I have been serving as a mentor to around 18 students, helping them to learn UX design. A few of them have successfully landed jobs, while some are still searching. Interestingly, three students decided to unmatch me as their mentor, and two of them are Chinese students. According to their feedback, communication appeared to be an issue in our mentorship. This might seem confusing since we share a common native language, making communication potentially easier compared to non-native speakers.
As a non-native English speaker myself, I used to struggle with the language. I would often worry that people couldn't understand me due to my accent, or that I wasn't fully understanding their point. Similar struggles seem to be present for these two students, whose English could use some improvement.
At the outset of our mentorship, I encouraged them to use English as our primary mode of communication, given its prevalence in the job market. However, this became a barrier for them, and so they decided to unmatch with me. Interestingly, other native English speakers have provided positive feedback regarding our communication, indicating no language-related issues.
My takeaway from this experience is the realization that tackling two complex problems simultaneously can be challenging. Learning UX design is a multifaceted endeavor, involving various sub-projects and a wide range of skills to improve upon. Similarly, learning a new language is a complex journey with numerous steps and directions.
It seems our mental capacity, time, and resources might not be sufficient to handle two such demanding projects at once. If you find yourself in a similar situation, it is crucial to decide and prioritize which issue to tackle first. Set clear expectations, define a timeline, and establish how progress will be measured. By being clear about your scope, you can effectively allocate extra time to resolve other problems.
Starting from today, I've begun utilizing my walking time, specifically during my evening walks, to practice writing a daily English essay. This could be posted on a blog, included in a newsletter, or simply serve as a diary entry. The important thing is to start taking action. With voice input significantly lowering operational barriers, there's no reason not to get moving.
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