I have just gotten through my first full week of UX consulting flying solo (without an agency or other a full fledge team to direct my work), and all I can say is: wow. I’ve had several revelations and reflections that I wanted to share with all of you.
First off, I say wow because, put quite simply, I LOVE this work. This type of environment is a huge part of what I’ve been missing in my career. I’ve never been so happy to go to work! There are several reasons. One, no one is responsible for me but me. I determine what I’ll be working on, and I’m the one to say whether or not it’s good enough to hand off. I feel in control of my outputs as well as my inputs. Two, the work is fun, and my team is awesome. I couldn’t ask for a better first solo gig to work on. I’m totally into the product being developed, and the team that I’m working with is super talented. Three, I get to teach people about what I do… and they listen. People are paying you to speak, to teach and to help their product and brand. Knowing that there is a timeline when you’ll be available and that you are an expert outside source completely changes people’s perspectives… well at least for now. Four, I get to use what I’ve learned and use it creatively. Because I’m calling the shots on the UX work (based on business objectives of course) I can be flexible in solving problems. This is refreshing and makes me feel like all of my hard work outside of “work” is put to good use.
Secondly, I’ve really begun to see that it’s not that serious. That any help and hard work is better than no help. Being on my own I have to realize that I’m fully responsible. For someone like me this can be overwhelming in an attempt to reach perfection. Well Lis, perfection is never going to happen. However quality, hard, informed work is better than no work at all. After each project I work on, my goal is to write what went well, what didn’t, and what I would have changed or done better. This will help me develop even more in my solo role.
I’m looking forward to working on these types of projects more and more. I feel like I’m contributing and that I’m making a difference and that is what fuels me to succeed. I can do this!