Menu

Chicago Camps

Abi Jones at UX Camp Fall Home Edition 2020 (Video)

How to Make the Right Turn

Abi Jones presented the closing keynote “How to Make the Right Turn” at UX Camp Fall 2020. Enjoy!

5-year career plans are supposed to align you and your manager on a path to a bright and shiny future, one where you’ve achieved your goals through a combination of skill and perseverance. Instead, they set you up for failure by closing your mind to the opportunities right in front of you.

The person you are today has abilities, limitations, and nemeses that you didn’t predict for yourself 5 years ago. And the role you’ll have 5 years from now, can’t be decided just by looking at the jobs that exist today.

Instead of making a 5-year-plan, start planning for what’s next.

In this keynote, you’ll learn how to identify the work that fuels you, reflect on the principles that guide your preferences, consider the upsides of spite, and identify the people who will support you as you take the next step in your career.

Abi Jones

UX Manager, Google Health

Abi Jones leads a team of designers and researchers in Google Health, an organization that works across a variety of medical specialties to dramatically improve the availability and accuracy of medical services, with a focus on cancer, skin conditions, and diabetic eye disease.

She writes about team culture and management at jonesabi.com.

​​​The following transcript very likely contains typographical errors. Please forgive any mistakes!

Alright, well, thanks for coming out today, and I’m really excited to close out what’s been a pretty incredible day of talk. Today, I want to start off with a bit of a disclaimer. So first things first, I work at Google, I’m a UX Manager at Google Health. The things I’m going to say today are not official Google things, and you should not take anything I say today to be construed towards Google’s future activities on projects or products. I’m also gonna talk a little bit about time travel and space ships, theoretical underpinning for what all chat about today. A bit about Taco-El finding an amasis, how to look for your team and what it looks like to say… Yes. But first of all, I just wanna thank everyone for showing up today. It’s really tough to do it right now, and so I think that’s the first thing to think about is that this entire talk is within the context of what’s happening in our society right now, and so I want you to take into consideration how this looks for you right now, but also think about what it might look in the future, so first, thanks for being here through everything that’s going on right now, and after this entire set of talk today, you might be feeling these waves of inspiration that you’ve been invigorated by what you’ve learned about doing research and design and places you’ve never been to before or remotely, thinking about how decision-making works and the culture where you work, or would it look like to be more involved in your community? But I want to tell you right now that you are going to end up going about the next five years of your career all wrong, if you make decisions they solely on what you learn today or how you are today…

Right now, what happens in career development is that we try to make decisions for our future selves are five years from now cells, and that means that we’re letting somebody who’s not nearly as smart as five years in the future, US will be… Make those decisions about what we should be doing, just think about yourself five years in the past.

Think about how many more skills, the capabilities, just what you know about the world now that you definitely did not know five years ago.

And looking back at five years ago, you… Would they be able to do the work that you’re doing now? Will they be able to step into the situations that you’re in now and handle them the way that you do now, and for some people, you might say, Oh, five years ago, we had a lot more energy than today, he has, but just think about the difference in what you know and what you’re able to do now, and unfortunately, what’s probably happening right now is that you’re letting current you, the you that only sees and knows things you know right now, decide everything about what future you gets to do. And I think that’s the wrong way to go about career planning, so I’m gonna walk you through a little bit of the mistakes that I’ve made, a lot of mistakes that I’ve made, and let’s take a look at what this new form of career planning can look like for you… And the reason I wanna do this is because the future is out of focus, they don’t know what is going to happen and… Sorry to bring up 20, 20, but I think this year, more than any other year has really made it clear that the world is an unpredictable place, and so trying to create a life and that unpredictability can be really difficult.

So I wanna take you back to 2018. Just two years ago, I had just started managing a team and Google Health, and I logged in for this mandatory training for managers on the different role I was supposed to have with my team, and in the top of our online learning system at Google was a note that I should check in on the goals I had already set for myself, and I couldn’t remember what these goals we were at all. I thought, Oh, it’s interesting, I wonder what goals I set for myself. At that point, I’d been for Google for seven or eight years. So at any point in the last seven or eight years, I could have put a goal in there, and what I found out when I clicked on it was that my goal was to be the VP of Design for Google education. This is before Google Classroom ever existed. Like nobody had conceived on the product yet, because I had actually entered that goal years before before Google classroom when I was working in search still, and my hope had been that we would eventually have some sort of education or kid-oriented tooling at Google.

