How to Find Your Dream UX Job: Q&A

A couple weeks ago, one of our Michigan Account Managers, Joe Tebben, had the honor and pleasure of serving as both a guest panelist and sponsor at Detroit’s User Experience Monthly Meetup. The group, informally known as DUX, is made up of approximately 550 members ranging from seasoned UI/UX professionals to recent graduates and folks still working towards becoming UI/UX professionals.

This particular meetup, titled “Finding Your Dream UX Job” allowed Joe, along with 6 others, to serve as a sounding board for DUX who had several great questions for the group of panelists. Some of these questions included:

  • What types of UX jobs are available?
  • What skills/experience do I need to get a UX job?
  • What types of software/prototyping tools should I be able to use?
  • What are some important do’s and don’ts’s in a UX interview?

While these were just a few of the many questions asked at the meeting, the conversation shared some great insight on what candidates and hiring managers both look for in a UI/UX position. For more information and pictures from the event please visit the DUX Meetup Website. Missed out on the event, but still want to talk to someone about UI/UX positions? Give our Michigan office a call at (734) 667-4126 and ask for Joe!

To Contract or Perm: That is the Question

Moving from a perm role to contract work can be a little scary and the same can be said for moving from contract to perm work. Each comes with its own set of nuances and when making a decision between the two, most find it beneficial to jot down a list of pros and cons.

There is no “right” or “better” choice. Choosing between contract and perm work is personal and to help you get a jump start on the decision-making process, we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons generally associated with each kind of work.


 

CONTRACT | PROS

Many find fulfillment in contract work because of the associated freedoms that come with it. The choice to work a 6 month stint or a year-long commitment is often enjoyed by those who want flexibility in their work schedule. With that flexibility comes the opportunity to move around and experience a wealth of different technologies in various industries. Varied experiences can often enhance a candidate’s marketability, which is extremely valuable when moving from contract to contract every 9-12 months. While contractual work may sound extremely attractive to some, it does not go without saying that working on a contract-to-contract basis has drawbacks.

CONTRACT | CONS

Working on short-term projects can often mean relocating every 9-12 months. Contract work definitely requires a certain level of personal planning on the candidates behalf in regards to timing and financials. The flexibility to work 6 month or 1 year long projects means that at some point a decision will have to be made about lining up your next job. Or, perhaps, you want to take a few months off. Either way, building a strong relationship with a recruiter will ease some of the stress often associated with contractual work.

PERM | PROS

While many find the flexibility of contract work enjoyable, others find the stability and security of perm work to be a better fit. A familiar environment with strong leadership can open doors for promotional opportunities and is a great way to build a solid reputation within a company or industry. This line of work will almost always offer traditional benefits that may not be found within a contractual agreement.

PERM | CONS

The attraction of  security and stability in a perm role can have its drawbacks. Staying with one company has the potential to limit the number of technologies you work with and can also limit your experience in various industries. As with any kind of work, it is important to continually maintain a sharpened skill set. Taking classes and networking can be a great way to combat stagnation in a perm role.


 

Decisions like these are never easy, so if you still find yourself on the fence, talking through the pros and cons with a trusted recruiter might help dispel any concerns you have. The good news is the IT industry growing and there are plenty of perm and contract positions ready to be filled. To perm or to contract–the choice is yours!

Need help deciding? Feel free to give us a call at (615) 242-1014. We’d love to chat with you about your next career move!

 

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Relocating

      Relocating for a job is both exciting and confusing all at the same time, with several factors to consider before making a final decision. It’s never one-size-fits-all and should be given serious consideration before making the big move. Take a look at this short list of questions to see if relocating is right for you. Keep in mind each of these questions may mean something different for each individual. Some might value opportunity and experience over a culture fit and vice versa.RELOCATING- Is it For You-

To help you get a jump-start on answering some of these questions we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks of our own:

  1. Do your research. Have you looked through the company’s social media? Do you like what you see? Could you see yourself fitting in there?
  2. Can you arrange a trip to visit the city, new office, and coworkers?
  3. Check Glassdoor for company reviews, salaries and benefits from employees.
  4. Make a pros and cons list.
  5. Listen to your gut.

