Conversation with NYC Google UX Designer Leecy Li ( Part One)
Leecy finds her true meaning and value as a UX designer, which combines her passion for technology and design to produce a product /service that improves quality of people's lives. She followed her inner voice, making a significant jump from quitting her job in Motorola in Beijing to study at Parsons, eventually landing her feet in Google as a UX designer in NY. Carrying the nature of empathy and sympathy, she has already possessed one key trait of preparing herself to thrive in her industry. Being empathetic conditions her to put users' needs into her centre of design thinking in the creative process. She considers herself a designer, which is a bit more practical role (focusing on others' needs) versus an artist who is more self-expression in their artwork. But in either way, both designer and artist serve the same purpose of connecting people. She further pointed out being collaborative /telling a good story also plays a crucial role in unlocking potential of doing this job. Her faith deeply touches me that the next generation will be born with higher emotional intelligence and more empathy. It's lucky to have a designer like Leecy, who is on a mission with a vision to bridging Tech and Design to build a better-connected world.
She also shared her current life chapter at entering her 30s. Looking back to her bitter-sweet life journey, she is growing into a wiser person with abundant self-love and self-compassion who got life stories to tell. She is no longer aiming for external validation or anxious to be successful. She is now shining in her unique and authentic way. I was truly empowered when she said she is now comfortable with the fact that life comes with ups and downs /twists and turns. 'Bring it on' isn't just her brave statement towards greater hurdles or challenges on the way but also her enthusiasm and curiosity towards life possibilities. She shared 'at my age, I truly want to provide myself to be a free person by protecting my own time, my own money, and my own decisions'. She is taking full ownership of making her life decisions, nurturing herself to be a strong woman, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
We also dig into the topic “confidence”. Our upbringing from an Asian family tends to instill the mindset of ‘not enough' in us. Its impact extends into our adult life. We are driven by becoming better, so we often self-reflect on what we are not good at or not do well. Leecy shared some practical tips such as 'writing down what we have achieved or others' complements, which becomes accumulated moments of reminding us “how amazing we are” instead of being over self-critical. Also, we should give permission of 'not being perfect' to ourselves, which enables us to be more insightful to see other's highlights and strengths. We should also not play 'problem-terminator' role. It means we should not always blame ourselves when things go wrong ( sometimes, it’s not our problem).
Leecy further addressed that as a minority living in a foreign country, being assertive means being authentic yourself from appearance outside to your voice inside. I am also truly related to her about improving confidence underneath through keeping working and pushing. She shared that "just genuinely believe you can make it then you can". Regardless of results, the effort you put in always made you stronger! This powerful and conscious statement projects on my own motto: Sometimes, I may still carry fear and doubts, not confident, but I will not let it stand in my way of moving forward!
I want to end this episode with what Leecy said "the world is big enough to hold my dream, I never thought this could happen, but life always surprise us in the most impossible way. That's why it's so amazing! The best is yet to come!