At this year’s IDEA conference, the conference committee organized some really cool activities called topic lunches. Each day you could go out into the hallway and sign up to go to lunch with a group of other people that were discussing a particular topic (which was decided ahead of time by some great conference goers).
Anywho, while I was attending one of these topic lunches, I found myself at a table with both experienced UXers and college students hoping to be UXers. What a great mix! When one of the college students asked about what being a UXer in the “real world” was like, one of the experienced UXers replied… you guessed it… “sometimes it’s like being a therapist, or being in and leading therapy”. To put this comment in context, the UXer was specifically talking about the requirements gathering, stakeholder interview process. They explained that you had to be a really really good listener, know what is best for the user/business, and know how to help the person move forward. Sounds like therapy to me.
So, just another example of how we are like Therapists. Perhaps we should look at professional therapists and how they build their businesses and careers for insight in how to expand our field!