Working in an agency as a UX designer has its differences from a product company when it comes to the environment, the pacing, and the work dynamics. Although both have their own pros and cons, I do believe that as someone who is starting out in UX, being in an agency setting will significantly help you have a strong start in your UX journey.
I’ve managed to work with both the client side and now the agency side. With that, I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned in my journey so far that I, in my opinion, will be of great help to people who are starting out. So here are 3 reasons why working in an agency is great for UX designers starting out.
1.) Opportunity to experience so many things
I do believe that one of the most important things a UX designer must do is to provide good ideas. Being able to give out good ideas is a skill in itself that one must constantly practice. If you think about it, ideas are simply an expression of thought based on one’s own experiences of the world we live in. The more experience we have about a certain topic, the more we are able to understand and express our thoughts about it. This is what working with an agency provides UX designers: a wide variety of experiences due to the wide variety of projects. By understanding different industries, you’re able to learn from them and apply those learnings in your other projects.
Over the past months, I was able to stretch my understanding of various industries from fast food brands all the way to real estate. Because I have a wide variety of projects, I’m able to provide better ideas that help the team move forward.
As UX Designers who are starting out, I believe it’s all about foundation building. It’s absorbing as much knowledge and experience as much as possible so that you’re able to use it in the future. Being in an agency will definitely expose you to a wide variety of projects and challenges that will inspire you and give you that rich experience you’ll need to succeed.
2.) Exposure to a fast-paced environment
Working in an agency, you never know how your day is going to end up. One minute you think you had your schedule set for the day, another minute you get a memo that you’re part of this big project and need you to do all these new deliverables. Unlike some product companies, it’s a very unpredictable and quite challenging environment.
Although there are days when you feel like the workload is too much to handle, its this level of intensity that you become better at what you do. I believe that being in an environment that consistently challenges you is important for growth. This is especially important if you’re still starting out because you will definitely face a lot of challenges and it’s important not to shy away from these problems. By creating a level of tolerance and conquering every challenge that hits you, you’re better equipped to handle whatever obstacle is on your way. But note that there is a difference between an environment that’s constructive and one that’s detrimental to your health.
3.) Collaborate with different types of people
Each project has a unique background with different people assigned to it. So this means that you get to interact with a wide variety of personalities. This is very helpful because you get to understand different perspectives and are able to learn more about others.
Starting out also means that you get to learn more about yourself as you dive deeper into adult life. By being exposed to different people, you’re able to know more about how they think and how you react to specific types of behavior. For example, you are able to learn if you are more straightforward or prefer to avoid confrontation.
It’s important to learn from your peers as much as you can. Given the variety of people, try talking to other experts in the company about a specific field you’re interested in. Especially since you work with all kinds of people in an agency, it’s best to get well acquainted with their line of work to be able to tie it all together in your own UX deliverables.
At the end of the day, you’re the one in charge of your experience. If you have an opportunity to work at an agency, go for it! Always keep in mind the impact that this decision will make in your life. Be it on the agency side or the client side, always make the most out of the opportunities that come your way. After all, this is only the beginning of your amazing journey.
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