Justin Zalewski - Solo to Squad: How freelancing prepares you for agency life
Wondering if becoming a freelancer can lead to success in your career? Justin Zalewski shares his insights on how to set yourself up for long-term success by diving into the world of freelancing. He discusses how freelancing can help you unlock your superpower in product design by expanding your experience and network. This is a fantastic interview whether you're just starting or looking to take your career to the next level.
In episode 45 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Justin Zalewski, Director of Product Design & Strategy at Studio Science, a design and innovation agency that exists to help smart businesses deliver experiences that work better.
During our talk, Justin shares his experience building a successful freelance business, offers advice on breaking into the UX space, and gives advice on building and leading a design team at an agency.
In this article, we will focus on advice from Justin on setting yourself up for a successful product design career from the start!
Justin originally started in graphic design, leading him to web design and then product design. He built a successful freelance career that landed him a full-time role at Studio Science! When Justin started at Studio Science, he was initially a Senior Interaction Designer. He worked his way into a Lead Design role and has spent the last five years building and strengthening the design team as the Product Design and Strategy Director. In this episode, he shares his advice on getting a strong start in your product design career!
“One of the things that I've had success with and found valuable is to deliver beyond what you're asked for.”
“What we really need now is people that are able to cut through the clutter, make sense of the chaos, and find ways to progress forward. That's something that we as designers, no matter what kind of design you're doing, we approach things with that design mindset. That design mindset prepares us well.”
Thank you, Justin, for sharing your incredible knowledge on the Product Design podcast! Your advice on actions to take as people break into product design, how to grow a freelance business, and how building connections now can pay off later was fantastic! By following your advice, our audience can position themselves for a successful career in product design.
Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes Justin’s advice on building and leading a successful design team, including advice on when to step in and correct a team versus letting the team learn through their experience. Remember to follow Justin on Twitter, Linkedin, and his website to see what he is up to!
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