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The State of UX Jobs in 2021

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The inevitable impact of COVID-19 on businesses cannot be ignored, the same impact applies to the Design industry and UI/UX jobs. Employees have had to face unexpected circumstances, ranging from pay cuts to unemployment. What everybody hoped would only be a ‘minor hiccup’ to their business has completely reorganized the way businesses not only look at productivity but also hiring and recruitment. To keep up with the multitude of changes, organizations now are looking forward to embracing the ‘New Normal’.

Hiring in the Design Industry

A survey titled ‘Present hiring outlook in India: Impact of COVID-19 on hiring’ states that more than 50% of organizations expect hiring to become fully active after January 2021. While this is a huge plus for all job seekers in the market, the altered state of the hiring industry needs to be kept in mind.

According to InVision’s Product Design Hiring Report, “UI/UX designers are the most in-demand Design UX jobs. 81% of respondents said they’re being contacted by recruiters monthly and 34% said they’re being contacted weekly.”

Since the creative industry is famously competitive, getting a suitable design job in the current atmosphere can feel like a bit of a minefield.

The design industry differentiates itself from the rest of the market by its ways of functioning. Design jobs are, by nature, highly collaborative, agile, and demand something new be learned for every project. It also has a high growth capacity due to the various avenues designers can turn to educate themselves. It can be peers, design tools, an online course, or collaboration that teaches a designer something new.

According to a LinkedIn report, “UX design is one of the top five in-demand skills. This is expected to continue in 2021 as UX becomes a Google ranking factor, meaning businesses will need to focus on their UX to remain competitive.”

Keeping in mind these facets of the industry in light of the pandemic, let us look at some factors that will play a huge role in landing you a suitable UI/UX job. And also, what you can do to give yourself some edge over other designers.

Network, network, network

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Networking for UI/UX designers has never been more important. With in-person design events and conferences out of the picture, making connections on LinkedIn, Behance, Dribbble, or any other pertinent social media platform is not a choice but a necessity.

Networking also allows you incredible opportunities to make your creative community a better place by sharing your work for inspiration with other designers and getting inspired by theirs in turn. Being a designer is a non-linear, constant process of growing and learning and the design community is a great place to find creative and talented people to build relationships with.

An added plus point to networking is that design studios and agencies give importance to in-house hiring recommendations. So maybe all you need to do to end up working with an individual or a team that inspires you is to just network with them!

Focus on your Soft Skills

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Designers often only focus on upskilling themselves to get ahead professionally, thinking that it will suffice. This does not hold true anymore.

UX jobs are highly collaborative, and the advent of remote working has made it even more so. Skills like problem-solving, empathy, and clear communication are essential to get the work done in a timely, efficient, and conflict-free manner. This takes a front seat as face to face meetings and brainstorming sessions are now out of the picture. A team that focuses and prioritizes on their soft skills is also one which runs like a well-oiled machine.

In order to become a good designer, you need to have a good hold of soft skills and hard skills as this is a valuable trait that would differentiate you from the competition.

Adapt to mindset Learning and Change

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This is a mantra to internalize – There is ALWAYS more to learn. Your discovery period should not limit itself to the point when you land a job or a project. It should be used to establish a base of knowledge that you can continue to build upon. As a UI/UX designer, you should embrace the fact that at any moment you might learn something that requires you to completely rethink your approach. It is this mindset that will make you a great asset.

A lot of organizations, while looking to fill a UI/UX jobs position, do not go for a complete skill match when looking for the right fit. They are rather willing to hire someone who wants to improve, grow, and is open to change and feedback.

Social Media Recruiting

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Social media recruiting will play a big role in the coming year. All studios and agencies rely on job portals along with their websites to list current job openings but social media recruiting has gained a good amount of traction in the last few years. It helps organizations in two ways – in reaching out to active along with passive audiences, and in helping them gain a bigger audience to their social media platforms.

According to a survey by Adweek, 92% of recruiters use social media to find a high-quality candidate.

To make the most of social media recruitment, follow and engage with the social media posts of the UI/UX companies you want to work for. Be on the lookout for job listings and make sure to get in touch right away when they post about a suitable job opening.

Gear up for everything Remote

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The biggest factor is the ushering in of the era of remote working. Employees in the design industry need a range of overlapping skills, such as new media literacy, virtual collaboration (i.e. Zoom meetings!), responsive and proactive thinking, cross-cultural competency, and social intelligence. Agencies and design studios are now focusing on hiring candidates who can combine all these skills to work successfully as a remote team.

Make sure you are ready to accommodate everything virtually – virtual interviews, virtual team meetings, and virtual client connects – because virtual is the language of the future. Capitalizing and furthermore making it a part of your ‘New Normal’ would mean growth for you and subsequently growth for your organization.

Interested in working with a dynamic and creative team? Share your portfolios with us here and we will get back to you soon!