The Minimalist Career Changer

How to Build Case Studies, Nail Interviews, and Land Your First Product Design Job in Minimum Time

Non-Fiction - Occupational
79 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite

The Minimalist Career Changer: How to Build Case Studies, Nail Interviews, and Land Your First Product Design Job in Minimum Time by Xinran Ma is a no-nonsense, impeccably designed, and plain-speaking how-to book that delivers exactly what it promises—a step-by-step, detailed plan to lay the groundwork for switching your career to product design. While The Minimalist Career Changer is ideal for jumpstarting the reader’s efforts to land a position in the highly competitive field of product design, the tips and tools that Xinran Ma offers are useful for anyone wanting to be better organized and more productive. Ma’s steps are clearly outlined and easy to follow, even for someone outside the profession. One especially valuable perk: rather than waiting until the end of the text to barrage and potentially overwhelm readers with additional resources, Ma groups them by topic, in small doses, at the end of each chapter. This approach is very much in line with one of Ma’s directives: group larger tasks into manageable steps.

Every page of Xinran Ma’s The Minimalist Career Changer has invaluable gifts for those brave enough to attempt real change. Each chapter begins with a relevant quote from seasoned experts in their respective fields. The effect feels like a cheering section and spurs the reader to continue with an optimistic point of view. Xinran Ma’s writing style is conversational and direct—he is a master of clear communication, espoused eloquently and succinctly in this powerful guidebook. The Minimalist Career Changer will, no doubt, quickly prove indispensable for readers in all stages of seeking positive change, in or out of the world of product design.

Pikasho Deka

Do you feel stuck in your current job and have limited time to spend on a career change? Are you thinking of delving into product design? According to author Xinran Ma, most people struggle to break into product design, not because of their lack of skills but their mindsets. Work backward, land a job faster, plan for the next project, chunk tasks, pause and reflect. A former mid-career architect, Xinran Ma became a senior product designer after listening to the advice and insights of thirty mentors from different platforms, leading to a change in the portfolio and case study presentation. With The Minimalist Career Changer, the author will help you initiate a real-world project to work on and provides you with step-by-step guidelines for building a case study, showing how case studies are presented in interviews.

The Minimalist Career Changer: How to Build Case Studies, Nail Interviews, and Land Your First Product Design Job in Minimum Time will give you the tools to build a good portfolio and resume that impresses interviewers and lands you your ideal job. Stop wasting time being stuck in a job doing something you don't want and go after your dream job. Xinran Ma uses personal experience and knowledge acquired from these leadership mentors to offer valuable insights on career change and product design to help you make a smooth transition and thrive as a product designer. What does the interview process entail? What does your personal brand signify? Get the answers to these questions and more with The Minimalist Career Changer, a handy little guidebook for any career-driven professional. All in all, I found this to be a thoroughly informative and motivational read.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

The Minimalist Career Changer opens with Xinran Ma’s devastating rejection after he’d progressed through several rounds of interviews with the company that he most desired. Determined to change fields, he gathered information from several professionals in product design. Ma used that knowledge to write a book to inform others about switching careers, even when they don’t have a lot of time to devote to it. The author imparts ideas for networking and building professional contacts, shares successes and failures, and communicates ideas on how to find real-life projects and establish a personal brand. The author asks questions to help readers find answers applicable to their situation and provides opportunities to enrich their knowledge after each chapter.

Xinran Ma presents a guide to landing a product design position straightforwardly and efficiently. Due to increased growth and competitiveness, Ma encourages readers to move into the product design field quickly. The author guides his readers through the importance of visuals expertly, developing a good presentation base, and the importance of making an impact. He includes the best way to present yourself on LinkedIn and how to get relevant feedback. While discussing what you can expect and supplying a detailed look at each step in the process, Ma challenges potential candidates to review every possible angle. The author provides a useful roadmap to link the information and assess the most important points. He outlines how to present a winning case study and apply for the right position. The Minimalist Career Changer is a highly informative book for working adults who want to find a way into product design in the fastest, most efficient way.