The ironic consequence of focusing on empathy for years, with the intention of measuring the results of being more empathetic, is that it becomes a reflex, not an effort. A routine, not a special trait. A non-issue, rather than something enlightening to discuss.
Two questions I get a lot are “how do I get some experience as a beginner?” and “how can I practice UX without a client?” Here are two suggestions, based on your experience. The “advanced” task is at the bottom.