Growing into design leadership roles

As UX designers mature and advance in their career, it’s natural to want more opportunities to be strategic and lead design teams. I’ve noticed, and this depends on the size of the organization, that opportunities are not as abundant as they are in other fields. This could be due to the maturity of the design practice at an org, budget constraints, etc.

With that said, how does one position themselves into a design leadership role? Are there enough opportunities out there for UX professionals looking for the next phase in their careers?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and would like to hear from the community.

What are you thinking of as Design Leadership? I see tons of Manager and Director roles for design. Are you thinking Chief Design Officer? I don’t see as many of those…

Hi @jdebari! I’m looking to transition from doing the designs, research, all the things to working on UX strategy and design operations. Has anyone in the community made this transition. If so, how did you do it?

Hi @gdnovey,

I honestly haven’t done project work in five years. One way to be more focused on strategy is to move up the corporate ladder to Manager, Director, etc. One you get to Director that’s mostly what you’ll be doing.

Another option (I don’t know your work situation) is to rebrand yourself as a UX Strategist, and consult for companies on UX Strategy. Not sure how much experience you have with it so could be some learning there. :grinning:

Hope that helps!