How Learning About User Experience Motivated Me To Change My Life

January 2, 2023

I quit my job, started freelancing, and I am figuring out everything on the go. What keeps me going is my curiosity and ability to solve problems. From chaos and uncertainty to order and semi-comfort.

Imagine graduating from university with a broad major you still have no idea how to use in your professional career path. But knowing the direction helps heeps after you have tapped into many business areas beforehand and selected what suits you and what doesn't. And guess what - presents you with an experience you haven't thought would be useful.

Just a mental note for me: I am not sure if it is because it is the end of 2022 or if I have just decided to be more open and vulnerable in my writing to connect with my audience. I don't know, but I will write what feels fitting for me now.

Where to start? Maybe with child labour haha. Don't gasp just laugh because in many households this is normal. Living in an Eastern European country (the household class might be insignificant in this context) means being handy and involved in chores. Or at least the majority of my peers were like that too. This suggested that when your family has unconventional jobs or lots of part-time jobs, they would bring you with them and expect you to give them a hand. If not at their jobs, then definitely around the house, villa or the garden. For me was cleaning homes, and pools, making hats and costumes, gardening, cleaning raw bamboo and pet sitting at one point. See diversity and variety. But all these experiences taught me was getting out of my comfort zone and creating order out of the chaos.

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros onmUnsplash
Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people. - Leo Burnett

Through helping out here, and there I learned the most important skill - communicating clearly. On top of that, the demand increased when my mother tongue language was not enough, and I learned to speak English with practice and out of need rather than waiting for the proper lesson at school to come. And visual learning was of big help in this task! Watching lots of movies and tv series only in foreign languages helped my receptive multilingualism. Empathising and observing people's interactions, also made my learning very easy and interesting with every following encounter.

Receptive multilingualism is a mode of interaction in which speakers with different linguistic backgrounds use their respective preferred languages while understanding the language of their interlocutor. - Spinger Link

So in high school, Interpreting and Translation become a part of my day-to-day life. Taught me a lot about the weight of words and their meaning for different people, timing and how people change when they express themselves in other languages. During my Interpreting phase, I also dabbled in Real Estate because the ex-pats needed not only Translator and Interpreter but also a negotiator with the buyers and sellers online and live. Dabbling in so many different areas, I could see the difference even then between good customer experiences. Hanging out with older people than I taught me a lot also about people's feelings, egos, greed and values. Opened my eyes to their user experiences and what is important for them. Helping with their devices was part of my package of services as well haha. You name it, from mobile phones to tablets, TVs, monitors, laptops and sound systems, and sometimes even home appliances. We will ask Nikoleta if she can help you, she is good with computers. This was my older friend's go-to recommendation.

Imagine how extroverted I was (and in need of extra cash) that I was even for some time a distributor for Oriflame. Yes, I was living in high school, and student dorms so I was surrounded by lots of colleagues and peers that were moderately interested in the brand. And probably since then, I learned a lot about networking, selling without being sleazy, how to care about the customer's actual needs rather than the profit and how long-term business relationships are as good as one-time sales.

Google seacrh about Oriflame cosmetic company
What is Google suggesting?

Accomplishing sales in different variations taught me to so many different approaches. For example

  • One short week at Golden Sands was enough to realise how the old school selling by interrupting, shouting and being pushy to the customer doesn't work anymore.
  • While working at Decathlon, I learned a lot about values, brand identity, leadership and how to shift focus from making a sale to making a good customer experience.
You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. - Maya Angelou

And here I am in 2023 learning about multinational companies and different industries, helping and collaborating with motivated entrepreneurs and business owners to create better user experiences and more meaningful designs and online presence. Like in user experience in life, there is always another round of iteration where you can apply the feedback and improve.

For the New Year, I also have created a minimalistic planner to track my goals and tasks. Check it out! Thank you for reading! For more interesting articles, subscribe to my newsletter. Also remmember to have a great week! 🤗

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