If you could invest $10 a day to do what it takes to level up professionally, would you do it? 

Would you take a fraction of what you might spend recreationally and turn it into a tool to help you grow? 

This isn’t a question of what’s a better spend of your money. 

This is actually a question about what will bring you the most value. 

It’s a question of, do you want to? Are you ready?

We’re hosting a 21-day portfolio building workshop for creatives, designers, artists, and freelancers this month. 

For $10 a day, you’ll get access to our team of coaches, a network of likeminded and incredible creatives from all around the world, an environment where you can hear feedback on your work, multiple chances to practice your communication and presentation skills, and more. 

The early bird code still works. 

It’s EARLYBIRDPC2023 to join. 

Our team has been working on this project for the past few months. 

And we can’t wait to see you there. 

Link is here to sign up. 

Why does personal growth costs so dang much?

Personal growth courses and workshops are expensive. 

That’s a fact. They’re not cheap. 

If you’re anything like me, you think these courses are extracurriculars. Meaning extra activities, non-necessary to every day routine. Not a necessary purchase.

However, if you keep thinking that these resources are extracurriculars, you’ll never take the leap and find different parts about yourself (this is exactly what happened the last time I didn’t enroll in a workshop I was interested in). 

Until you start thinking about your personal growth as a priority, things will remain the same. 

Shake things up (if you can afford it). 

P.S. The Habit Factory (we do workshops for creative people) is hosting a FREE 3 Day workshop for UX Designers looking to land their first role in the industry. Get interview-ready with us here: https://www.habitfactory.org/general-assembly-partnership

There Are 2 Types of UXers in The World

Are you trying to land your first role in UX? From what I’ve observed from those around me, it seems like there are 2 types of UXers in this world. 

A. Those who go in blind and freestyle their job search, hoping that they get what they’re looking for.

B. Those who invest time and energy in job hunt strategy, preparing themselves of the next step of the hiring process at all times. 

If you’re anything like the latter, you should join our UX Interview Sprint at Habit Factory. 

Here’s why. 

The hiring process for the UX field has drastically changed. Breaking into the industry as a beginner with little experience can be difficult. 

Luckily for you, there’s a way in. 

You don’t have to guess your way through tough interview questions. You don’t have to hold your breath until your 20-minute first round is up. 

Go in with confidence. Be you, and know your worth. 

Our next UX Interview Sprint starts February 22 next week. Our hosts will be UX Researcher Mikayla Koo, and UX Designer Sydney Cooling-Sturges. I hope you’ll join us. 

Link to our UX Designer cohort

Link to our UX Researcher cohort

How to Move Forward with Your Creative Job Search

So you’re currently applying for jobs left and right. You have a vague idea of what to expect at your job and the impact you want to make. You’ve been looking through job applications day till night and you’re constantly facing rejection at every stage. What do you do? 

As I see it, you have 3 options. 

A. Continue doing what you’re doing. Perhaps by a stroke of luck, hard work, and grind, you’ll land the career you’ve been chasing for.  

B. You do absolutely nothing. You merely give up and put your efforts somewhere else that might reward you better for all the time you’ve been putting into applications. 

C. You invest a little bit of time to take a step back. You evaluate and define in what ways you really want to spend your waking hours. You refocus your energy into researching and developing a strategy towards your job hunt. You prepare yourself accordingly for the inevitable interview with a new company. 

Which of the 3 is the better option for you? 

If you picked C, the good news is that the Habit Factory is starting a new workshop specifically for UX Designers and UX Researchers on the job hunt. We have 2 incredible hosts—Mikayla  Koo and Sydney Cooling-Sturges—both of whom have been through the UX hiring process recently and can live to tell the tale of how it all went down. 

Learn how to: 

  • Navigate through tough questions
  • Nail whiteboarding challenges 
  • Send cold messages and build professional relationships
  • Present your work in front of a live audience
  • And more

We start February 22nd next week. If you want to join our UX Interview Sprint program, click the link below: 

For UX Designers: https://www.thehabitfactory.space/uxinterviewsprint-design

For UX Researchers: https://www.thehabitfactory.space/uxinterviewsprint-research

We have 2 streams of each program running at the same time, each with limited seats. 

Register for your spot in the workshop today. I’m wishing you the best of luck in your search 🙂 

Dear Recent Graduate: Everyone’s Thinking The Same Thing

Do I really like this? Is this really for me? If I continue, will it be worth my time and effort? 

These are the questions I hear increasingly more often from recent graduates and young professionals. If you’re asking yourself these questions too, you’re not alone. 

For many career transitioners, the field of UX has been a ripe option for change as UX is a very learnable skillset that comes in many forms and sizes (not to mention UX positions pay relatively well on average—60k isn’t shabby at all). 

If you’re a creative who is ready to enter the UX field and need some help polishing up your UX Interview skills, we have a workshop opening up this month that might be for you.

The UX Interview Sprint from The Habit Factory presents a series of exercises to help you succeed in your incoming interviews. Get practice doing white boarding challenges, portfolio presentations, and learn from our workshop hosts who have recently been through the UX hiring process as well. 

