My Name Is Jon Eckert — This Is What I Achieve at Aha!
What is the best way to accelerate your career? Work in a high-growth company that challenges you and puts learning first. An unwavering motivation to continue improving and achieving is also key. The highest performers constantly pursue new ideas and seek to understand the experiences and motivations of the people around them. We can learn a lot from them.
Curiosity fuels growth — which is why we want to bring you personal stories of achievement from talented people. Our hope is that some of their ideas are useful and maybe even inspirational as you work to become your best.
Meet Jon Eckert — a group manager on the Aha! user experience (UX) team. He enjoys designing lovable products and supporting teammates along their career paths. Jon lives in Morgantown, Pennsylvania with his wife and daughters and enjoys reading, making music, and spending time with his family.
Read on to learn more about how he finds meaning and joy in his work — in his own words.
Which recent accomplishment at Aha! are you most proud of?
"A little over a year ago I had the opportunity to be part of the launch of a brand new product — Aha! Develop. I am still amazed by the massive team effort it took to build and ship such a powerful tool and I am really happy with how it turned out. There is nothing better than seeing engaged customers using software that you helped design. I am so proud of the talented team of designers, product managers, engineers, and product marketers who collaborated to launch Aha! Develop."
What energizes you about being a manager of a UX team?
"I really enjoy helping team members grow their careers. Over the years, I have had so many people help and guide me — it is really gratifying to give back and do everything I can to help give others the same guidance and opportunities that I had."
What have you done to help your teammates succeed?
"As a manager, my goal is to invest in the team — to help people learn and grow in their careers. Folks are more likely to do great work and stick around when they are happy, feel respected, and have the chance to work on challenging projects. I work to build trust across the team. This looks like encouraging ongoing education, assigning projects that stretch people, providing honest feedback, and showing that I care about them — not only as employees but also as people who have lives outside of work."
How should UX designers keep learning and increasing their knowledge?
"Stay hungry and humble. A strong drive to keep learning and growing is one of the most powerful ways to advance your career."
"Take an online course in UX research, prototyping, or coding. Think beyond UX, too. For example, I work on product development software — I became a certified scrum master to better understand the needs and goals of the people I design for. And if your team is anything like ours, you might also enjoy meeting regularly to discuss a book related to design and UX. If you can maintain this passion for learning, while staying humble along the way, you will have found a recipe for continued success."
What is the most surprising but useful career advice someone has given you?
"Early in my career, I experienced strong feelings of impostor syndrome. I can remember one specific conversation with a colleague who I admired. He admitted that he also experienced impostor syndrome. In fact, he said most people feel it at various points in their lives. This was a revelation to me. As soon as I realized that these feelings of self-doubt were a common part of the growth process it made it so much easier for me to rise above them. I now use those feelings as motivation to continue to learn, improve, and grow."
The What I Achieve series spotlights the achievements and contributions of the Aha! team. For insights into how we got here, read our Why I Joined posts.
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