As a new or aspiring UX or UI designer, learning the right skills, processes, and tools is just one step in your career-change journey. Besides mastering the industry fundamentals, you’ll also need to build your portfolio and develop a strong personal brand. But what exactly is a personal brand, and why does it matter?
A personal brand is essentially your presence in the industry. It’s how you market yourself to the world, both offline and online, and should represent your skills, your values, and what you have to offer as a UX or UI designer. It’s hard to define a personal brand in completely concrete, tangible terms—but one way your brand will really shine through is in the content you create and share. Whether it’s images, articles, or discussion-worthy questions, sharing content online is a way to boost your visibility, to connect with fellow designers and industry experts, and ultimately, to position yourself as a credible designer.
The benefits of a personal brand are manifold. With a personal brand, you can:
Increase your visibility in the right networks. For example, if you share thoughtful and interesting content on LinkedIn, you’ll find that other designers and tech professionals will naturally engage and connect.
Make yourself relatable. A personal brand is not just about showing your skills and qualifications; it’s also an opportunity to show your personality. This is something unique that no one else has, so it’s a great way to stand out!
Build your own confidence. In the process of developing a personal brand, you’ll need to think about your own strengths, skills, and the unique value you bring. This is a great confidence-boosting exercise, and should bolster you in your job search.
Personal branding is especially important for career-changers. If you’re coming from a (seemingly) unrelated field, your personal brand is an opportunity to highlight how your previous experience can be transferred to your new career as a UX or UI designer. It’s all about connecting the dots and emphasizing the unique value you bring. This will not only help to grow your network but also shows potential employers and clients that you’ve given your career change plenty of thought, and know what’s needed to excel in the field.
As you can see, personal branding is a powerful tool for success in your new industry. You can learn more about what makes a great personal brand, and how to build one, in this guide.
Director of Product Design @ NYC & Company, CareerFoundry Mentor
Miguel is an Experience Design Strategist, educator, and entrepreneur from New York. He is currently the Director of Product Design & Strategy at NYC & Company, NYC's main marketing/tourism arm.He specializes in Inclusive Design, Design Strategy, and Design Process and is passionate about Digital Equity, Gov Tech, and Civic Design. He is a UX educator having taught at General Assembly, currently teaching at CareerFoundry, and also currently running an educational UX community named UX Come Up for beginner and student UXers.He recently founded Inclusion Design Lab, an educational platform for UX beginners focusing on teaching Inclusive Design methods and principles. He also founded Rita Creative, an agency and startup he founded in 2016 supporting creative initiatives led by women and people of color.