A product management career is an aspiration for many people. They want to start their career in product management because this niche has a good career scope. It is terrific to see professionals working very hard to become Product Managers. But with popularity comes noise and with the noise comes awful advice, and with the terrible advice comes the assurance of easy shortcuts. It’s not good at all to follow shortcuts in your career. But being one of the best and reputable product management consulting firms in the region, we have a different belief and concept of product management. Let’s understand it!
There are two aspects of product management: art & science. The art of product management matters more than its science for long-term success. The science of product management includes managing a backlog, writing KPIs, a PRD, growth metrics, market dynamics, analytical thinking, and others. On the other hand, the “art” gets released as soft skills, such as communication, leading without authority, empathy, storytelling, initiating difficult conversations, making decisions, dealing with ambiguity, inspiring people, and connecting deeply with the customers and their problems. If any Product Manager fails, it’s because of the art.
While starting your career in product management, you must grow your skills and don’t let them be dismissed as “soft skills .”Don’t get tempted by the promise of techniques and tactics. They are essential, but the real take is in the art. Below are a few things that you should focus on to succeed in your career and reach your goal of becoming a successful Product Manager.
- Fall in Love with Problems, Not Solutions: It is easy for a Product Manager to see a problem and snap a solution. But rather than loving the solution you offer, you should learn to love problems as they will help you find a steady stream of opportunities for innovation. You will get better, become open-minded, and let the problem guide your solution.
- Stay Updated With Trends: Being a part of technology trends can benefit you during your career. You must bet on trends, as betting on the right is like strapping yourself to a rocket ship.
- Getting Into Product Management Is Easier Than Becoming Product Manager In A Company: It is easier to get into product management inside the company, but it is challenging to reach you at the Product Manager position. It’s hard because a Product Management Company cannot afford to take a risk on any candidate until he/she gives confidence that they can actually do it. The growth is easier in an adjacent function like marketing, engineering, or business analysis. If you are skilled, the chances are high that companies might take a chance on you and welcome people pitching in new ways. If you really want to become a PM, you should start looking for ways to start PM’ing in your current role.
- Create Your CV With Future Vision: What do you aspire to become? Think forward and imagine what it would be like if you had that job. What is it like? Often, we dream about where we want to reach, but not what it will be like when we reach there. If you aim to be a CEO in 10 years, what will that be like? Have you ever thought about why you want to be the CEO? Do you really think you will love the job, or do you want it because everyone believes that you should go for it? Therefore, you must write your resume in 10 years and revise it frequently.
- Prioritize Brand & Growth In Your Early Career: When you are a part of a successful high-growth company, you will have highly knowledgeable and experienced people around you to learn from. You will get to experience outstanding growth and scale. This will lead to more opportunities and success.
- Avoid Forming Gaps Between You And Your Customers: Never let a gap build between you and your customers and you and your team – engineers and product designers. If you let the gap happen, you cannot succeed in product management, and you can never accomplish your dream of becoming a Product Manager.
- People Matter The Most: To succeed, you must choose your teams, projects, and companies based on people. A bad team can never help you, and weird products can succeed through the will and creativity of the team. Your leader matters too. If you have a terrible manager, it could be devastating, especially in the initial years of your career. Therefore, try to find a great manager, a strong product leader who can teach you, invest in your career, and have your back.
It might be tempting to look at the doors that might be closed for you and point to others even more privileged. But you have to open every closed door. The future of product development and management is dependent more on the tech industry, which is getting more diverse and inclusive. If you really want to succeed in product making, you need a diverse team and make them look at the world in the same way you do. Hold the door open for others behind you. It would be best to build a culture of inclusion, listen, be a friend, be willing to be vulnerable and uncomfortable, and produce diverse teams.