And I took one look at that goal and I just deleted it. The straight up was like.

No. That was a ridiculous choice to have made, the reason that I thought it was a great choice is because I’ve been through a bunch of career development at Google, that it asked me what things I wanted to accomplish in the next five to 15 years.

Now, when I think about the next five to 15 years, I’m picturing flying cars. That’s what I think about 15 years from now. That’s my expectation, right? And so when I picture the future, I’m not necessarily thinking about what my job will look like because I have no idea what the future is going to be, I just hope I get to fly through the air somehow, and what I realized in deleting that… In deleting that goal that I had had was that the goal I set for myself was actually a limitation, now, if I had just thought about how to be the VP of Design for Google education, instead of being able to work on early identification of breast cancer and lung cancer, I would be working on Google Classroom, which is essential for a lot of people, but it’s not nearly as exciting for me, and the reason why I chose this education path is that it was really easy to tell myself a story about where I was supposed to be…

You, looking back at the history of the jobs I’d had… I could trace a path backwards through education, in college had been a museum educator, I then became a third grade teacher, I worked on teacher certification systems, I got a Master’s in education and instructional design. Even after I went to work in high tech, I was a classroom volunteer, and so Google education made a lot of sense, but the stories we tell ourselves are ways of justifying our paths, not necessarily preparing ourselves for the future. I was really wrong because I was leaning so much on what I already knew about myself and not what I could be, not what I could do, what I didn’t know is that my life would change dramatically, not just from having a baby, which is one way to change your life dramatically. Because in 2013, my son was hospitalized, and it changed my entire approach to work and what I thought was important, when I returned to search after that, I let everyone know that as soon as it was possible to join in the healthcare group at Google, which also didn’t exist at that time, I’d be leaving search that day.

I wanted a way to support families who had gone through something like I went through, and then in 2015, I realized I had to quit search because it wasn’t the right place for me, is a place where success relies on factors that don’t fit the way I like to work, and it’s perfect for a lot of people I know, but not for me. So I went to Google Fiber, where two years later, it was one of the hundreds of people later, when fiber switched gears into what it was looking at.

After that I went to the security and privacy team at Google, and while I was there, I met up with a person who wrote the same bus as knee, and we co-founded a venture with an area 120, and so I left security and privacy for youth, another space.

And then finally, in 2018, after determining that the start-up life was not for me, and that… And seeking new opportunities, I found the Google Health team, and I get to work today on managing a team where we try to detect eye disease, lung cancer, breast cancer, and even dermatological conditions.

I had told myself there was a path I should be taking, one that was focused on education, but the reality blows it, that I had made a bunch of turns over and over again, and what I want to point out in this is that making these turns didn’t prevent me from getting to my eventual goal that instead gave me new information in new ways, so… Thank you. And so today, what I want to walk you through is how you make the right turn, how do you go from the place where you are right now to thinking about what could be possible in the future? For me, this is something that I’ve always been doing, and I just never had a name for it, so I have always been looking for something interesting, and my friend Christina, who is a product manager now, one time I was over at her house, we’re having tea, and he thinks I was talking to her when I was making the transition from Google search into Google Fiber and discussing the interesting tools or things I would build there, and she said to me, No, it always seems like you’re looking for the next interesting thing and you don’t really have a path that you’re following…

No.

This was really hurtful at the time that I heard it, I wasn’t ready to hear this observation from her friend, and it’s especially difficult because Christina, is Christina who, she wrote Radical Focus, which is a bonkers for your business or yourself. She also as the new both team to manage itself.

And so to hear a friend basically let you know that you seem aimless and without a life goal, I was a pretty tough thing to hear that she was right. I don’t have a goal.

My goals are to be happy to enjoy time with my family, to make things that do more good than harm in this world, it’s not like there’s a specific thing out there that I always wanted to build, and I was fortunate to find is that there’s actually a theory about what I’ve been doing this entire time about finding new opportunities and seeking new places to be and being just one step ahead of myself, and that’s called plan happens dance theory, so a psychologist and a couple of school counselors, so their names are a composite moon one of them was at Stanford until he passed away a couple of years ago. And the other two are career counselors in the Bay area, including with community colleges, and what they found it and described in plan happenstance theory is that your life is a series of things that you can do nothing about. But there are also a lot of things you can do something about, and those are chance events, and they found that people who are able to convert chance events, this happenstance, were better able to manage changing careers, and they found that in a lot of career development theory, most career development and career counseling is really focused on getting people to prescribe a path and then figure out the next step to follow that from…

