UX Career Coaching

Is your UX career still in the design stage?


Mary speaking at New Relic HQ in Portland, OR.

Maybe you’ve always been a user experience designer. Or maybe you’ve only come to it recently after a career in design, marketing, or another related field.

Either way, you’re sure you want to “do” UX.

But interviewers (when they contact you) tell you that you don’t have what they need. Recruiters or businesses say, “Thanks, but we’ve gone with someone more experienced.”

How can you convince them to give you a chance?

Level up with a proven UX mentor

I’m Mary Shaw. I’ve spent over two decades working with Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized businesses and startups—both as an employee and as a UX consultant.

I’ve taught courses, mentored students, written guest posts and appeared on UX podcasts. And I’ve helped hundreds of people land their next UX job or freelance opportunity.

  • If you’re tired of striking out in interviews or losing bids to other freelancers…
  • If you’re fed up with settling for less than you’re worth…
  • And yes, if your career is still stuck in the design stage—but you don’t know how to move it into “production”…

Then my UX Career Coaching program might be right for you.

Advice you can take to the bank

I’ve helped students get their first UX jobs, career-changers transition with ease, and Senior UXers become Directors. I’ve also helped freelance UX designers get bigger and better contracts.

Here’s where some of them are working right now:









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I can help you get the UX work you’re itching to do too.

Here’s what just a few of my now-happily-working clients have to say:

Client testimonials:

Ellen Lazaretti

“Mary is a truly gifted UX career coach! I reached out for guidance after feeling stuck in my job search in a highly competitive market. I’d spent months continuously working very hard, but felt like I was just spinning my wheels. She quickly helped me get moving in the right direction, and I’m happy to say I was recently offered an Interaction Designer role! I look forward to continuing to work together in the future!”

– Ellen Lazaretti, UX Designer at The Home Depot + Austin UXPA board member


“I was looking for some help making a difficult transition in my UX career. I did tons of research, and when I found Mary, I thought that maybe I had finally found what I’d been looking for. So I signed up… and all I can say is that the work we did together was life-changing. I seriously do not know of a better deal out there. Mary has got it ALL: deep experience in UX. Deep empathy for whatever stage of a UX career you may be in. AMAZING advice, wisdom, and values. And maybe most importantly, at least for some of us – actual, serious life coaching skills.”

– Anna Smalley, UX Lead


“Working with Mary pushed me a lot and helped me to grow both personally and professionally as a UX Designer.

She helps me reflect on my steps, provides a different point of view and shares her experience which often sparks new ideas and thoughts on how to progress. I enjoy our sessions immensely and am happy to see the changes that are happening in my approach and way of thinking.

Thank you for all your support, Mary!”

– Frauke Seewald, UX Designer and Researcher, Vancouver


As a solo lead product designer, Mary provided me with immense external design mentorship. She helped me work through my career goals, up my design presentation skills, and refine my case studies. Mary is knowledgable, articulate, and kind – felt like I was talking with an old friend 🙂 I look forward to working with her in the future as I build out my design career and as a mentor with a wealth of experience.” 

– Mel Smith, Product Designer at UCSF Health

Erika Milanova
“Thank you for being such an incredible mentor and supporting me on this journey. I’ll be back soon, and I can’t wait to continue growing and learning with your guidance.”

– Erika Milanova, Product Designer at Blue dot

“I was fortunate to have Mary as my Mentor while I explored opportunities to join the UX field. She generously shared her insight from her many years of experience in UX during our discussions. Her open-mindedness was very encouraging and she always found time to help me out when I got stuck. I would highly recommend Mary for any mentoring role because of the positive impact she has had on my career and personal life.”

– Luis G. Valencia, Lead UX Specialist at Ipsos North America

“Mary was an amazing mentor and guide for me. She was detail oriented and gave very good explanations on my work. Without her help and guidance, I wouldn’t have completed my career change from sales to UX designer, and I really appreciate all the wisdom I’ve gained from her.”

– Dhiren Patel, Product Designer at CVS Health

“Mary helped me prepare my interviews at big tech companies, and with her help, I managed to snag my dream job. Her coaching style in two words: empathetic and insightful. I could tell she was invested in the process, and she used her veteran experience in the field to guide me through UI designer interviews, providing actionable feedback throughout. My only regret is that I didn’t find her earlier in the interview cycle!”

Ryan P., Product Designer

Here’s how you can benefit from my UX Career Coaching program:

  • Review your career goals and objectives, with “straight talk” on whether your plans are achievable or unrealistic—and what you can do to tilt the balance in your favor
  • Have an “in-the-trenches” UX expert examine your portfolio the way a client or employer would, looking for areas where you can better demonstrate your strengths
  • Review and discuss interview strategies that could make the difference between you getting the gig and you going home
  • Help you find companies or clients to target—and give you the tools you need to go after “the big ones”
  • Create a customized “go-forward” plan to help you stand out in the marketplace—and experience success instead of disappointment when it’s “you and the other guys”

Is My Coaching Program Right For You? 

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about my services as a UX career coach—and find out today whether my career coaching services could help you in the future.