Product management is an exciting career path. It’s a fairly new and technical field being recognized by more colleges, universities, and businesses every day.
There are a number of ways to start a career in product management and find a position that works for you depending on your education and previous work experience.
Here are a few steps that you can start taking today to start your product manager career path:
You can’t become a Product Manager in a day… Realistically you cant become anything in a day. To pursue a career in a field, you first need to learn or at least know enough about it.
So the 1st step is to do as much research as possible.
Read as much as you can about the topic online, follow a few blogs, follow product managers that work for big companies on social media, read a book about it, look at the different types of job postings online, etc.
Search up terms like “Introduction to product management”, “Product management jobs”, “Product management salary”, etc. You’ll get to know so much about the industry and the different types of roles in it.
Here are some books that you can read:
- Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
- The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
Here are a few blogs:
Speak To One
Ask if any of your friends or ask your relatives if they know any product managers. Try to get in touch with one, you’ll learn so much about the product manager career path when you directly speak to someone who is a product manager.
You’ll get a complete introduction to product management from them. You’ll learn about the struggles that they face on a day-to-day basis and you’ll understand if it’s something that you even like or not.
You can ask them so many questions, like:
- How did you get started?
- How did you get to where you are?
- What would be the easiest way to get started?
Who knows, if you display enough enthusiasm & knowledge, they might even hire you. This is why “Research” is such an important step before pursuing anything.
And because you aren’t actually in an interview with them... You can openly ask for candid advice and they would be happy to share.
Experiment / Internships
If you don’t have a job then you should start looking for a product management internship as soon as possible.
You have to remember that you’re just a beginner in this field. A company will only hire you when they see the enthusiasm in you because you might not necessarily have any product management relevant skills. (Don’t expect much pay either, do it mainly for the experience… Especially if you’re just a fresher)
If you already have a job then you can start taking up more PM responsibilities. Start experimenting, no one hates an employee you likes to take an initiative. (given that you complete your actual duties first)
Take an initiative, learn from other product managers at your company, shadow them, see if they need help with something & finally, try to put a few ideas out there.
Do these things for a few months and your higher-ups will start recognizing your efforts. You can even tell them that it’s a role that you would be interested in getting so that whenever there is an opening for it, you’ll be in the back of their minds.
This won’t always be the case, and sometimes your efforts won’t be recognized as fast. But at least you’ll gain some experience in the shoes of a product manager.
Within the world of product management, there are many different directions you can choose to go in. Your experience will vary depending on the types of products you work on and the types of companies you work with. But no matter what, these three first steps should help you figure out if this career is right for you and hopefully ignite your passion for it!
Start Thinking like a Product Manager
No doubt, if you’re being interviewed by a somewhat decent company, in the first or second round you will get questions like, “What is your favourite product to use?” & “How would you improve that product?”
So do yourself a favour now and start thinking in this mindset all day, every day, especially if you want a career in product management. When you use something that was so easy that you didn’t think about it, take a moment to appreciate that! And think about how hard it probably was for that product team to deliver something so beautifully simple.
Start thinking about what makes a product actually so good? Think about the target markets that it is for, Think about the design, Think about the problem that it solves, etc
Starting to view your world with this mindset will help you start thinking like a product manager before you land your very first job. The more you embed this into your mind, the more passionate you’ll start becoming about the subject.
If you follow these 4 steps in this order then you’ll be able to start your career in product management in about 6 months or 1 year.
Product management is a very lucrative industry and it’s still developing. More and more companies are starting to incorporate product managers into their team and this career path will only keep growing!
If you need more help learning about product management then we also have a microlearning course just for Rs.50 (For a Limited Time)
So if you want to save the time that you'll spend navigating the internet and looking for reliable resources to learn product management, then this course is perfect for you.
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- Mentoring Directly from Industry Experts
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You can check it out here: Product Management Certification Course
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