It’s not about developing or opening up on the new pods available to you, and so what chromosome in Mitchell to found and described as that. Instead, it made a lot more sense to figure out what were the core capabilities that you need to be able to take advantage of these chance events and convert them into new careers

For me, for as discussed earlier today and content strategy, most of us didn’t dream of being a UX designer or researcher were growing up, we were astronauts and presidents and veterinarians or farmers, and so we know already that we’re off of the path that we prescribe for ourselves as kids, and the other problem is that when you’re a kid, you often feedback career, decisions that are comfortable for other people.

And so instead of thinking about career decisions that are comfortable for others, want you to figure out how career decisions can be the right thing for you, there are four factors in developing a career, and this is from promos.

First, heroic endowment. So that’s just… For example, me, 5 for 8, never going to be an NBA player though. There are some famous NBA players who are about my hikes, there are environmental conditions and events.

So those are things like growing up near the mountains means you’re more likely to be a… Still think of some other examples of don’t involve physical activity. Another one of those is that he is what comes… Calls me the unjust world that you might grow up in a place that is undergoing war, that has racial discrimination like the United States, that the world is not a fair and just world, and so that is something that shapes the career options available to you. The third is the learning experiences you have, and these are both learning experiences in school, so thinking about what does your education look like for elementary school through college, but also the everyday learning experiences you get, so thinking about that positive reinforcement you get when you tell people as a kid that you wanna be a doctor versus a negative reinforcement you might get if you tell people as a kid, you want to be a farmer.

The

Last of these is task approach skills. And this is where things get really interesting. These are the way that you approach the work outs, there’s the habits ways of working, and that’s where we get into how you can really take advantage of this chance component of careers, and why it’s important is that chance plays a bigger role than anyone would like to admit, it’s more essential to your career then you probably really thought about… And if you take a look back at the last couple of jobs you’ve had, you can probably pinpoint a chance component to it, a moment when you made one simple decision or chose to pursue one area that rocketed view and into an entirely different way of thinking or a different career.

Now, these skills that go into part four of your career development or Curiosity, being interested in a wide variety of things, persistence, so not giving up the first time something happens.

Flexibility, so being able to change your mind or being able to change the way you think about something or change the preconceived notions you might have

Optimism, which the researchers found incredibly important, and it might be difficult to engage with today, but is essential. And then finally, risk taking, this one is one of the hardest ones for me. At first, I’m a pretty risk-averse person, but there are different forms of risk-taking, and so it’s helpful to think about what risk-taking looks like for you, it

Doesn’t mean jumping off of a bridge with a parachute, but the kittens can mean starting up or continuing a conversation, in a space where you might just wanna sit quietly in the corner by yourself.

And so if we think about our goal of generating chance events, so not just taking advantage of chance events but generating them, then there are a few things we have to do first we to reflect on how we are today and the things that interest us, you need to connect with other people, and then we need to think about how we want to take action.

So if I’m thinking about reflecting, are there a few simple tools I like to use to consider this.

And one is I try not to predict what I’m going to be like in the future, we already know from user research that we shouldn’t be asking participants about what they’re going to do or buy, or say or be in the future, but for some reason, we ask that of ourselves, which is pretty ridiculous, right.

So just like American spending 18 billion and unused gym memberships, because they couldn’t predict how much they would go to the gym or had higher hopes of themselves, then they actually end up filling… Instead, it’s useful to look at the past.

And so how I like to think of this is finding your kryptonite and then finding your son, the thing that powers you, and I think this is partly… I’m not a Native California, and I grew up in Oregon, but now that I live in California, I found that sunlight is essential to my well-being, and so that’s how I think about it. If you have a previously indie skin cancer, you might wanna find a different metaphor.

So when I think about kryptonite, I’m really considering what are the different things that drain my energy and we’re about to have performance review conversations on my team, and this is something I’ve actually included in the reflection exercise that I gave my team is to consider what are the things in the last three, six months that really drained their energy when they were doing that work?

For me, career-wise, I’m looking back further than the last three to six months.

Things that drain my energy… One is territorial-ism, I found that on projects where instead of arguing about the work and what we should be doing or how we can move it forward, we’re arguing about who gets what parts of it, that’s frustrating for me and it trains my energy. I

Don’t like choosing colors for things.

