1. Find a workplace mentor.
Jumping into the real world right out of college can feel daunting. Having someone that you can learn from and help guide you is essential. Your mentor doesn’t even have to be an expert in your field but it certainly helps. I found a mentor in someone that sat in close proximity to me, that I could chat with regularly and relate to. We would also share what projects we were working on, bounce ideas off of one another, and collaborate. If you aren’t that lucky to have someone close by, it's still important to have someone you can talk to about skills, challenges, and resources.
2. Never stop learning.
As a junior designer you won’t know everything from the start and aren’t expected to either. You will need to continue growing and learning through experience. You should ask questions and learn as much as you can from team members. Working with seasoned UX Designers has greatly enhanced my knowledge about UX tools and techniques. Even outside of work, you can continue to increase your skill set by keeping up with the latest UX trends and tools. Use local social media groups to find those in your field and keep up with the latest trends.
3. Find your voice.
Being a junior designer, you might feel that your opinion doesn’t matter or isn’t up to par with your colleagues. I definitely felt shy when I first joined the company ,but I soon learned that I had to remove myself from this mindset and remember that I was there for a reason. Companies hire junior employees to gain fresh insight and ideas. As a junior designer you might look at or analyze a problem in a different way and potentially provide a solution not previously thought of. Finding your voice doesn’t mean that you have to be bossy or talk over people. Finding your voice is about being confident in what you know but also have the ability to listen and take advice from others. It will help you learn to trust your instincts.
4. Welcome all feedback.
Receiving feedback can sometimes be difficult. We often spend a lot of time perfecting something and thinking we have found the best solution. When you love what you do it is very easy to become attached to your work and take criticism personally. Thankfully my team is very open and honest. They are willing to provide healthy criticism and critique each other's work. It is important to accept feedback not only from your design team but also anyone involved in helping bring your designs to life.