What qualifies as work experience?

I was super excited to get a phone screen with a placement agency this week.  Finally a chance to test my new resume and get some feedback on my experience!  I’ve been taking every opportunity to put myself out there and now was my chance.  

I could tell almost immediately that I wasn’t going to be the fit they were looking for.   Not because of the fact that I couldn’t do the job but I heard the inflection of the recruiters voice change when I said I was self taught.  


The feedback I was given was that my background was amazing and they loved my blog but the company wanted someone who had “on the job” experience.  

This is baffling to me.  I’m not sure why my company that is a registered LLC with the state of Colorado doesn’t qualify as work experience.  I have sourced my own clients, completed work and have the proof and testimonials to back it up.  

I hate telling anyone how to do their job, but this is the problem I have with recruiters.  Why did they not do any of this research on their own before contacting me?  If you go to my business site (listed as my employer on my resume) it’s clearly legit.  Also, I know you were on my LinkedIn  (because that’s where I applied) so you should have noticed that I have nothing listed for formal education that’s related to UX.  

I was told that the best course of action was to complete an immersive bootcamp (which would include me taking off 10 weeks from a paying job) and costing me almost $15,000!  

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE to learn.  I’m currently enrolled in an online bootcamp for UX PLUS in the past 6 months I have completed 10 certifications to gain more specific knowledge and really drill down on every aspect from research to testing to sketching and rapid prototyping.   

What’s Next?

Since this is something that I want to do no matter what I keep moving forward!  It’s always the answer.  I know that I don’t have much UX based work in my portfolio but that is about to change.  

This call prompted me to get the framework together for my new, improved portfolio coming January 2019.  It’s also makde me focus on this site.  I’ve been so busy working on things for other people that my site wasn’t representing me anymore.  

I do love that I have both my site and Pete’s to show the evolution of my design growth.  Nothing is a waste of time but so much of the work I did my first two years are just extras now and nothing that I’;ll be using.  But without those projects I wouldn’t be able to understand front end development the way I do.  

I can always learn more skills and find more sample projects on Udemy or YouTube, I guess