That’s partly why I went to work with Google in 2011, is because they just had five colors for stuff and it was pretty simple to know which had those tax codes to use.

It’s actually why I really enjoy design systems, appreciate having a design system because I wanna make decisions about how the interface works, but not necessarily which color I should have a button. I like being able to trust a visual and design system experts that we have on our teams to make those choices so that I can tackle other problems, and I really don’t like putting on a smile. I learned that when I was working at Starbucks, I started to work at 5 o’clock in the morning most days. And while I enjoyed that really quiet walked to work with my Walkman on, what

I didn’t enjoy was that I had to be super happy for everybody at 5 o’clock in the morning when I didn’t feel happy myself when I was just starting to wake up…

Well, let’s move into the energizer… And stop thinking so much about what I didn’t like working at Starbucks in the year 2001. So when it comes to energizer, at my workplace right now, I love shifting my team and do service design, so because I work in healthcare, we get to be more focused on service design and is on product design, and it’s a really exciting space to work in, it’s tough, because there are not a ton of service design teams at role, we have a lot of interfaces and that’s the work we do, and so we have to create new ways of discussing design work within our team. When I was at my space, I love working on the workflows for Lady Gaga’s team, as my case was trying to scale, they ran into problems where they had account set-ups that were perfect for individual users and terrible for famous people. And so at some point, lady’s team got on the phone with somebody at my space, I was like, We have a problem, we have so many notifications on Lady Gaga’s account and we can’t tell what’s happening and we can’t get rid of them fast enough, and so I got to work on thinking about how do you scale and change notifications or people who are famous musicians or artists, so that the same system could work for just regular everyday folks, but also for people who are super famous.

And then last, I really enjoyed figuring out the set up for the drive-through at the Taco Bell where I worked in high school.

So I worked at the drive-through and I really enjoyed the job in a lot of ways, One, I could create games for myself where I could challenge myself to get each car through faster and faster and keep track of my time, I also love just staring out the window and seeing over the course of the year where the sun changed its place in the sky each time it’s set, and I like figuring out things like, what’s the right order of operations to put together the order as it comes through from the line, so that I have everything ready at the right time and can do it as quickly as possible, and so is that optimization component that was really fascinating to me when I was just 16 or 17 years old. Those are energizer for me.

You might not wanna put in your own personal list, optimizing the drive-through line at Taco Bell, so it helps to break these down into what they actually look like for your job. So I like breaking down boundaries for a UX team, I like making complicated things like Lady Gaga’s accounts tractable, and I really enjoy optimization thinking about how to make something as easy to use as possible. So once you’ve got these drains and these energizes, it’s really important to think about… This is a version one, so you can see in the bottom corner there, I have a V1 because this is just a draft for how you’re thinking about the things that you want to work on and the things that you really wanna stay away from. And it’s important to know this stuff, but sometimes beyond drains and energizes, you need the extra motivation of having an nemesis

Ryan Uzi who’s a researcher at who… Now, I’m gonna really terribly insult people from the Pittsburgh area, I can’t remember if he’s at the University of Pennsylvania or the University of Pittsburgh or Penn State. So sorry about that. We can look them up later.

So I’m start Pennsylvanians. What you found was that when he did research with day traders, and what he found is that the most effective day traders actually have a mix, they don’t just have friends in their social group and they actually… Their social group is like half friends and enemies, I’m not saying you should go out and make a bunch of enemies right now… That’s a terrible idea. What I’m saying is that it actually helps you to have relationships with people who you compare yourself to, where you can benchmark your own performance and think about how well you’re doing.

And the same is true for competitive runners, is that competitive runners when they ran in the same race is one of their rivals actually ran faster races, and so working closely with and being in communication with people who you kind of think of as your competition is actually going to make you a little bit better at the work that you do.

And so… Well, it might seem like those folks are a drain, sometimes they can actually be an energizer as long as they are not just living rent-free in your head all of the time. So now that you’ve had a chance to reflect on the things that really work for you, but also the things that you would like to change, it’s important to think about the connections that you’re interested in making.

