I started my career as a Graphic Designer over 20 years ago and have been in the industry ever since. I'm now considered a UX/UI designer and developer. My advice:
- Learn how to draw
You'll be surprised how many transferrable skills you will develop by simply becoming adept at illustrating. Learning how to paint will also be a great help.
- Immerse yourself
To learn the difference between a 'good' bottle of wine and a 'bad' one, you need to drink a lot of wine. The same applies for design and UX - develop a 'good eye' by frequenting award sites and interfaces that have been recognized as the best. Then ask yourself 'what makes them good?'
- Learn empathy
The single greatest asset a UX designer can have (IMO) is the ability to look at things from another person's perspective. Understand the differences between how you look at things and how your audience looks at them. Also understand why.
- Toughen your skin
You'll often find yourself arguing why your ideas are the right ones and just as often, they will be overruled by someone else (esp. if you are working for someone or in a team). Try not to take rejection personally.
- Back up your decisions
Use cold hard facts and data to support your decisions - it will remove some of the subjective arguments you could encounter. Understand 'best practices' and understand *why* they are a best practice.