Once upon a time I was a journalism and psychology enthusiast and when I had to decide what to study, I went for something that combined both: advertising and public relations. I thought it would be a good mix of creativity, analysis and problem-solving and luckily, I was right.
I could define my bachelor as multidisciplinary. My subjects went from History, Economics and Law to Psychology, Sociology, Art and Communication Technologies. I was quite happy with my studies but life changes and when I finished my studies a huge economic crisis started and the job market situation was simply non-existent.
I emigrated to look for any opportunity within the communication field. A foreign country, a new language to learn on-the-go. It was very tough but I managed to find some opportunities, where surprisingly, my tasks were completely different from what I expected. The digital era was transforming the whole industry and what I once studied (traditional offline marketing) was evolving into digital marketing.
In the beginning I was frustrated because I had the feeling that everything I learnt at the university had vanished all of a sudden. But what to do? I adapted to the circumstances of the digital world and learnt from scratch again.
Since then, I have never stopped learning. I have gone through SEO, paid user acquisition, data attribution models, performance analysis, content creation,market and user research, brand promotion, digital marketing strategy conception, conversion rate optimization, marketing tech implementation, etc. All of them were a good combination of the things that I pursued in the past: creativity, analysis and problem-solving but with the need of being constantly up-to-date. What I knew one day was totally outdated a couple of months later.
The initial frustrating feeling suddenly turned into a personal challenge. Whenever I learn something new, I see opportunities for my personal growth. I have always been a curious person and learning new things is not only a way to step out of my comfort zone but also a motivation. Nevertheless, this digital era is transforming everything so fast that one needs to choose where to put the focus on to not get overwhelmed.
A few years ago I decided to dig into frontend development. In my different jobs I sometimes had to work with software developers and data engineers and this close contact awoke my curiosity for programming. I started to learn by myself, built my first projects and finally I joined The Collab Lab, where I built a React project in a team. It was a good experience to understand how collaboration and communication work in frontend development when working in a team.
After my first programming steps, I got curious about UX design because I think it is somehow the glue that joins marketing and frontend development. I went through a certified UX program that combined theory with a lot of practical exercises. At the end of the course I created my portfolio with a project about a fictitious city website for tourists. It was an experience that helped me get a theoretical and practical picture of all different UX design phases: user research, analysis, product strategies, requirements and planning, content, structures, processes, information architecture, interaction, user interface design and testing.
"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death", Albert Einstein
What a roller coaster! The frustrating feelings at the beginning of my career are fortunately gone as I have learnt to deal with uncertainty and constant transformation. It hasn't been easy but being curious and the hunger for learning have made me feel self-fulfilled, more confident and less dependent. This can of course open you more doors professionally speaking, but in my case it has a rewarding feeling. It is a personal motivation.
What about you? Are you also going through a roller coaster career path? Any learning plans on the horizon?