My Growth - Aspirations to Build the Best Design Team - Andrzej Jagielski, Head of Product Design

I am a value-driven person and a designer at heart. I love the design process and all its benefits while being obsessed with the value it brings to the company. I guess that is what makes me a good fit for the Head of Product Design role here at Tidio. I had experience working with large-scale enterprise clients before I took a leap into the startup world over a year ago, and I have been in awe ever since.

What does "Grow with Tidio" mean to you?

I reached a point in my life where I had to make a tough decision about what comes next - should I stay in a comfortable setting and slow down my learning curve, or take a huge step out of my comfort zone and join the startup world? I was still too hungry for knowledge and growth, so I took the risk, and it was worth it!

At Tidio, I feel challenged almost every day and learn something new. However, what "Grow with Tidio" means to me is the feedback culture. My colleagues are very open and honest with their thoughts, so I can rely on them to push me toward new and better solutions. They bring their perspective, expand my knowledge, and help me redefine some of the previous concepts, which I believe is crucial.

Tidio offers a variety of growth initiatives. Which workshops and training sessions have you found particularly useful so far?

One of the growth initiatives I remember well was Leader Labs. Leaders at Tidio have a unique opportunity to participate in a series of workshops that cover the most important elements of their roles. The topics covered were both interesting and broad. We received practical training on how to conduct effective one-on-one conversations and how to deal with difficult situations. We also received strategic training on how to define and communicate a vision to the team.

While some topics were covered by outside experts, others were introduced by fellow Tidio employees. I loved this! It was a great opportunity for me to get to know my colleagues better, and I felt inspired to work with experts who knew the Tidio context so well. The training was filled with practical examples and real-life situations that I could easily empathize with.

What are your career goals, and how is Tidio helping you achieve them?

Throughout my career as a specialist, I have been very pragmatic and focused on achieving my goals. When I switched to a managerial path, I wanted to shape the design direction across a larger organization. Joining Tidio was a chance for me to fulfill this dream.

So what's next? My goals now are more aligned with the company's goals and those for my team. I want Tidio to grow, remain innovative, and most importantly, I want every single one of my team members to grow. I aspire to build the best design team in this part of the world. Tidio provides me with the autonomy, flexibility, and support I need to reach these goals.

What does your typical week working at Tidio look like?

With the pace of work, I can hardly call any of my weeks typical! However, I do have some rituals and routines that I try to accommodate weekly.

First, I build my entire week around two of the most important sessions:

  • Every Monday morning, I start the week with weekly planning. I try to understand my biggest priority for the week and think of one thing that I must do this week, no matter what. Apart from this big goal, I try to see what meetings are coming up in the week ahead and create mini agendas for every day to keep myself focused. I also plan focus time during the week, during which I try to squeeze in two 2-hour-long sessions for deep work.
  • I wrap up the week on Friday with a weekly retrospective. This is a way for me to reflect on what I’ve been able to achieve. Was my big goal completed? Did it bring the impact I expected it to bring? Are there any things I could have done better this week? It is equally important for me to reflect on the things that went well. It's a way for me to appreciate the work I do and the Tidioers around me. This could be some bigger achievements, such as successful workshops or releases, or smaller ones, such as great conversations I’ve had or positive feedback I was able to give or receive. It’s my way to practice gratitude.

The time in between those sessions is usually filled with meetings with the Design Team, Product Managers, CPO, or colleagues outside of the Product organization. I always try to put some time in my calendar to empathize with Tidio customers, whether it be through a meeting, joining a call, reading through research, or transcripts from sales calls. It’s super important for me to stay close to those for whom we build our product.

At Tidio, we can work 100% remotely, and we also have access to our two offices in Szczecin and Warsaw, as well as coworking spaces all over the world. What is your favorite way of working?

For over 5 years now, I have been working remotely from the comfort of my living room. However, I make an effort to visit one (or both!) of the Tidio offices every quarter. Building relationships with other Tidio employees is crucial to me, and I believe it helps me to perform better in my role.

Occasionally, I will go on short workations to support my passions. Outside of working hours, I enjoy outdoor bouldering, so I prefer to work in a location close to good climbing crags, allowing me to hop on a quick evening session when possible.

Any tips for someone looking to get into a career like yours?

If you are looking to get into a managerial role, I believe there are a few tips I could share that were crucial in my journey to where I am now:

  • Be a team player. No matter how hard you work, together, you can achieve more. Teamwork is a skill that requires practice, so the sooner you start, the better you'll become at it.
  • Use every opportunity to work with people outside of your field. Being a manager is very much about connecting the dots between different projects, stakeholders, roles, and interests and trying to find patterns between them. The more you know about what others in the company do, the easier it will be for you to understand how your work is connected (and everyone is connected in some way!).
  • Learn to trust others and yourself. Managers are often stretched thin across multiple projects, conversations, and contexts but very rarely are actually able to work on the deliverables. You need to trust others that they will deliver against the project goals and believe in your judgment as well to ensure you can help them.

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