Get randomly matched with another Slack channel member each month to build your network and bounce around ideas.
Next pairing: March 4, 2019
Lots of us are new to certain aspects of UX but probably have heaps to offer in other areas, even if we don’t realise it. To take advantage of this, UX Mastery is experimenting with randomly pairing interested members of our Slack community.
Join the #peer-mentoring-march channel in our Slack community and our @donut bot will automatically pair you up with a new friend at the beginning of each round.
UX Mastery doesn’t have any way of gathering data or preferences so we don’t know your levels of experience or areas of expertise, but we don’t think that actually matters: you’ll either have clearly different expertise levels, in which case a natural mentor/mentee relationship will form, or you’ll be similar but possibly have strengths in different areas so can both support each other. Worse case scenario, you get to make a new friend. It is most helpful to look at this as sharing experiences and knowledge rather than a pure mentor/mentee relationship.
It is up to you to reach out to your pairing and make contact and set the boundaries around when, how and how much you communicate.
If it doesn’t work out, or you both feel you got what you needed from the pairing by the end of the month, stay in the channel and you’ll be repaired at the next round.
At the end of each round we’ll ask for your feedback so we can refine how this works. If this turns out to be really popular and valuable to the community then we may potentially look at custom development of something more sophisticated!
Thanks for taking part and helping us refine the initiative.
What people are saying:
@deb – I feel I got lucky with this pairing. Plus, I personally feel I can learn something from just about anyone. I think of “mentorship” as a shell or mindset for learning in a more meaningful way; not so much “what can you do for me”.
@Dan Zlotnikov – To me, peer mentorship is still mentorship. Unless you got so incredibly perfectly matched up that both parties have an identical skill set, there will be areas you can mentor and others where you can be mentored.
@qhansa – I’m so glad that I’ve been paired with a mentor from the US while I’m from Indonesia. She’s a UX Researcher and coincidently I wanted to know more about this field. Although we’ve 13 hours difference, we still can communicate by video.
@Ruthellison – I’m enjoying it – my paired person has different skill sets to me so I’m learning from my partner.
@Candicodeit – I’ve only talked to my pair once but it’s a perfect match. She also started out as a front end developer and is currently a UX Strategist. I’m on a similar path so I can’t wait to hear how she transitioned.
@Frankenvision – I think this is a great icebreaker for getting to know designers in the UX community.
@Maxangenius – I think its really cool. First and foremost I am getting to know a new person which in itself is awesome. My pairing , we are in different parts of our lives, ages and roles in our work. We have discussed everything from career to work to life values. I think just the idea of having someone as a sounding board is great!
@Umar – Im enjoying our pairing for sure. We found that we are both better off sharing insights from our experience in the field as opposed to one being the mentor and one being the mentee. It really helps understanding the UX position across different fields and countries
@Caitlin – I’ve had a great experience so far! The person I’m paired with has knowledge in an area of the industry I’d like to get into to. And I also have experience in an area of the industry this person hasn’t been exposed to. So we’re coming to it as a mutual exchange of information which has been really awesome!
Frequently asked questions:
- How do I participate? Simply sign up to our Slack group and join the #peer-mentoring-march channel. Our #donut bot will automatically pair you when we start the next round.
- How are pairings made? The idea is that two people will be paired up and will likely have very different skills and levels of experience. Ideally you can learn from each other but if your first match isn’t great (e.g. you are both brand new and need support from someone more experienced) then you can agree to walk away and wait for the next pairing.
- How long is each round of peer mentoring? At the moment we’re running the pairings for 1 month. This may change in future depending on the feedback we get.
- Do you choose to be a mentor or mentee, or is that random too? Pairings and the roles you’ll play aren’t set by us. That is something you’ll need to work out with your partner. We believe you’ll both have the ability to mentor each other in separate areas.
- If I get paired with a mentee but really want a mentor, can I double dip? Nope, afraid not. You’d need to wait until the next auto-pairing and there isn’t a way to be more selective. It’s a bit binary…
- Where do I find the notification about this round’s pairing? Look in your ‘Direct Messages’ in the left sidebar of Slack. You should see a history including our matching engine @donut as well as your new partner.
- How do I know who is the mentor and who is the mentee? The idea isn’t that someone is the mentor and someone is the mentee though. I have no way of knowing your experience levels. The idea is that either it is obvious, or that you both have strengths and can learn from each other.
- How long should I wait for a response from my pair? – Sometimes people don’t receive notifications or get busy. If you haven’t heard from your pair after a day or two, get in touch with us and we’ll repair you with someone else.
- I’ve just joined and the last pairing was yesterday/last week. Have I missed out? You have missed this pairing unfortunately and will need to wait until the next round. That said, if we know of someone else that isn’t paired or that hasn’t heard back from their pair yet, we can sometimes jump in to pair you manually. Get in touch so we can help.
- If it’s not for me, can I opt out? Yes. If you don’t want to be a part of the program, all you have to do is let your partner know and leave the #peer-mentoring-march channel.
- I’m happy with my partner and don’t want to be re-matched in future. Can we stay locked together? If it works out brilliantly you make a natural connection with someone and want to continue the relationship, leaving this channel will ensure that you’re not repaired. It’s really up to each of you to decide what works best.
- What should we do and say — is there a specific structure we should follow? Not necessarily. We recommend you get to know each other, work out where your relative strengths and aspiring qualities are, and see how you can best help each other. Lot of people share what they are working on, give feedback on each others portfolios or CVs, share interesting resources with each other. If this mentorship idea takes off we’ll refine along those lines by adding features to the pairing calculator.
- What should I do if my partner leaves after we have been matched? Let one of the moderators know – @lukcha or @hawk – and they will arrange for a new pairing.
- How do I ask my pair a question without revealing sensitive data? Early on in your pairing, establish the ground rules and agree on boundaries and confidentiality. If you still feel like you need to be careful, use terms like X, Y & Z for options and keep specifics vague.