The importance of design to the culture at Meta is something I haven’t seen anywhere else. Design critiques and events, mentoring, building tools and prototypes, sharing knowledge between different design teams—these are all central to Meta’s culture. And the reach that you have as a designer here is essentially unparalleled. This year alone, I have worked on Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, Ads Manager and Commerce Manager, across mobile and desktop. One of the privileges that we have as designers at Meta, especially as we become more senior, is that we're able to make connections and deliver work across multiple technologies, multiple markets and multiple surfaces globally. It’s something that not many people get to do elsewhere.
I’ve also had the opportunity to move between managing teams and designing as an IC, which is really valuable. When I had been at Meta for two years and worked on a lot of different products, I felt like the next step in my growth was to develop coaching and managing skills, work on processes and learn to have impact through other people. I moved to a management role for about two and a half years and developed new skills that helped me feel confident acting as a manager and mentor to my team. Eventually, I started to miss being close to the actual product design process and getting in the weeds of creating design solutions. I had the opportunity to move to the Meta financial technologies product group, which was a new challenge for me, so I jumped on it. I'm a better IC now that I have experience as a manager. I’d be happy to switch from IC to manager every few years to keep things interesting and to keep learning.
Designers often think that because Meta is such a large organization, they’re not going to have an impact on the product, the design solution or the strategy. They assume all of that gets handed down from above, but I always tell people that it's actually very much the opposite—it is expected of you as a senior IC to lead strategy and high-level product design and direction, and you're given every opportunity to do it. A lot of my career growth has come from working with my team to take a project in a new direction.
Fintech is still a very new space, and in a lot of our design work, there are no established solutions, historical insights or examples to learn from. Working on new technologies like digital collectibles presents design challenges we are solving for the first time. We’re in uncharted territory. That can be a little bit scary, but the places where no one has the answers yet are the places where you have an opportunity to have a substantial impact. We have the chance to set the bar for the rest of the industry with the decisions we make and the products that we create.