Julie Zhuo is Facebook's former VP of product design, a thought leader, and a successful author. Product design has been central to every step in her career so far, and she now spends her time consulting and advising other firms on their product management approach. She considers herself a designer, engineer, product manager, researcher, and analyst.
During her 13 years at Facebook, Julie helped scale the platform to serve 2 billion users and worked on some of its most important products.
After leaving Facebook, she was an advisor for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and a board member for National Novel Writing Month. In 2020 she co-founded Inspirit — a product advisory firm — and became the chief of creator stories for PicsArt Inc.
Despite being utterly dedicated to product design and management, Zhuo has also found time to write and publish the Wall Street Journal bestseller book The Making of a Manager.
Julie Zhuo is known by the mainstream public as the author of the bestselling title The Making of a Manager. The book gives practical advice on how to grow as a manager and how to tackle managerial responsibilities and challenges. It’s a must-read for managers within the product world and beyond.
Of course, Julie is also regarded as a stellar product designer by those in the know. Her contributions to Facebook's news feed, stories, groups, videos, commerce, and Workplace mean her reputation precedes her in many organizations. With her growing notoriety, there’s no doubt her recent advisory venture, Inspirit, will be a success.
Zhuo is also an active keynote speaker and writer; she’s had various articles published in the Harvard Business Review and in notable design publications, too.
Julie Zhuo thinks there's no set-in-stone roadmap for getting promoted. In fact, she believes that luck plays a crucial role in advancing in your career.
That said, Julie agrees that a few key behaviors will help get you noticed.
First, push for the ideas you believe in — even when existing workflows seem against them. Just be cautious and continuously ask for feedback as you fight against the grain.
Secondly, Julie encourages everybody to network; to be open and honest in their desire to achieve promotion. Actively looking for opportunities is the first step towards reaching one.
Thirdly, awareness regarding the amount of work and experience needed to get promoted is beneficial and grounding. Even your biggest idols started low and built their way up.
And last, but definitely not least, self-awareness; knowing if, and when, you’re ready for a bigger challenge. If you're prepared to step out of the "tell me what to do" zone, to be accountable and proactive, you're probably there.
Julie Zhuo is a prolific and talented writer who loves to share her experience in the form of essays, articles, and even books.
Her field guide for new managers, The Making of a Manager, is probably the best resource if you want to learn more about Julie's work philosophy.