So first component of this is that you’ll want to assemble your team. Now, when you think about assembling your team, I really appreciate the advice that Mendes gave when she was talking through how to think about your own team, then the hearts is a terrific book called The Memo. Highly recommend it for anyone who’s thinking about how to really understand and take control of their career, but especially for women of color who are trying to do this, and so Maharshi is fantastic author and that her book is not just entirely down to work down… Sorry, not entirely down to earth, but also just full of useful, useful advice and terrific insight. So in assembling your team, what I was asked to Google when I had to fill out my career development forms was who are two to three people at work you admire? And just a couple of months after I joined Google, I didn’t really know that many people. So I put nobody on the form, which wasn’t good, because

When I think about people at Meyer, I actually then went back and Pillai and said Gandy, which also wasn’t really helpful for thinking about career development, I’m not going to lead a revolution in India, I’m not going to help overthrow an unjust governmental system, so I had to think about what this team looks like for me or who I should be looking up to, and I think the big problem that we have is a lot of times we’re forced to think about who do I wanna be like in the future. But once again, it gets you into that space where you’re focused on trying to be someone else in some distant time, where you are going to be so much better at your job in your life than you are right now. The other thing that happens is when people are thinking about what their team looks like, they’re kind of worry that they’re taking advantage of people or asking other people for too much, and I get that, especially in these times, so it’s helpful to think about instead, who gets to help you and realize that

When you think about the spaces in your life where you’ve actually had the greatest impact, and it’s probably not about an app that you built, that’s probably not about a service that you launched, instead, it’s most likely about the other people that you’ve helped along the way. And so if you think about how worthwhile it is to help other people, you should also let yourself be one of those people who can be helped and give other people a chance to experience the same joy of getting… To help others. There are three people I think about when I consider where I am today. So one of them is Christina, the person who told me I didn’t seem to have a path in life, and

Where I was fortunate is that when I was working in ad agency in San Francisco, one of the things that she did was how she ended up hiring me at my space, I really wanted to move into product, and I have to admit moving into my space at a time when Facebook was already dominating social networks, was in some ways a terrible career move, but it really gave me the chance to go from working on a bunch of ads focused on selling USB devices into being able to work on a product that 30 million users, and so that was something where I got a chance to start making traction in a space where I wanted to work… The next person is Brad in cowes. Braden was a Google… Before I joined Google, and when I’ve been working at my space, and basically as soon as I was laid off, is pretty much the same day I was laid off, I got a call from a recruiter at Google, and as soon as I got that call from a recruiter.

I paint. Brayden actually DMT A. I said, Hey, I know we’ve never met, but I would have this job interview, I’m gonna just interview Google, and I’d really love to come out and get lunch.

And he was nice enough to have me out for lunch and then… What happened was, when it was time to do my design exercise for my Google interview, I got the option to do a design exercise that was focused on a launch hat for Googles.

And at that point, I’d already been to Google, I knew what the campus was like. I knew what the lunch line was like, I knew that the problem that Google’s had was figuring out which of the many options available was the one that they wanted to choose, and so putting all those things together, I made my job interview a lot easier, not just because I had an idea of the actual space and it was a little bit easier to ID on the product idea, but because I was a lot less nervous when I went there from my interview too, is a space I’d already been… And I didn’t really have to think about, where is the bathroom? Was the elevator, all of that stuff. And so it was familiar. And that was really comforting. And the last person I am really happy. So she’s a designer on the assistant, she’s a voice interface designer, and I had got in touch with her because I had been working on some sort of interesting voice projects, and I was interested in moving into the voice design group at Google. And as I was chatting with her about what the team was like, she had mentioned a friend who was working on another team that was adjacent to Google Health, and I hadn’t really thought about exploring the healthcare space at Google at that point because I didn’t even realize that we had a nascent health team, it turned out to be a super tiny group inside of Google’s research organization, so at the time I joined it, it wasn’t even Google Health, it was just a smaller org within Google’s research and machine intelligence group.

And so it was just a lunch with Kimberly where she let me know like, Oh yeah, there’s also this group working on medical stuff that I realized I could finally work on their thing that I’d always wanted to tackle at Google. So when you’re thinking about the people who are on your internal team, an external team, this is the metaphor heart uses, she focuses on, Hey, who are those people at your work right now, who can be on this team that helps you think about the next role for yourself, and helps you think about success for yourself, so that’s things like your current manager, your peers, your mentor, and even people you met and your cross-functional peers, like PM you might work with, and then you have an external team too, so you have friends, you have X, colleagues, you have people who you might be meeting in the Slack that you’re in right now, and there are professional orgs, and then you can even think about your own community in the place where you live.

And one of the things I have to let you know about as you think about this group of people, you will need to interact with other people in order to create chance events, it’s not going to work without interaction with others… I’m sorry, that’s sort of just how the world works.

