DESIGN MANAGER JOURNEY

Motivations & realities on the journey from lead to manager

group of people sit around a campfire talking in a forest at dusk
group of people sit around a campfire talking in a forest at dusk
photo by Tegan Mierle

I’ve been managing designers, design managers, and design teams for more than 10 years now. Unlike many people in my field moving into management was a purposeful and intentional decision. Many things make being a design manager an amazing and rewarding experience. The ability to see across many portfolios and projects simultaneously can be extremely impactful. Having the opportunity to help grow designers, support and steer their careers, help them grow in their roles, and improve their craft is one of the biggest joys of the job.

I decided to move from being a designer to a design manager when…


How to optimize your time (and calendar!) to be happier & more effective at work

illustration of human figure floating with geometric shapes and a laptop drifting away from them.
illustration of human figure floating with geometric shapes and a laptop drifting away from them.
‘blotter, illustration by Craftwork Design

Work is never-ending, there will always be more work, the second your finish one meeting, project, or task, there will be another waiting, and if there isn’t you’ll find one or make one up.

It took me years to get to where I am now with calendar management, and it’s not just about a set of practices and skills, it’s also about having the confidence to make rules and stick to them (for yourself, and for those booking your time!) …


DESIGN MANAGER JOURNEY

Self-assessments & promo statements that get results for you and your team.

illustration of two hands extending from computer screens making a high-five gesture
illustration of two hands extending from computer screens making a high-five gesture
Illustration by Oleg Shcherba

Why write self-assessments at all?

For many people, writing a self-assessment is part of their reoccurring performance review process, but did anyone ever actually teach you how to do it? Writing about your own accomplishments can be difficult for a multitude of reasons. You don’t remember all the things you did, you don’t know what was important and what wasn’t. It can feel uncomfortable for some people to talk about their own accomplishments too, especially when it comes to taking ownership of your parts of a project that many people collaborated on together. I want to make it easy for you to do just that…


DESIGN MANAGER JOURNEY

Growing your processes, not just your team

I’ve managed teams between 5 to over 50 people, grown teams from zero to 20 in less than a year, and manage project portfolios that were a single tightly related product with a small number of features to a monolith like Google Search with 7+ distinct product areas with tenuous if any interrelated products and overlaps. …

Jared Zimmerman

Design Leader · Photographer · RISD Alumni · jaredzimmerman.com

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