How are you?
People talk about whether good ends can justify bad means, or at least they used to. Why do the math if you know the answer is null? What ends do modern justifiers achieve beyond more boots grinding more faces into more pavement? The wars don't end. The contracts don't end. The security theatre doesn't end. The occupations don't end. It seems that if anything, beginnings justify the means today, and continue to justify them so long as the aggrieved parties see fit.
Talking publicly about politics makes me feel vulnerable and inept, but I'm also not convinced that thousands of dead children (“a children’s graveyard”) is something I need an advanced degree to have an opinion about. My opinion? It's bad! As it was bad when America killed children and civilians in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, as it was bad when Mississippi whites lynched and desecrated poor Emmett Till, as it is bad that over 432,000 civilians have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars (so far!), as it was bad when we forced children to run from napalm in the forests of Vietnam. It’s all a kind of evil, if evil is anything, and it’s ugly and awful and sad that anyone would try to justify any of it. My toothless condemnation can’t shape this political moment, but I offer it nonetheless.
So yes, hi, this is my UX newsletter, I guess? I mean it's not. I keep trying to tell folks that these are personal letters of a sort, but then I’m also not really notable for anything other than my UX and content work, and I shut down my content events newsletter for reasons that escape me at the moment, so I mostly get new subscribers after writing something about digital strategy on LinkedIn. And now we're here. At least I am not writing about depression or diarrhea today. IYKYK. I do want to do a newsletter more specific to my professional pursuits; toying with a CCA-branded publication. We’ll see. I barely send this one, you know?
I'm tired of hustling, as I wrote you about last time. Tired, but back to it. I suspect you might be tired as well, because everyone I meet everywhere is very tired and things seems to generally be going Not Well. Apparently there's some sort of shaming nonsense about the "Looking for work" banners on LinkedIn?? I can't bear to even dig into that.
I'm hearing from people getting laid off for the second or third time in fewer years, seeing a lot more posts from people looking for work, finding myself gobsmacked at the prices of everyday things, things I'd have sworn I bought for half as much just a few weeks ago. I don't have a lot to offer but I continue to offer it, nonetheless. The article on where and how to find UX jobs seems woefully insufficient anymore, but it's something and has been making the rounds again. I offered seats in my last training workshop of the year at over 80% off the sticker price (hit reply if you missed that and want to join). I've put a new article out on navigating raises and promotions in UX content roles, because the more everyone else is getting paid and recognized for content work, the better it is for all of us.
I left Button feeling good about the future of UX content, broadly speaking, and I still do. It's getting more sophisticated, and people are, generally, putting up with a lot less shit. And encouraging others to put up with less shit, which is good because I felt a little alone in that one for a while. This enthusiasm might sound at odds with my prior observations, but I think it's more that the design job market is whack everywhere and that happens to include UX content. If it seems like your network is full of UX content people struggling to find work, consider the possibility that your network is primarily UX content people, and that people everywhere are looking for work now. Certainly more than when when all of the companies that have had their downfalls documented in prestige TV dramas or streaming movies were still growing. (The Dropout and WeCrashed are both really great, by the way.)
I'm still underemployed but persevering, and plan to continue being independent in 2024. I'll be offering most of my workshops again, albeit in slightly different formats, and several new ones not previously available to the public, like Communicating Change, Designing Friendly Experiences, and Writing as Rewriting. I'm also in the process of overhauling the Content Career Accelerator landing page to reflect what it will actually be in 2024: a guided individual program that you can start at any time, ongoing coaching and feedback, and a growing online community. I've got it all written up already in an informal way, so if you're interested, hit reply and I can send you the details.
I'd be remiss not to highlight my last two workshops of the year, which are happening quite soon:
Content Strategy Fundamentals | November 11 & 18 | $325. This is a School of Visual Concepts workshop, and we could still use one or two more registrants to make it viable for all involved. Great level-setting workshop for anyone new to UX content and trying to navigate all of the vocabulary, sub-disciplines, and toolsets.
I'll probably write again once more before year's end, and then perhaps more regularly in the new year. Hope you're doing well. Write back and say hi, if you'd like, or if I can help with anything.
Until next time,