If you’re ready face change and find a career path that suits your needs, I hope you check out our workshop. 

If you’re a new UX Designer, go here

And If you’re a new UX Researcher, go here.

We can’t wait to see you there.

On Working From Home

Mikayla and I haven’t seen each other in person for 2 years. 

It’s not because we don’t want to see each other. We both have full-time jobs aside from what we do at The Habit Factory. 

It’s because we can get just as much done together, asynchronously (sans traffic jams, finding workspace, and multiple hour-long commutes). 

I know it’s not the same as being together in person, but it still works for us.

And most recently from our homes, we put together a new workshop specifically for up and coming UX designers and UX researchers. 

If you want to land your first UX position this year, your job hunt is something you do not want to freestyle. 

Go in with a plan, and be prepared. We believe one of the best ways to learn about the current UX interview process is to be guided by someone else who has been through the process recently (i.e. within the past year). Our amazing program co-hosts are UX Researcher Mikayla Koo, and UX Designer Sydney Cooling-Sturges.

Join our UX Interview Sprint this month. Check out our workshops here

This will be the 2nd time we run this workshop, with many improvements from the last. We’re excited to bring this forward to the creative community. 

Your UX Job Hunt

There’s only so much you can do on your end to plan and prepare. After all, the choice to be picked isn’t in your hands, it’s in somebody else’s. 

There is some good news though. You can do your UX job hunt with a strategy in hand. 

You can prepare and put all your chess pieces in place so that whenever an interview comes, you’ll be ready. 

If you’re serious, your UX job hunt is one thing you do not want to freestyle. 

The Habit Factory is opening up our 2nd UX Interview Sprint workshop this month. If you’re ready to land your first UX Design or UX Research role this year, we have a workshop designed just for you. Check the links to see what the workshop is all about.

Sign up for our Habit Factory newsletter so you can keep updated about upcoming workshop dates: https://www.thehabitfactory.space/newsletter

My Story of Starting A Creative Business

In 2015, Mikayla Koo and I met each other in class (it was Form & Structure). We didn’t talk much, but I thought Mikayla’s work was pretty neat.

The following couple of years were kind of a haze. I don’t recall ever having a chance to get to know this incredible human being (now business partner) until our final year in school.

In 2019, Mikayla and I found ourselves at OCAD University starting our 5th year of study. It was our thesis year, and again we found ourselves in the same class. 

Somewhere down the line that year, we met up in front of a white board and that’s when we really got to know each other. 

The following picture is a brainstorming session we did for what was the initial version of the Habit Factory (a 4-week passion-project bootcamp called Marathon). 

Believe it or not, I haven’t seen Mikayla in-person for 2 years but we’ve been working together since that day.

Now at the start of 2022, we took another step forward with our business, The Habit Factory. I’m proud to announce the launch of our newest workshop called the UX Interview Sprint. It’s specifically for UX designers and UX researchers looking to land their first serious role in the industry. We’ve got Mikayla Koo herself to lead the UX Research cohort, and Sydney Cooling-Sturges to lead the UX Design cohort. 

I’m beyond grateful to learn from these talented, hardworking folks. 

If you know anybody who would be interested in joining this UX Interview Sprint, please do them a favour and share this opportunity. It’s not everyday that we offer this workshop. In fact, there are only 3 seats available in each section because our team wants to give their full attention to our members. 

The UX Interview Sprint starts this January 17th. If you know of anybody who wants to register for their spot, the link is here: https://www.thehabitfactory.space/

If you’re reading this, I hope 2022 starts off on the right foot for you.

How to Market Yourself as A Designer

If you are anything like me, the thought of somebody accidentally stumbling across your work and wanting to work with you based off of your infrequent artsy posts ran through your mind (at least once). You are waiting to get found. Unfortunately this is far from how reality works. 

So back to the question, how do you market yourself as a designer? For starters, the world needs to know you have great design work to share. So first things first, what kind of designer are you? This instantly helps people understand what you do. 

Next, where can they find you? Are you easy to find and contact, or do you hide all your information in secret sections of your website tucked away on the 3rd page of Google? 

Lastly, how are you helping them find you? It’s a saturated market out there. Through which platforms will you be letting people know about your work? More importantly, are you on the same platforms as your customers? 

If you want to get out of the “waiting to get found” mindset, you need to start marketing yourself as a designer. 

Oops, we forgot about our end user

When we make food at the restaurant, it’s easy to think that things are going fine when the reality is the opposite. The reality is that the customer went back to their table and made a complaint to their friends, but aren’t going to confront staff about what went wrong. The customer then proceeds to go home and make a poor review. By then, they’ve made up their mind about your business. 

This is an oversimplified (but real) story about working on projects yet never being the end user. It happens everywhere around us, all over the world. 

The real question becomes: how do we make room for project makers, business owners, designers, and engineers to connect and listen to the people they already serve? How do we get real feedback to the people who need to hear it?