Looking for support in your conversation design journey? Here’s where to get it.

Hillary Black
6 min readJan 26, 2023

Making a career change, navigating a job search and just generally existing as an employee today can feel very overwhelming and lonely. Luckily, the conversation design community is filled with the most open, welcoming and giving people I’ve ever experienced working in tech.

I’m often asked where people should go if they’re trying to break into the industry, who they should talk to or how they can get advice, so I wanted to create a helpful roundup of places you can find the support you’re looking for.

Interview, Resume and Portfolio Guidance

If you’ve been searching for a job for awhile or were recently laid off and hoping to polish up your resume and portfolio to land your next role, there are a lot of places you can find mentorship, feedback and ideas to improve your chances at landing an interview.

ADPlist

Completely free mentorship from experts in many different careers — including conversation design! There are 5 conversation design mentors on ADPlist, and thousands of others with specialties like resume review, managing burnout, changing roles, negotiating job offers and more! Browse mentors and group sessions here.

Skills Exchange Linkedin Group

This group was created by Hilary Cluett and myself after our Resume Review workshop in December (more in that below). UX Designers, Conversation Designers and writers have all joined together in a Linkedin group to give helpful feedback, exchange skills and collaborate on resumes and portfolios. It’s completely free to join, and posting and giving feedback is very welcome.

FAANG Path

Want to work at a FAANG company (Facebook/Meta, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google)? This community can help you get there! Their site contains free resources, like who’s hiring and job search tools, and free and paid community and mentorship. You can also get your Linkedin and Resume professionally reviewed by people with experience hiring at FAANG companies! Check out FAANG Path.

Resume Review Q&A Replay

This Q&A with Conversation Designer Julia Anderson and UX Designer and Career Coach Hilary Cluett includes resume tips and live resume reviews! We get very detailed on how to format your resume, what teams are looking for and how to get your foot in the door when applying for roles.

Portfolio Tips Q&A Replay

This Q&A with Elaine Anzaldo and Millani Jayasingkam has many tips and practical examples for creating a conversation design portfolio, whether you have experience or not.

Where to Get Started in Your Career

You might be saying “I’m not quite ready to create a portfolio and apply, I don’t even know where to start!” Well, there’s resources for that, too. Whether you’re looking for a jumping-off point, success stories or reviews of conversation design courses, I’ve got you covered.

Conversation Designers Internet Club

My Facebook community of conversation designers has grown to over 2500 members, from aspiring to experienced conversation designers. There have been many, many conversations about breaking into the field, course reviews, and other helpful resources for new designers. Once you’re inside, you’ll also find a very helpful File with all of my recommended resources and content.

Conversation Design Mentorship Community

This is a newer community on Luma that I started alongside monthly live group coaching calls, but it’s also a place to ask questions and find resources related to conversation design + career. Inside you’ll find a Library of all of our previous calls (with the topics we covered detailed out) and other recommended content. You can also post, chat or comment with anything else you’d like to know.

Finding Your First Job as a Conversation Designer

This Q&A with Allys and Leigh from Techire is all focused around finding your first job, something that may feel out of reach as a conversation designer with no experience. We’re here to let you know…you can do it!

Domain Expertise, Improving Your CxD skills and Breaking Through Challenges

If you’re already working in the field and looking for more specific conversation design support, whether that is domain knowledge and expertise, thoughts on the latest technology and new frameworks, ways to build a successful team, or coaching to advance your career beyond “conversation designer,” you have options. Previously, I offered 1-on-1 career coaching through UX Content Collective, but I will be taking a few months off from taking on any more coaching clients. Of course, I don’t want to leave you hanging, so there are a few other places you can go now to get that support.

1-on-1 Coaching with Maaike Groenwege

Maaike from Convocat has generously offered to coach conversation designers who are already working in the field and have deeper challenges they’d like to break through in conversation design or NLU while I’m away on leave. She’s truly an expert with a wealth of knowledge on language and linguistics, NLU and conversation design, and will be a great resource for you or your entire team. If you’re interested in being coached by Maaike, reach out to her directly on her website.

Convoclub

And speaking of Maaike’s insights, you can also learn a LOT from her online community Convoclub. They have regular discourse on topics like NLU, ChatGPT, sound design and other expert sessions, plus there’s meetups, free video courses and more. My favorite thing about Convoclub is the environment, it’s super positive and helpful and just a generally great place to be. 10/10 recommend joining!

Women in Voice

The many global chapters of Women in Voice are a treasure trove of expert insights and support. Whether you want to connect, hear from people working in the voice industry, attend a meetup or find resources, WiV is the place to go. A can’t-miss is their Mentorship Matchup, an annual program that connects women of all career levels with other professionals for 1-on-1 meetings (the deadline to apply is Feb 14!), and the WiV Summit, a global virtual and in person conference that covers a wide range of domain-specific and career topics.

Starting a Business and Freelancing

Maybe working for someone else isn’t what your goals are. If you’ve ever considered freelancing or starting a business, I recommend these two resources to everyone!

SCORE

SCORE is the largest network of volunteer expert business mentors who are dedicated to helping people get their business off the ground. In fact, back in 2017 a mentor I had from SCORE became one of my first clients for my new business! On SCORE’s website you can find mentors, but also get resources, access workshops and templates for starting up your business like marketing plans, budgets and business plans. Even better, everything is free!

SBA

The SBA (US Small Business Administration) is a super helpful resource for starting up and growing your own business. Similar to SCORE, on the SBA website you can access templates and resources for creating a business plan, information about getting licensed and registered, and access to many funding programs and grants for new businesses. Whether you want to freelance or launch your own startup, it’s very helpful to create a plan and research all of your options. You may find money, guidance or referrals hiding in plain sight!

I hope you find all of these resources helpful as you navigate your career journey, no matter where you currently are on the path. Many of these places have been invaluable to me in my own career, and if anything, it’s nice to find places where you feel a bit less alone! Have you found a resource you really love that I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!

Until next time ✌️

Hillary Black

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Hillary Black

✨🎀 Head of CxD and Marketing at Mav, Founder of ConversationDesignerJobs.com, Host of Conversation Designers Internet Club. More Resources: www.hillary.black