should look like when it's complete.
Your skills matrix
Where are the biggest gaps between your skills today and where you want to be?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Exercise: Org & role map Alright, we know where we stand when it comes to our skill set. Let's get to work on improving all our skills, right? Not so fast. Sure, improving is fantastic, but we also want to know where we're headed before deciding which skills to focus on.
So let's answer that question—where are you now, and where do you want to be?
INSTRUCTIONS Skim the main categories of the map, so that you understand what choices you are about to make. Then, grab some colored pencils or pens.
First go through the categories (rectangles on the left) and mark them by level of importance:
Star = Very important Square = Somewhat important X = Not important
Then, mark the branch endings on the right side with: Purple = Where you are now Green = Where you ultimately want to be
As you go through this exercise, think about why each is desired: money? creativity? flexibility? helping people? Make notes if it helps to articulate your thinking.
Here's a low-fi example of what your results might look like:
Type of work & org you prefer
UNIT 3
Exercise: Portfolio practice We just spent an entire unit looking at how to create your portfolio. So let's do some practice! This exercise will help you get into the habit of summarizing complex projects into digestible sections.
Think about two projects you’d like to write about for a case study in your portfolio. Write a two-sentence summary for each stage of the project:
Problem Process Solutions Impact
Then add some notes about screens you might like to show for each project.
PROJECT #1 NAME:
Problem:
Process:
Solution:
Impact:
Notes on visuals or screens you might want to include for this project:
PROJECT #2 NAME:
Problem:
Process:
Solution:
Impact:
Notes on visuals or screens you might want to include for this project:
UNIT 4
Exercise: Time and energy allocation Remember the skills we examined in Unit 1? Now's the time where we start thinking about how we can improve on those skills—and how we can use them to get our foot in the door.
INSTRUCTIONS Review the skills you want to develop from the Unit 2 Skills Matrix exercise.
1. Write the ones you want to work on in the right-hand boxes. If you don't fill up all the boxes, that's okay.
2. Mark the % of your time and energy you want to spend on developing each skill. 3. Assume you have a limited timeframe for learning—we suggest the next 12 to 18
months, but you can decide what works for you.
You can invest all your time in one skill or spread it across many skills. Just make sure the sum of all the time percentages equals 100.
Your time & energy budget
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Exercise: Strategic activities Next, let's break down those skills into specific actions. Let's examine what it will actually take to be successful at these skills—and how to measure your progress.
INSTRUCTIONS Copy 3 or 4 of the skills from the last exercise where you want to invest the biggest % of your resources.
Now think about how you struggle in that area and what you can do to overcome or diminish your struggles. The activities or actions to improve those struggles should be concrete and specific (real steps to get you past it!).
In the last column, set up your personal metrics. Supposing your struggle was linked to the lack of self-confidence in facilitating meetings. Ask yourself: How will I know when I'm more self-confident in that skill? What are the signs and the evidence?
SKILL #1:
STRUGGLE ACTIVITY TO ADDRESS THE
STRUGGLE / LEARN THE SKILL HOW DO I KNOW THE ISSUE IS
SOLVED?
STRUGGLE ACTIVITY TO ADDRESS THE
STRUGGLE / LEARN THE SKILL HOW DO I KNOW THE ISSUE IS
SOLVED?
STRUGGLE ACTIVITY TO ADDRESS THE
STRUGGLE / LEARN THE SKILL HOW DO I KNOW THE ISSUE IS
SOLVED?
UNIT 5
Exercise: Strategic trade-offs We've just read about climbing the career ladder. Feeling motivated? We hope so!
But we also need to start thinking about how we spend our time—and where we might want to make some tradeoffs. We only have so much time between work, personal commitments, and learning new things. How do we decide where to focus?
INSTRUCTIONS Go back to the previous exercise, and look at all the activities you entered in the "Activities" column. Place them in the 2 right-hand squares in the quadrants (next page) marked "Raise" and "Create."
List the activity in the "Raise" quadrant if you've already done some initial work, or in the "Create" quadrant if it's completely new.
Then, brainstorm additional behaviors you'd like to stop or do less of to make room to accomplish your new goal. Think about how your days look. What does not bring you closer to your career goals? What's not productive? What are those tasks and actions?
List out those behaviors or activities in the "Eliminate" or "Reduce" quadrants to make room for your new activities.
TIP The behaviors or activities you list might be personal time-wasters or might be work-related. Be honest about your goals and what you're willing to trade to get there.
Strategic trade offs
ELIMINATE RAISE
REDUCE CREATE
Exercise: Fulfilling your biggest wish or goal This exercise will increase the chances of reaching your most desired goal.
This exercise is based on the WOOP mental strategy. It's backed by 20 years of scientific research.
It turns out that the obstacles that we think most impede us from fulfilling our wishes can actually help us to realize them. The method instructs us to dream our future dreams but then to imagine what obstacles inside ourselves prevent us from achieving these dreams.
After this exercise You will know what to do when you encounter an obstacle that could block your
plans and wishes. Therefore, you will increase your chances of fulfilling your goals despite
obstacles. Nice!
INSTRUCTIONS Answer the questions in the 4 quadrants in the exercise (next page).
Reaching your biggest goal
1. Your one big goal What is your most important wish (or struggle to overcome) to allow you to grow and achieve your biggest strategic career goal?
2. Your biggest blocker What is it within you that most holds you back from reaching your career goal?
3. Your future vision Imagine your best future self working at a job you love. What are you doing? Where are you and what's it like there?
Pull it all together Complete this sentence—and commit to it!
IF I HIT THIS BLOCKER...
THEN I WILL TAKE THIS ACTION…
TO OVERCOME IT AND REACH MY GOAL.
Congratulations! Let's review what you've accomplished. After plotting a career strategy plan...
You know what you value the most at work. You've drafted a career goal. You understand what role and organization you see for yourself now and in the
future. You found the gaps between the skills you're good at and the skills you want to
be good at. You know which skills you want to invest your time and energy in You planned specific steps to boost your skills and you know what to get rid of to
make room for development. You know what to do if you encounter your biggest obstacle on the way to
achieving your biggest goal.
Career plan summary
These notes are a great reminder of where you are now, where you're going next, and where you ultimately want to be in your career. If you want, you can use the following pages for your coaching session.
Unit 1 I want to prioritize these values...
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Based on those values, I want to achieve these goals… In 3-5 years I want...
On a daily basis I want...
I certainly don't...
Unit 2 These are the skills I'm best at…
1. 2. 3.
These are the skills I need to develop… 1. 2. 3.
This is where I am now:
This is where I want to be:
[Unit 3 work goes straight to your portfolio!]
Unit 4 This is how I'm going to prioritize my time in developing new skills…
And these are the activities I'm taking to achieve success in those new skills…
This is what I'm going to trade-off in order to make sure I achieve success in those new skill areas…
I'm committing to this statement to reach my one big goal:
IF I HIT THIS BLOCKER...
THEN I WILL TAKE THIS ACTION…
TO OVERCOME IT AND REACH MY GOAL.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
This workbook includes original material adapted with permission by the UX Writers Collective. The original authors created their work on a Miro board:
Katarzyna Makiewicz UX Designer, Wrocaw, Poland. Passionate about mapping experiences. Currently at EY, where we're trying to make auditors' lives less complex.
Wojciech Zasina UX Designer, Wrocaw, Poland. Currently at Ocado Technology designing and developing fast home deliveries of your groceries.