You can do all the research on a new company and the position they’ve offered you, but if deep down you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, you should follow your instincts. A job is more than money and benefits; it’s an opportunity to do what you love and to share that gift with others. So, the next time you’re offered a position in a new city and you’re unsure about relocating, take a look back at these questions and ask yourself-Is this right for me?

Myth Busted: Recruiters Don’t Bite

Recruiting companies more times than not get a bad rap for the way they do business. They hire candidates just to fill a position quickly and reap the benefits. As a result, the candidates are not properly paired with the right employer or position. We think that’s pretty backwards; don’t you?

At Conexess we aim to make the recruitment process pain-free, and even fun. Mentioned in our last blog, it’s essential to build a genuine relationship with a candidate in order for us to truly place them in the right position.

Still hesitant about working with a recruiting company? These are just some of the benefits you will receive if you change your mind and decide to work with us:

  1. Time Saved

In this day and age, time is our biggest asset. Handing over the “job-searching reins” to a recruiter takes a load of stress off your shoulders. Doesn’t that sound nice? But wait, there’s more!

  1. A Wider Array of Choices

We’ve been in the business of bridging the gap between talent and opportunity for over 20 years, so needless to say we know the industry pretty well and we have contacts that you might not. We even have a giant list of career opportunities on our website for you to apply to.

  1. A Perfect Match

Our recruiters take the time to get to know you. We find out more than what you listed on your resume so we can match you with a position that will set you and your future employer up for success.

Keep in mind, not all recruiting companies are one and the same. It is a sad truth that most recruiting firms use a churn-and-burn method that fills positions quickly and satisfies a candidate’s need for instant gratification. In return, their turnover rate is sky-high and candidate satisfaction is at rock-bottom. Take a look at our website or one of our social media sites. We think you’ll like what you see. Interested in handing over the “job-searching reins”? Give us a call. We are here to help!

Top 5 Recruiting Techniques: The Conexess Files

Here at Conexess some may see us as a little unconventional in the staffing world, but we like it that way. We like getting to know our clients and we hope they like getting to know us too.

Our belief system is pretty simple:

Trust, Humility, and Balance are three words that have built our core set of beliefs. We are not a typical churn-and-burn staffing company that fills positions as fast as we can. Instead, we are simply regular people helping other people connect their talent with opportunity. So how do we compete against the big-name staffing companies? It’s pretty simple actually.

  1. Sincerity

We get it, finding a job is tough, like really tough. At Conexess, we want to get you a job-we are recruiters after all. But more than that, we want to find you the right job.

That being said, we’re going to treat you like a real person. We understand what it’s like to be on the job hunt. It’s tough and it’s our job to make it easier for you.

  1. Building (Real) Relationships

Our sole purpose is to connect talent (that’s you) with opportunity. More than that, we want to find you a career opportunity that is a good fit. Remember when I said we aren’t like those big-name staffing firms who fill positions using the churn-and-burn method? I wasn’t kidding. Here’s our thinking: If we put a candidate in a position they will hate and ultimately resign from, they are highly unlikely to come back to us to find them another job. This is exactly why we take the time to build an actual relationship with our clients. The more we know about you, the better job fit we can find for you.

  1. Integrity 100% of the Time

This is a big one and it absolutely goes hand-in-hand with being genuine. The definition of Integrity: “the quality of being honest and fair” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). We want to be as transparent as possible with our clients. If we can have an open line of communication, we are going to have a better chance at finding our clients the right job.

  1. Happy Wife=Happy Life

Ok, this one might sound odd, but bear with me-I have a point. Think of the Conexess team as the “Wife” and our clients as the “Life”. When a company has happy employees who respect the company’s culture and beliefs, then your clients will benefit. We have fun doing our job and we hope you have a great time working with us too. Connecting talent with opportunity is meant to be fun!

