Maker to Manager: What are the Challenges?

There are three key questions that everyone should cover before accepting the role as manager:

Maker to Manager

This week Cogs launched Cogs Crunch: Breaking the digital mould, a breakfast networking event in London. The aim of the initiative is to empower those working in digital, giving you the chance to listen to some leading speakers sharing their digital journeys and discussing the topics that you want to hear about.

For our first event we were thrilled to welcome Jane Austin, Head of UX at The Telegraph as our guest speaker, to discuss “What I wish I knew before I got promoted” and the transition from ‘doing to leading’ within a digital team.

Not matter what digital role you are in, being promoted is a huge achievement and being made a manager is something many people aspire to. However, what people fail to consider is the challenges that can come with a big career step. Jane discussed how to tackle this transition from “maker to manager” – something she was faced with when being promoted herself.  She explained that taking a promotion or managerial position was not something to take lightly, while the career progression and the opportunity for self growth is great, you must be prepared to give up the hands-on, creative side of your role. There are three key questions that everyone should cover before accepting the role as manager:

Is this really what you want?
How do you want to develop?
What will make you feel satisfied?

When your career takes a step in this direction to management level , Jane explained that you must be prepared to “suck” at your job.  Managing is totally different from designing or developing – it’s a brand new skill, which you have no experience in – but that is OK! Being a great manager is not something that happens overnight, it is a process involving self-discovery, empathy and understanding.  Jane, now at The Telegraph with a team of UX designers working for her shared her thoughts on what she believes makes a good manager:

* Listen and ask lots of questions
* Learn by experience
* Build a strong team around you
* Set yourself clear goals

“The leader who gives up control gains more power and influence than the one who keeps it.” David Marquet.

Jane’s talk was honest, refreshing and informative and got a room filled with 30 professionals working across the digital landscape, talking, laughing and plotting their next career move all before 10am.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jane Austin, for her support and participation in our very first event. Jane’s infectious personality and truthful stance on working in our industry, were both endearing and motivating and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event.

If you are feeling inspired by some of Jane’s advice to progress your career in digital or specifically UX, check out our opportunities in London today, or contact us for a chat to discuss your options.

To hear about the next Cogs Crunch Breakfast Event contact [email protected].


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