Hi @thejonique - I’m just starting out too so I can share just a few thoughts with you.
First of all, research would be a terrific focus because all good UX is based on gathering user research data and analyzing it. One I am learning about now is called Contextual Inquiry (or enquiry)
The second thing I will mention is that being a pretty organized type of person, I wanted to first to learn the “UX Process” - I put that in quotes because this is not as straightforward as one might think. If you narrow the focus down a bit and look at the UX Process for web and mobile based digital applications - I think it gets a bit easier but still you will encounter many opinions based upon the idea of “there isn’t just one process.”
Although I certainly get the sentiment I didn’t feel this answer was particularly satisfying to my way of thinking so I began reading e-books and web articles to see if I could sort out what, at first, seemed like a hodgepodge of techniques and approaches.
I was eventually able to compile a process document for myself consisting of 9 major steps starting with the initial business case and stakeholder interviews all the way through activities that take place after the digital product has actually been put into production.
I’m definitely not through with my document, and remember too, that I am just starting out in my formal education too, so it’s equally definite that it will evolve over time as my understanding and experience matures. Right now there’s lots of overlap between the steps and that’s something I’ve yet to come to grips with. Also there are many, many different types of UX activities that can be used at a particular stage of your “UX Process” to achieve similar results - but you probably won’t use all of them.
I found the errrrr…“process” of researching the UX workflow very valuable and I encourage you to launch your own investigation. Oh and when I say it’s MY UX Process that’s not really correct since it’s based 100% on learning from others and how they go about things and that needs to be acknowledged upfront no matter how much I may modify it.
You’ve come to a great community and there’s lots of learning available here both in the forums and in the main part of the UX Mastery web site - so a big shout out to the UX Mastery team @HAWK @Lukcha and @mattymcg included!
Read, take online classes, in-person classes if you can and dive in - the water’s fine!