  1. Walking a Mile in THEIR shoes

Contrary to popular belief, we are not mind readers. To combat this shortcoming, we try to immerse ourselves in our client’s world or rather “walk a mile in their shoes”. If we can align our thought processes and understand where the other is coming from, the job search process tends to go a whole lot smoother.

That’s it! We don’t have any gimmicks or tricks up our sleeves to lure you in. It all boils down to one main objective: Find the job, but first find the right fit.

Like what we do? Check us out on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram-we’re on them all! Interested in our services? Our website has current career opportunities.

A Contractor’s Perspective…

The other day I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our longtime contractors, Keith Beckman. Keith has been working contract positions for the past few years, and when asked what incentives, if any, would cause him to revert to a permanent position, he said “none.” Pretty bold statement considering that he held a permanent role for several years prior to working contract. Initially, it was the fear of the unknown combined with a lack of the right opportunity that gave Keith pause before switching to a contract role. While he said that there is admittedly more paperwork that goes along with working contract (as a 1099 employee), he claims that the perks of “being your own boss” are most definitely worth it. Between the flexibility, and the immediate control that he has over his occupation, Keith wouldn’t change a thing.

I asked Keith the hot button question of what it’s like to work with a recruiter. He very eloquently gave a response, careful not to step on too many toes. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first, shall we? Turns out that Conexess aside, recruiters don’t have the most honest track record (resume tampering, lies about salary, etc.), and tend to cause a lot of “noise” in the lives of candidates. Keith said that he daily has LinkedIn messages, emails, and voicemails from recruiters he does not know. And while it is flattering to be so sought after, it is annoying/frustrating/exhausting to weed through the endless barrage of messages, especially because he is happily employed right now! That being said, he noted that when one is out of work, getting a cold call from a recruiter can be the best part of your day – it is all about the timing. If the call comes in:

  1. Not at dinner time, and
  2. When you need a job,

then it is fantastic! Wonderful, even. One of my favorite things that Keith said was:

“If you haven’t built a relationship with someone, you don’t know what you’re getting.”

At Conexess, we truly value the relationships that we form with candidates. Case in point – Keith is one of many who have been in our pipeline for multiple years, and the relationships that have been formed are genuinely enjoyed by recruiters and contractors alike.

When presented with the opportunity to work as a contract employee, many without experience doing so are hesitant, or flatout refuse to consider making the switch from a perm role. I asked Keith about this recurring phenomenon and he said that having a permanent role within a company is no more stable than having a contract position. Anyone could be fired at any time regardless of the supposed “security” of a permanent role. Keith did note that if you are not a skilled negotiator, and/or don’t have your finances in order, you may want to think twice before working as a contractor. And as far as health insurance is concerned – you are paying for it one way or another, whether it is included as a portion of your set salary, or a policy that you choose and pay for out-of-pocket.

An aspect of working as a contract employee that Keith has come to really enjoy is networking and going to conferences around the country to hone his craft. Attending various networking events and conferences not only widens your social network, but also expands your skill set. If you are a contract employee, going to a conference is a great way to meet someone who could give you your next job opportunity. Be warned that popular conferences sell out quickly! PyTennessee is coming up next month but has already sold out, however they do still have sponsorship slots available.

Ultimately, working contract versus working perm comes down to personal preference and lifestyle choice. If you want more freedom and flexibility, then 2015 might be a great time to take a contract position. If a more structured work environment works best for you, then a “perm” role might be a better option. Just remember, that there is no such thing as a permanent job! Although the verbiage makes it seem that way, an employee can be let go at any time, regardless of the position title. Have you worked both perm and contract roles? Which did you prefer and why? Let us know in the comment section below!

If you are looking to make a career move this year, check out our job postings here, or contact one of our rockstar recruiters.

**A great big thank you goes to Keith Beckman for contributing to this blog post!**