Excerpt from a Convo: Choosing Between Two Opportunities

Lisa  9:17 pm
Hey Matthew, 

I’m getting so many job interviews! Wow, 3 today!! I need some advice if I’m offered something.  

As you know I’ve been a graphic designer for a long time and have recently branched out to UX/UI which I love. I’ve taken your suggestions and put my design work on my website. 

Well, I have so much interest as a UX/UI and it’s really high paying but it’s contract as opposed to full-time. 

One of these jobs is for Telstra (one of the largest telecommunication companies here in Australia). 8-month contract which would take me up to Xmas. But there is heaps of work so I’m sure if I’m good I would be absorbed elsewhere… Working on digital TV smartbox designs. I’d be given all the assets and have to roll out iterations. They are putting me forward for a 2nd interview to meet the Product Owner. 

The other is Senior designer for an education company. Not ux/ui, design and management. I think the pay is much better than my last job and I would finally be in charge of something. This is a full-time role.  

This is so exciting. I’ve never been in such demand before!!! But, what do I do? I’ve been unemployed for a year now.  

Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to tell me what to do, more what are the pro/cons as design vs UX/UI.  

So, IF (if if if) I get offered a job for what I’ve always done (eg design) but with management which would be a great skill to have.

So, do I continue?


Matthew  2:09 pm

First off, you should take some time to feel good about the circumstance. Great job! Amazing! What a wonderful challenge to consider two great opportunities—you CAN’T lose! 

Second, consider the importance of the “pivot.” You’ve worked very hard to add skills to your stack and have invested a lot of time and effort…all that have been driving you towards product design. Why? If the career move towards UX is that important, perceived safety or comfort should be de-prioritized. We have to take risks to make big leaps. 

Third, when I’m faced with hard decisions, I do three things that have nothing to do with my career:

1. Measure ALL the tangibles. Details are important, and I find that people usually miss a lot of the details of their new contexts. Is there another job offer when the contract is done? How do they usually deal with their contractors? Can I manage the end of the contract, financially and emotionally? What kind of autonomy will I have? Who exactly am I working with? What are the biggest challenges ahead of me in each role?

2. Talk to people you respect. No, this doesn’t include your family or your favorite Reddit thread. 😉 Call 2 or 3 people that throughout your career you’ve really respected their acumen. Beware though…they may ask you more hard questions.

3. Consider your gut. After all these factors are taken into consideration at the end of the day, I usually have a gut feeling. Sometimes, it’s against what I thought my mental math was headed towards. Our instincts are powerful, spiritual centers of intelligence that we shouldn’t brush aside. Pay attention. 

Most of all, though, don’t worry! It sounds like you’ve got two great choices ahead of you and neither one precludes you from continuing to look for a full-time UX position. Taking one of these and then continuing to look for your dream job is definitely an option, too.

- - - - - - - -

**Special thanks to Lisa Jones for allowing me to publish our conversation from early 2021.**

Using Format