How to build relationships for your future in UX

Photo by Allie on Unsplash

Be respectful

If you are dropping a message to someone you’ve never spoken to before, be sure to convey your reasons for getting in touch, that you respect their time and focus may be elsewhere, and that you are appreciative of any guidance.

Ask for insight

Why are you making contact with an individual? What is it that they might know so that they can impart that knowledge unto you? You’re not asking for trade secrets here, just helpful advice on what it is you should be doing or working towards in order to reach your own goals.

Don’t go begging

Straight-up asking for handouts is not the way to go. If you come across as needy, desperate, or simply out for yourself, what is there in the relationship for the other person? If they engage with you if you’re only asking for things, they know that this will happen over and over again, and so will avoid making that kind of connection.

Don’t expect anything in return

Whatever it is you ask for, from the smallest piece of advice to something larger like a recommendation or a review of your work, do not expect anything to come back. There are so many reasons why people don’t get back in touch with you after you ask something of them, and you should not take offence. Everyone is dealing with things in their own life, and you may have no idea at all what is happening, so lower your expectations for your first attempt at engaging with someone to start that relationship.

Be thankful

Whatever a new connection may come back with from your initial contact, be thankful that they took the time to personally reply to you. Not only that but make sure that they know that you are also available if they should require any insight from you. Yes, even successful and well-known people will ask for advice and help from people in their networks, and that could easily include you.

UX Designer with over 20 years experience, specialising in interaction design and prototyping.

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