So you might be saying to yourself, Abby, did you forget there’s a pandemic going on outside? And I’m not forgotten, you can tell because I’ve a slide with a face mask on it, so instead of just thinking about how you’re going to go out to your next to me that you have to figure out what our pandemic-friendly ways of generating chance events and then how you think about in the future as well.

And one of the things I really want to highlight here is it’s really important to think about this broader audience, because your manager is not actually your career coach as a manager, I am thinking about how I can match up the work that needs to be done with the interest of people on my team, but I’m not trying to find them entirely new jobs that are separate from our organization, so you’re going to wanna look elsewhere for that and not just rely entirely on your manager. So what does Action Plan and of 2020 look like for you? Take this group of people and think about who you want to get in touch with, and not just get in touch with to say, Hey, what interesting things are happening around you, but who you wanna get in touch with, to let them know, Hey, here’s how things are going from a, here’s what’s really what I’m interested in right now, or a cool thing I made recently, just to let them know that you’re around and you’re thinking about some things for yourself, this is where you’re going to be using those different traits of curiosity, persistent, flexibility, optimism and really importantly, risk-taking, so you’re going to start the conversation, and I sound like a broken record, but is why I really recommend heart’s book, because she actually has form letters that you can use to start these conversations, so if you are feeling really shy or tentative around this, or you’re not sure how to make conversation with strangers, please go out and buy her book, I’m actually going to…

Okay, alright, this is what it looks like. You should just go buy it. Right now, this is it. Okay, so you wanna start the conversation and you’re going to wanna figure out places where you can take the lead, so if you’re thinking about your current role at work right now, what are some spaces where you might put yourself out there for new opportunities or different kinds of work that you might not have considered before, or things that you might think about that wouldn’t have been on your radar in the past, but are a good time to take risks, and

You might also wanna consider applying for new roles as you see them, not just to necessarily move to a new org if it’s possible, given these times, but also to get yourself the practice of thinking through the way you’re going to talk about yourself and the work that you wanna do. So what we’ve gone over so far is thinking about how to generate those happenstance opportunities for yourself, how to be alert to those opportunities, and then thinking about how to convert those opportunities to something new…

Going back to my own experience when I was in the security and privacy group at Google, I was really excited about how to think about things like what GDPR looked like at Google, but I was also excited about the potential leadership opportunity, and what was really tough was that as it looks like it was a team where I would be able to start managing design there. But instead of what happened was that a couple of… A couple of months after I joined, there was a person who was promoted over me to be my manager, and while they were an expert in security and privacy are… They were brand new to Google, and I knew that they wouldn’t be able to help me with my career. And

So that’s what set me on the look out for thinking about new things that I wanted to do, it wasn’t that I just heard about a project from a person on the bus and decided to join it at join up with it as a co-founder. It was because I realized that the place I was, I wasn’t exactly the right place for me anymore, and it didn’t have the future that I wanted to have, and so what I started doing was I started riding the bus with my headphones off so that I could… Talk to people more, find out what else was happening at Google and chat with folks, and that’s where I learned about the project. And so what happened was, I ended up chatting with the person who had the initial idea for our project, and I thought it was brilliant, but the design was terrible, so I volunteered to redesign the pitch deck to make it clearer, to make the product interesting and unforgettable. And it was at redesign that showed I was committed. It was that taking action, and then it was that that launched me into working in a different space, and one of the effects of the project that I worked on in area 120 was that it gave me experience that helped me get the job at Google Health are 120 was not perfect for me for the long term, but it was a perfect place for me to learn more about myself, and it was the right risk today at the time, it

Was an example of me being able to generate those opportunities by putting myself out there a little more than I usually would, taking off those headphones to be alert for something I could work on or do, and then converting that opportunity by volunteering to take the next step by being that design co-founder on a project. And so as your thinking today about how to make the right turn for the next part of your career, I want you to keep a few things in mind, first.

That your career is a result of more chance events than you realize, there’s one bus conversation or one chat, that can change the shape of everything you know, that you should be ready to turn this happenstance into an opportunity, and finally that the goals you’ve set for yourself, or are the limits you’ve created… Thank you so much

Chicago Sponsors Camps

  • Rosenfeld Media
  • Simplecast
  • Lead Honestly
  • Columbia College Chciago

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensuring a safe environment for everybody.

The Short Version
Full Version

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.