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Starting a new job with more confidence and stronger support

Nelson Remetz has successfully transitioned careers from architecture to UX design. But with the skill building done, there were more hurdles in the way – interviewing and overcoming the first few months in an entirely new job.
Kristen Leake

Sr. UX Researcher, YETI

Onboarding is a crucial time in an employee’s career. In fact, it is said that good onboarding can increase success rates of a hire by 82%. And then again, in 88% of the cases the onboarding processes implemented by teams are subpar.

There’s a clear mismatch: The majority of onboarding processes implemented focus on internal processes and paperwork, while employees look for coaching and support – an investment that’s difficult to do for many teams.

Less severe is Nelson’s experience. His team is considered very friendly for junior and self-taught personnel. Yet, an extra place to come for questions and brainstorming was appreciated. MentorCruise was able to provide that.

Discovering the power of mentorship

When Nelson’s previous career in architecture and his personal interests seemed to drift apart, it was time for something new. After conversations with friends and a good bit of research, the choice fell on UX design.

UX design is one of the most in-demand careers today. The global labor demand is set to grow 10% this year too. So it was no wonder that Nelson was able to pick his choice from a long range of bootcamps and self-teaching schools.

He ended up choosing a bootcamp specifically because it had such a strong mentorship aspect to it. That choice paid off.

“My mentor gave me crucial advice in the interview process. During this last set of interviews, I worked with them to really nail down my product and was able to send in something fantastic.”

Without leaning too much on the experience of a mentor, Nelson was able to extract the most of the skills he had built. The problem – with the successful hire of Nelson, that bootcamp and the corresponding mentorship ended.

“Once that program ended, I realized just how effective mentorship was. How important it was to have a sounding board and someone to bounce ideas off of.”

At MentorCruise, having a permanent accountability partner by your side as you’re navigating courses, bootcamps and jobs is one of our key goals. As Nelson started his new career, he decided to match with one of our many mentors working in UX design.

The search wasn’t long and Nelson was able to match with Kristen Leake, an experienced UX researcher – one part of UX design that Nelson was particularly interested in.

“I thought her profile was interesting. She had a couple of years of experience, which was perfect. I also found her YouTube, which gave me more confidence that it may be a good fit.”

Having a sounding board and getting unstuck

At his new job, Nelson quickly came up to speed with a new project he got assigned to. However, as most busy environments go, asking for an hour of someone else’s time to go through some work is a difficult undertaking.

“What MentorCruise allows me to do is to have this dedicated time with an expert. Someone I can bounce ideas off of and profit from the experience she brought with her.”

Nelson describes his relationship with Kristen like “work therapy” – a designated time without pressure or judgment, where he is able to gain new insights, discuss ideas and ask questions he would fear to be obvious to others.

Besides that, Nelson was able to take advantage of Kristen’s wisdom as a longtime practitioner, as well as profit from career advice that helps Nelson stay ahead of the curve.

“I didn’t exactly know how things in the tech industry worked, so this was another part that Kristen could show me”

Improving work and generating results

During the first three months of his new job, Nelson received good feedback about his work and ideas at his new job.

“I was told the work I delivered was very good. I also brought up ideas that I potentially wouldn’t have gotten to without my mentor there.”

Three months in, he feels like he has settled well in this new industry that’s moving so fast, it’s time to eye up the next level.

“Kristen has had five years of industry experience, this was perfect to learn the ropes and have someone by my side for the day-to-day work. Now I might move on to someone that has 10 or 20 years of experience and think about the larger theme of my career.”

Not only that, but Nelson was also able to use these first three months to establish new mentorship avenues at his current job. Knowing who and what to ask, where to go with certain issues is key to continue growing as a career professional.

Providing support across all career milestones

At MentorCruise, we’re proud of being a stable partner for folks in their career journeys. From getting your first job, to eyeing up promotions, changing industries and even growing into leadership positions, mentors can help you.

As Nelson is proving, the relationship ends up being a win-win. Mentors can hone their leadership and soft skills in the process, mentees build up more confidence, team members gain an independent colleague and managers are being faced with more successful onboarding.

Want to follow Nelson’s footsteps? Here are our top-rated UX research mentors, available right now!

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