Since he was at school, Daniel knew that design was his thing - his future profession. However, he had to wait more than 10 years, change 6 jobs, including wire fence knitting, melding, locksmithing, and bartending, before he could turn his old hobby into a career. He made a 180-degree career transition to UX/UI design with the help of the Telerik Academy Upskill UX/UI program. Read his inspirational story.
When he was 14 years old, Daniel won his first design competition. Today, he is a UX/UI Designer at Finovation.
But his journey wasn’t as easy and straightforward, as it may sound. In the span of a little more than a decade, Daniel went through 6 professions, including wire fence knitting, melding, locksmithing, and bartending, and a few unsuccessful interviews for a design role.
Although he had successful freelance projects under his belt, he wasn’t able to kickstart his full-time design career.
“I went to a couple of interviews. Sadly, nothing came out of them. I needed to change something - I was either not perceived as a real fit for the job, or they thought I didn’t have the proper preparation and experience. I wasn’t investing enough time in it,” shares Daniel.
Investing in yourself
The change for Daniel started with one Facebook post.
“Georgi Linkov, who was my trainer in another course at the time, posted something about the Telerik Academy Upskill UX/UI Design program
where he was a guest lecturer. He wrote that if you want to know how to do proper UX/UI from scratch, you must sign for the Telerik Academy’s program right now.”
And that’s exactly what Daniel did. He saw this as an opportunity to build practical knowledge and to have an industry-recognized certificate to back up his skills.
He had to invest in himself if he wanted to turn his design hobby into a successful profession. Something he was dreaming of since high school.
“When I was a kid, the forums were the only place to find resources and useful feedback to help you improve your skills,” shares Daniel, adding that because of a forum he won his first website redesign contest when he was 14 years old, landing his first job as a freelance designer for the organizers.
“I was sure this is a great job, I am enjoying it, and I will chase that career no matter what.”
And the Telerik Academy Upskill UX/UI Design program
turned out to be a crucial part of the chase.
Valuable skills and meaningful connections
According to Daniel, the most valuable part of the training was the possibility to work in a team and to build a real-world project from a scratch.
“The teamwork was amazing! We were split into groups, and we had to build a real-world product as a team. We had to learn how to think, work, and struggle together,“ recalls Daniel.
Besides the teamwork, Daniel stresses on the importance of learning methodically and building a project from scratch, by going through each step under the mentorship of leading professionals.
“You start from a short brief. In the first phase, you master different methods and tools to create the whole product experience - research, studies, etc. After that, you build the whole information architecture, based on different qualitative and quantitative data to understand your users and to learn how to find and solve their problems,” explains Daniel.
More than a career
During the course, Daniel invested every free minute he had to learn, test, explore, and ideate. He shares that it wasn’t easy. He used to finish his job as a bartender at 6 am, and then work on two freelance website projects, and his course assignments.
But it was all worth it.
Two months after graduating from Telerik Academy Upskill UX/UI Design
, Daniel started his professional career as a UX/UI designer at Finovation.
He achieved his dream, and even something more.
“Thanks to the Academy, I met with amazing people and worked with great teams on a variety of freelance projects. I started a local community for Figma in Bulgaria, where I am organizing free events. I’ve started a Medium blog for design
, and I have plans for a YouTube tutorial channel.”
Furthermore, Daniel’s project about an environment-centered sustainable ecosystem of products that work together to solve the human-wildlife conflict in the small settlement won United Nations’ Global Goal Jam, Plovdiv, 2020.
Would you recommend the Upskill UX/UI Design program?
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I advise everyone who is interested in design and wants to kick-start a career to sign-up for the Upskill UX/UI Design program.
You will learn from industry-known gurus, who will teach you the best practices of building user experiences and visual designs. They will be your mentors, helping you land your dream job. You will meet amazing people and work with them, sharing ideas and improving yourselves together.”
You can check some of Dani’s work, including his course project here
, as well as his Behance
Ready to kickstart your UX/UI Design career? Join Telerik Academy Upskill UX/UI Design
and become a well-rounded professional. Admission ends on Feb 7.