From High Fashion to High Fidelity — My first 4 weeks at Elephants Can Dance.
Making a career switch can be a daunting task. After spending over a decade establishing myself in a notoriously competitive industry, I decided to pivot and move from fashion design to UX/UI design. While it was a mammoth change, I couldn't have asked for a better entry into this new world than by joining Elephants Can Dance.
Here are the highlights from my first month.
Highlight One: ECD's Designer Bootcamp 🐘
What immediately impressed me about Elephants Can Dance was the agency's structured approach to onboarding. I was put through a 4 week bootcamp covering design thinking, technology and ECD's 'ways of working'. It was the first time I'd been formally introduced to Design Systems, and it made me realise that I've only just scratched the surface of Figma! While the bootcamp is still a work in progress, ECD is on its way to having a well-oiled system for welcoming new designers.
Highlight Two: Growth Mindset 🧠
Elephants are renowned for their remarkable memory, intelligence and capacity for lifelong learning. This spirit animal perfectly encapsulates the essence of the team at ECD and everyone's commitment to learning and growing. In my third week, the design team all voluntarily attended the 'Friends of Figma' event at the Atlassian office after working hours. Later that week, we also booked out the board room to live stream the WDX (Web & Digital Experience) Conference, which was dedicated to all things UX and digital in the Australian tech and start-up space. It's been delightful to learn new skills and insights while also bonding with the team over a shared experience.
Highlight Three: A Culture of Fun and Enjoyment 🎉
Elephants Can Dance has created an environment that is both productive and enjoyable to work in. The company's culture is grounded in a growth mindset, a foundation of trust and fun. ECD has a hybrid work model and early finishes on a Friday, which allows for greater work-life balance. This setup sounds like the bare minimum in our post-pandemic world – but believe me, it isn't the case in every work environment! We're kept accountable with regular stand-up meetings but given the autonomy to do our work throughout the day. ECD is part of a vibrant co-working space near the Sydney Harbour Bridge, so the views make coming into the office worthwhile. We've also bonded with lunchtime run clubs over the bridge!
The structured support at ECD has been invaluable as I navigate this career transition. You develop thick skin when you get thrown into the deep end, but you also come to appreciate a nurturing work environment when it comes along. It's been a delight to work with a team that fosters a growth mindset, open communication, constructive feedback, and accountability while also valuing work-life balance and personal development. I feel fortunate to have found my tribe and couldn't be happier.
Jen, UX/UI Designer