10 things Jr. or mid-level UXers should stop (and start) doing to reclaim their power.

Every week of my life, in one-on-one consults with mid-level and junior designers — in addition to those serving on teams of the clients I work with as a consultant — I hear the same refrains over and over.

I’m stuck. 

I’m lost. 

I can’t. 

I’m not allowed. 

They won’t let me. 

They don’t respect me.

They don’t listen. 

They don’t care.

It hurts my heart to hear this, because I know — after 30 years in this industry — just how true all of it is. I know just how much UXers and Designers are disrespected and marginalized, even in organizations who publicly trumpet themselves as design- or UX-centric. And I know how much all that hurts, how personally we take it.

And also, after all this time, I know that sometimes, there truly is nothing you can do about that. So I’m also going to talk about those scenarios and how to deal with them at the end of our time together here.

In many cases I come across, however, there IS something you can do, provided you take a very different approach to overcoming these obstacles and change your thinking, from both a personal and professional standpoint.

Provided you find the courage to work through your fear and take the first step.

Provided you can recognize the power you don’t realize you hold — and begin using it.

11 Lessons

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The truth about leaders, power, influence and this profession

The Rules: 10 things you should stop (and start) doing RIGHT NOW.

01: Stop waiting for an invitation. Start inviting yourself.

02: Stop hiding your accomplishments. Start celebrating them publicly.

03: Stop talking about yourself. Start talking about other people.

04: Stop pitching UX ideas. Start pitching business outcomes.

05: Stop speaking your language. Start speaking theirs.

06: Stop putting users first. Start putting business first.

07: Stop talking about UX best practices. Start talking about bottom-line results.

08: Stop focusing on what you can't do. Start focusing on what you CAN do.

09: Stop giving up your power. Start saying NO.

10: Stop tolerating disrespect and abuse. Start setting boundaries.