In the spirit of graduation season, we asked CX professionals for their best tips and advice for those seeking a career in CX.
According to The Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum, analytical thinking and innovation are two of the main skills that will be in demand by 2022. What skills do you already have and what skills need developing? Read on to discover career guidance from CX professionals.
Demonstrate ambition and dream big
“Dare to dream big. Especially right after graduation you may feel you lack the skills to apply for the job of your dreams. Don’t let uncertainty or insecurity refrain you from sending out that application.
Many modern tech companies prefer a growth mindset over experience, especially among young applicants. You can always learn necessary skills at work, if you demonstrate ambition. Even if you don’t end up getting the job, you may get a chance to practice your interviewing skills.”
- Alexander Heinle, Marketing Manager, ZAGE
Anything is possible
“Be patient and realistic. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible in this industry. Building up your experience, even at a lower-level position, opens up new doors and allows you to grow and expand your career.”
- Thomas Bradbury, Technical Director, GetSongkey
Gain experience dealing with customers
“For a career in CX, you need to have good experience dealing with customers that you can get only through interacting with customers. So, find a sales job, whether it’s in a BPO company where you’ll be doing outbound calls to sell your product or in a retail store where you’ll be learning how to greet an unpleasant customer while controlling your pulse at the same time. Take such jobs as a learning path and not an earning course, and then [hopefully], you’ll be offered a great opportunity in a leading company after completion of your graduation.”
- M. Ammar Shahid, Digital Marketing Executive, SuperHeroCorp
Differentiate yourself within your resume
“Ensure your resume differentiates you. Be sure to list not only the technologies you know, but also the outcomes of the projects or work you have done in terms of the business benefit. Always include a measure or metric.
The next thing a potential employer will do after putting your resume on the ‘has potential’ pile is search for your name. Make sure when you Google your name that all photos, quotes, comments are appropriate. Secondly, create a LinkedIn profile because LinkedIn profiles are [likely] the first result that comes up when you search a name. Your LinkedIn profile gives you a second opportunity to market your skills to your employer. Make sure your profile matches your resume and add skills. Get recommendations and skill endorsements by giving recommendations and skill endorsements to the people you know.”
- Jesse Tutt, CEO, Gotta Sleep
“My number one piece of advice for those looking to start their career in CX is to start on your own. You don’t need a job to build a website and start figuring out how to make visitors happy. Build a blog or create a how-to video for YouTube and work on the experience. Pay attention to what others are doing and borrow what works. Try different things out. Make mistakes. Make a lot of mistakes. The lessons you learn from those mistakes are what will make you valuable to employers.”
- Brian Coughlin, Digital Experience Designer, Hear It, LLC
Take classes and gather credentials
“Now is a great time to gather certifications, which can really set you apart along with your relationships. Online courses abound, and you should focus on the ones that culminate in a certification.”
- Steve Cooper, CEO, Next Up Solutions
See the world as a creative place
“For new grads, it’s important to develop a UX/CX mindset. This means developing an awareness for how well products and tools operate, not just in the context of projects or work-related usability or design.
For example, that desk with the crossbar you bang your knee on every time you use it. Why is the radio in your dad’s car so hard to operate? Why are the screens on sliding glass doors always hard to open/close? Once you see the world as a creative place, full of things that were created by people, you can then also see limitless opportunities for assessing your own CX and how usable/not usable everyday items are and why. Then the world around you becomes a lot more interesting!”
- Andrew Hinkelman, Leadership Coach & Consultant, Priority-1 Group
“One of the most important skills, if not the most important skill when going into CX, is empathy. Why? Because you’re the first point of contact and a representation of the company. My best advice would be to listen and be curious. Everyone wants to feel heard, understood, and supported. By staying calm and asking the right questions, you can understand the reasoning behind any issue, find the best plan of action to support who you’re helping, and identify insights to improve the customer experience. No matter the situation, put yourself in the shoes of the customer and practice empathy.”
- Cynthia Orduña, Career Coach, Orduna Communications
Express non-technical skills
“While certain technical skills and experiences including market research, data analytics, and technology acumen can be helpful for CX professionals, they are also skills that can be acquired relatively easily.
Rather, I find that there are a handful of non-technical skills that have been more impactful on my career: empathy, high emotional intelligence, the ability and desire to collaborate, and a strong level of curiosity. When you marry these skills with a strong business and financial acumen, you have a recipe for a CX professional capable of identifying and solving real business problems which will lead to better — and more profitable — customer experiences.”
- Stacy Bolger, VP of Global Employee Experience, InMoment
Interested in learning more? Check out the following:
- Career Pathways for Customer Experience Professionals
- Gen Z Career Tips: Exceed Expectations in Your CX Role
- SmarterCX.com Presents ‘Advice for Future Customer Experience Leaders’ Series