Natasha
Salleh

UX Design Lead, Google Pay

“Always show up - even on the days you don't feel like it. In the grand scheme of things, knowing that you had put in the slightest effort and created some sort of result is way better than not knowing what could have been. Some days are going to be difficult, but you just have to pull through and do what needs to be done.”

Success to me is being able to earn a good living through passion. Though honestly, as much as it is about career growth, success is also being able to embrace the deeper intention of doing User Experience (UX) – that we are constantly working towards improving people’s lives and well-being through experience and technology.
It’s actually my dad. During the transition to tertiary education back in 2002, I wanted to design, and go into either architecture or film, which my parents found almost blasphemous. My parents wanted me to go through the academic route and go to college but I refused. After much persuasion, my dad kinda caved in and casually said, “OK, then make sure that you do like IT or something cos that’s the future.” Boy, was he right?! I ended up in Digital Media Design studying Interactive Media and never regretted once about the path I took till today.
Unfortunately even with my years of experience, I still find it hard to get my foot in the door just because I don’t have a degree. Sometimes my applications get dismissed because the HR team would usually look at having a degree as a minimum. I feel like I have to go the extra mile to prove my value, especially when I’m switching jobs.

Especially for a senior or management position, some companies still rely on paper qualifications to make a judgement of your capabilities and inadvertently discount the years of experience that you have accumulated.
Honestly, so far, it has been all right. I do receive some unsolicited opinions sometimes about the way I dress and my outspokenness. I feel like what is important is for you to treat everyone how you want to be treated, and that is with equal transparency and vulnerability.

Like I said earlier, my challenge mainly comes from the fact that I don’t have a degree. Even when I’m in the job, I still need to actually prove myself. But over the years as I took on more projects, my resume and portfolio started to speak for itself.
Always show up – even on the days you don’t feel like it. In the grand scheme of things, knowing that you had put in the slightest effort and created some sort of result is way better than not knowing what could have been. Some days are going to be difficult, but you just have to pull through and do what needs to be done.
I’d probably want to land being a CXO somewhere and speaking at a TED Talk – that’ll be sick!