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User experience life expectancy

Disruption is a popular term in both the StartUp community as well as the enterprise. Commonly, the term is used to refer ones competitive advantage being turned on its head by a new entrant in the market or an innovation completely eliminating the market entirely. Think kodak vs digital cameras or Netflix vs Blockbuster.

I started thinking about what does disruption mean in terms of life of an organization and the individuals individual that work their. Historically, large companies had a life span of 30-40 on average. Given that an individual lives around 75 years, she can expect to be required to find new work 2-3 times during her life time.  I recently came across an article that in our current uncertain world, the corporate lifespan has dropped into the ballpark of 10 years. This means our average employee will now need to reboot her career 7-8 times in her lifetime if she picks a healthy organization every time.

As someone who is concerned about the proper care and feeding of User Experience professionals, this information made me sober up to the need to take ownership of my role in making sure people are prepared to succed in this volatile reality.  On the plus side, UX’ers are no different than any other  knowledge worker, their tools reside between their ears so there skills are as portable as they are. The challenge here, as UX leaders, is to provide access to new skills, new career paths, and new networks for our community. We also need to learn the skills to inspire our teams to understand the world as it is today and underscore the urgency to take control over their working lives.

This is one of the goals of this site and I learn more, I plan to share my learning and hopefully attract liked minded UX leaders. If you are in the Denver, Colorado area, I encourage you to join our meetup Experience Leaders to share your experience and grow our discipline.

Photo Credit: Rana Usman

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