UX Career - Work Life Balance in NYC


#1

Hi all,

I’ve been searching around past messages to see how much I could find on this topic before posting-- I’ve gotten as far as I can reading those, so here’s my specific situation and questions:

I’m a print designer currently in publishing (college textbook designs). I’ve been interested in UX for a few years now, and recently I’ve decided to try for a career pivot towards UX/UI design.

I live in the NYC metro area, and commute to NYC daily. My current work situation allows for me to keep 9-5 hours, but my commute is a mess (from NJ) and is currently at 2 hrs. I have 2 small children, and as it is I only see them for about an hour every evening. I’m hoping that in addition to finding more fulfillment in my work once I transition to a job involving UX, I might also find more work/life balance-- or at least keep the current balance I’ve got. Ideally, I’d love to find something that allowed for remote work-- either full- or part-time.

I’ve been talking to people in the field who are employed in the NYC area, and so far the impression I’m getting is that many of the UX job opportunities are in ad agencies and media companies, which have notoriously long workdays and terrible work/life balance. I’m hoping to hear from some people who might give me another perspective. I’d love to know of anyone who’s working remote (I see that @HAWK does this from NZ!) or anyone in NYC/NJ with a situation that’s different from the ad agency model? Give me some hope, some tips, some reassurance… please and thanks!


#2

I do. That said, I don’t work in a full time UX job like many of the others here.

I work for a software company in SF (the one that builds the forum software that you’re currently using) and only part of my job is UX. I also work on product development and direction.

My work here at UXMastery is also remote.

Both those teams are 100% distributed.

For the same reasons that you mention, remote work is very important to me. I have young kids and this way of working means that I have never had to put them in any kind of care.

I hate to say this, but I think that my situation is pretty rare. I don’t know of anyone else that works for companies as flexi as the ones that I am lucky enough to work for.


#3

Thanks @HAWK! So great that you’ve been able to work out a great situation-- I know it’s not easy to negotiate that.

I wonder if in-house UX designers at companies might be more likely to have good work/life balance?


#4

My work/life balance is better than it’s ever been in my current role as a UX Engineer.

For background, I live in Denver and work for a company that provides a client management and stock trading website for financial advisors. My commute is about an hour each way, I’m married, and I have a 2-month old son.

The only formal remote working policy my office has is a “don’t abuse it” attitude. I usually work from home one day a week, but I’ve also been able to work extra days when my son needs to go to doctor’s appointments, when my wife has had a rough night, or when I’ve needed to watch over my mom after she had some recent surgery. So long as I am productive and available, it’s not a problem.

At least here in Denver, having some sort of remote working allowance is expected. Some positions allow for fully remote work (my dream is to land one of these next and do some traveling while I work). I’d be surprised if you didn’t find a similar attitude towards remote work in the UX field out in NYC.


#5

@dougcollins this is so encouraging! Thanks for responding… and congratulations on the birth of your son! :slight_smile:


#6

@dougcollins this is off-topic, but just wanted to mention that I checked out your blog/website and love this post: http://lostmegabites.com/kids-ux/ :thumbsup:


#7

Glad you enjoyed the blog! That was a post that was driven by a discussion in this community about working with children. There are a number of really excellent resources included over there, if you’re interested in the topic.


#8

Hi Hope,
Sorry to hear about your predicament. From what I know, you’re right that UX in NYC is more in media and digital agencies. The good news is that there are a ton of remote UX jobs. Well, maybe not a ton, but they are out there. I work remotely and love it.

I would try to target software companies, either in NYC or where you can work remotely. Here are a few links I found:

Some remote job and resource sites (there are many more):

Also, most of the big tech companies have an NYC office. I believe that Google has UX designers in NYC, for example. They might allow working from home a few days a week.

Good luck!


#9

Hi @leonbarnard,

Thanks so much for responding and for giving your perspective-- it’s great to hear that you work remotely (and love it!). Really appreciate the leads you’ve provided regarding places to target and search-- I’ll bookmark these and keep them in mind as I go forward with my job search (that is, after I get through the bootcamp/portfolio development part of things!). Thanks again!

Best,
Hope


#10

A quick follow-up. Just saw this today: A list of semi to fully remote-friendly companies in or around tech.


#11

I would like to point how how beautiful it is that the list is a GitHub collaboration.


#12

Wow, this is great-- thanks!!


#13

Glad to see my company on that list!