Allora Collective

How I got here…

My journey starts from my earliest childhood memories roaming around the farm I grew up. This was the ultimate freedom I never knew I had until I went into the work-force after varsity. I’ve since then been on the pursuit of that freedom I had as a child playing around the animals and open spaces.

After receiving my degree in Socio-Informatics in 2011 I started out as a software developer – at this stage I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career but I did knew this much: I hated the commute to the office, the 8 – 5 “stuck in a office”, distractions and lack of focus and productivity. Dreading Sunday evenings and counting down hours till it’s time to go home and get home tired didn’t seem like the life that’s meant for me.

During my first job I went to Thailand for 3 months to work with the founder and that was my first taste that there’s another way of living. In 2014 I was working with Google’s Voice Recognition team and one of the employees mentioned UX. A lot of research happened during those first months. There weren’t any user experience design courses in South Africa and at that stage I worked full-time and learned online during weekends and after work. Soon after I joined a remote agency while working full-time to gain practical knowledge and experience.

Then in 2016, I took on a full-time role as a designer and was working for 3 agencies remotely. Soon after that a recruiter reached out to me to work in Cape Town at a financial business. This was a big jump for me as it was office based but I needed to work as part of a bigger team as a designer to gain more experience. In 2019 personal events in my life made me re-adjust my view on life and I left for a remote role at a digital health startup, I soon came to understand that I was burning out and heading to a serious crash.

That’s when I realised that I need to get my life back. 2019 I focused on to pursuing my own happiness. I started my own design business Ten Slash One, helping new designers work on real projects & build their portfolio, mentoring at CareerFoundry, RookieUp, IDF(Interaction Design Foundation) speaking at events on Life Design at UX South Africa, InfoSession on How to Design your Design Career for the International Certification UX course from the Institute of Product Leadership, writing about UX and remote life, teaching and developing the course – Design Management and Leadership at Institute of Product Leadership, coaching and making things usable as a designer.

Looking back I’ve been in the tech industry for 10 years and worked in various industries from big, medium and small businesses. Throughout my career, I find the journey more interesting than the “end-destination”. I am insanely passionate about growth, career fulfilment, habits and productivity. Life led me to inspire and motivate and that’s what I’m meant to do – this is my freedom.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” Anne Sweeney

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