The importance of being humbly confident: Learning to own your mistakes in your UX career

Owning your mistakes in UX isn’t as simple as it sounds. How do you own up to your mistakes without compromising your standing in your company? Leigh Gamon shares how you can create the right balance and keep learning without compromising your career. <br />
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Glad you mentioned imposter syndrome in your article @leighrubin, it’s something I struggle with at times. This is a really excellent TED talk on the subject with advice on ways to overcome it:


Hi @natassja thanks for the link, I’ll have a watch of that. I find it is the most common yet least talked about issue. Which is partly due to my point in the article about trying to confine your worries down to a minimal amount of people.

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Ditto. It can be really quite debilitating. I was sharing some awkward stories about this with @AshleaMcKay just the other day. I tend to handle pressure situations by being ridiculous.

When I feel it coming on, I remind myself that while things feel like common sense to you, that’s because I have years of research learning and experience. That is valuable to others.


Having watched the TED talk, it really resonated with me when I embarked on my journey with UX. I knew I would continually feel this way but the only way to overcome it was to participate in more events, courses, read books and immerse myself in the UX community (in any way, one day at a time). Also I took it upon myself to introduce my thinking to others who didn’t know UX. The result was the community asking me for advice on careers etc. Even now I’m writing this I know it’s there but shows how far I’ve come to be able write about it.

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Another great article @leighrubin.

One sentence I’ve heard that ties in with this is that it is our job to fail, but to fail fast. Once getting to the heart of a problem, we ideate with the knowledge that we have and go from there. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is how you deal with them that earns the trust and respect of your workmates. I completely agree with your statement of “offering up a solution”. Or even many solutions. No-one responds well to someone that comes up to them, tells them bad news or that something isn’t going to work, and then don’t give them options.

Another statement that ties in with this and being confident, is that UX is a blinking tough job, because everyone can see and comment on what we do (i.e. developers, sales, higher level managers). Everyone has an opinion, so the next skill is being able to say thanks to them for letting you know (without letting them get to you), collate all of them, use your knowledge of why the decisions were made in the first place to filter these down to things that could be tested or possibly improved on later.

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Love this. Good on you.