Disclaimer – I am trying to convince you that you might want to come volunteer with us too…
I moved to Manchester from Edinburgh last February. Knowing no-one in the city, I resolved to fling myself into work and events (social and professional!) as a way both to meet people, and get involved in the local UX scene. Due to their national and global reach, I’d come across Ladies that UX back home, so it was an easy starting point. Plus, I loved what they stood for – women supporting and encouraging other women, in my industry. And I wanted to be involved in that.
And so, I popped along to a couple of meet ups with a colleague, met some of the girls and found out how I could help. I’ve now been volunteering for about a year and a half. I tweet and Facebook for the group, help plan, set up and run events, create blog posts and, on occasions, jump up and compere for events! And, while it’s definitely a commitment and there’s plenty of work to do, what’s amazed me is just how much I’ve got out of it…
- Skills – my job involves being organised (to a degree!), but LTUX has really pushed me to find time to do things – whether it’s setting up tweets on the tram or taking an hour of an evening to create and publish blog posts, instead of idly scrolling Insta. It’s also turned me into an event planner – arranging venues and refreshments, sorting sponsorship and sourcing and liaising with speakers.
- Career – I now know where I can find an amazing network of UXers and am in touch with fabulous women who provide mutual support to each other. And, I can say with certainty that my work with LTUX played a part in getting me where I am now. My company has ambitious growth plans and my boss was looking to hire someone who not only had the necessary skillset, but who was active in the community and not afraid to get out and advocate for Beauty Bay. I owe LTUX big time for this one!
- Friends – yes I’ve developed a great professional network, being involved with the group. But, perhaps more importantly, I’ve made some great friends, who, in turn, have made my move to somewhere brand new so much easier. And that has made it all so worthwhile.