You’ve probably made a video on your phone before, right?
Well, what if that one, seemingly-simple video went viral overnight? You’d probably feel like a million bucks.
But what if it not only skyrocketed on social media, but launched your career change?
This is exactly what happened to Chelsea Miller, an interior designer turned UX and UI designer who posted one video resume that morphed into hundreds of connections and career opportunities.
Recently, I came across the video on LinkedIn:
Besides the fact that I find white-boarding mesmerizing (who doesn’t?), I loved how different her approach was amongst endless LinkedIn statuses and articles. So, I had to reach out and learn more.
Starting the Transition
After living in China for a year teaching English, Miller spent about five years working in interior design. “I liked it, but I wasn’t feeling like I was gaining fulfillment from my experience,” she says.
She’d always had an interest in the digital sphere, so she took the plunge and enrolled in General Assembly’s User Experience Design Course. She spent the next 10 weeks learning the ins and outs of UX design, getting hands-on practice, and growing alongside people just like her:
My past experience is pretty relevant. I was basically just doing physical user experience before—I was meeting with clients and figuring out what their problems were and how to solve them. But there was someone in my class who was a bartender, and now he’s a user experience strategist. It’s a pretty cool field in that there’s a lot of diversity with people in what they were before. It’s rare to meet someone who started out in this industry.
Zero to 20,000
When I asked Miller how she came up with the idea to make the video, she told me it spurred from an application:
It requested a creative, personal application, and I though, oh gosh, how am I going to stand out? And white-boarding for me encapsulates the UX experience: It allows you to get ideas out there quickly, it’s great for brainstorming, and because it’s going to get erased, it allows you to not worry about being perfect.
With a push from her General Assembly career coach, she created a one-minute introduction video (from her iPhone!), then threw it out into the social media world.
Miller’s original post has over 10,000 likes and 600 comments, and it’s exposed her to so many opportunities she never thought she’d have: “A lot of amazing people have reached out from great companies, running the gamut of opportunities. I’m connecting with all kinds of people, from those who are just starting out to senior designers who are offering to mentor me,” she said.
It was kind of a right place and right time scenario. Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, was really trying to promote the [LinkedIn video] feature, so he was commenting on a lot of people’s videos and he happened to comment on mine. It was crazy—overnight it jumped from 1,000 views to 20,000 views.
Miller recognizes that she’s in a unique situation, and so she told me she’s riding it out until she finds the best fit for her: a small, collaborative team at a creative agency.
Maybe this isn’t the ending you were looking for. I can attest that as soon as I hopped off the phone with Miller I wished someone would hand her the dream job she deserves already.
But that’s not why I wanted to connect with her. What I loved most about talking to her was that despite becoming a LinkedIn star, she was still going through the steps everyone does when job searching—networking, applying, and interviewing—even if she started in a slightly different place than most.
There aren’t any shortcuts in the job search, even for someone as lucky as Miller. But when you leverage your strengths, you make going through the motions easier.
And put yourself that much closer to that perfect job.