How to Progress to Head of Design Management

How to Progress to Head of Design Management

 26 Mar 2019

    Design Manager

As a specialist recruiter of Design Managers, a question we get asked often by Senior Design Managers is how do I progress to running my own design management team?

Competition is intense at this level with opportunities being rare to find, often only occurring when someone retires, so its an interesting question, what can you do to stand out against competition to secure this promotion?

In this blog we spoke to a head of design management professional who has run their own design management team at several leading main contractors to explore further this topic and based on their own experiences on what helped them progress we identified the following tips to help you stand out and step up to this promotion:


  • Seek experience in a range of project sectors. Tick off as many sectors as possible to be able highlight a wide project portfolio and experience to draw upon.


  • Master experience in both tender stage and live works design management. Front end experience tends to be most important at this level. So is often a must before you can make that next step.


  • Client facing skills must be well tuned. For more advice on improving this skillset, check out our blog on client facing tips.


  • You need to be thick skinned, when you are running a department you are accountable for other people and need to boost morale when things are not going well.


  • Be a problem solver, you must be able to shows examples of where you have used your initiative and found solutions. When you are leading the team there is nobody else for you to turn to. Keep a track of your accomplishments on previous projects that you can later discuss on a job interview.


  • Evidence of previous people management skills,this is essential as key aspects of the role are being able to lead, communicate with and motivate a team. So, you need to seek out any opportunity to lead and mentor more junior team members so you can demonstrate this as an example on an interview.


  • Provide references from key members of other departments and superiors to support your potential in advancing to this role.


Good luck in the meantime with your progression to running your own team, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we would be delighted to assist with your job search and identify key senior appointment opportunities for you.

For more info on this topic also feel free to check out our blog on Top Tips to Running a Design Management team.


Want to learn more about us at Talk Recruitment Ltd? 

Talk Recruitment Ltd is a specialist recruiter of Design Managers UK-Wide and would be delighted to assist you with your job search by introducing you to our client portfolio.

For more career advice or to apply for Design Manager vacancies contact Talk Recruitment Ltd on 0121 748 1433 to discuss further.

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