Product management — How do I get in?
This is an article I wrote back in 2017. As difficult as it is to look back at my own writing, I think there are valuable lessons here to be learnt.
I’ve been asked throughout the years, How did I start my career in product management, How did I know this was the path for me and most importantly, How to get a piece of the action?
Last year, I had a talk with my good friend and appreciated professional Bar Schwarz, on this exact topic. It was part of a Women in Tech meetup and it was a lot of fun. In order to spread the word, and get more people on board, I decided to write a short article with the highlights of my insights and hopefully it will be helpful for others as well.
I won’t start from a long background story, just a bit of pinpoints that brought me to the position I’m at now:
I worked in the marketing department of a small online tech company, as months went by, I got more and more responsibilities and paved my way to 2 major positions: Head of the Marketing department and Head of the Art department. The way from there was pretty much set, I had full responsibility of the product, the roadmap, appearance and everything that had to do with managing teams in the office and abroad.
One of the most important conclusions that can already be made is simple, you can get to product management from any position that is related to the product with hard work, strong learning capabilities and bucket loads of motivation.
When dissecting the reasoning for me to move from a Marketing-Art position to a purely product position, I’ve had several points of motivation. The most important of them all was my need to be part of the product, its future and be hands on with every little detail about it. I wanted not only to manage things from a high level, but actually get my hands dirty with requirements. Talking with customers, clients and communicating with leading figures within and outside of the company was also a big part.
Remember, when you’re a product manager, your job isn’t flat. It’s not a 2D job that you begin and finish every day in the same spot. The job description and the tasks you perform daily are very fluid and you need to be a flexible professional, feel comfortable with change. These are part of the qualities I believe are essential for a good product manager.
So how did I end up in FinTech after working in Gaming? Pretty simple, I’m flexible. I see each product as a challenge on its own. I see opportunities where others see problems. Keeping an eye on the objectives and building a plan to reach it is also a very big part of my internal works of motivation.
If you’ve been reading this and thinking to yourself “Hey! This sounds freaking awesome! How do I get a piece of the action?” There are many ways to Rome but I’ll share the first and foremost important of them all, educate yourself.
Getting information, learning, improving, and going back to learn more. There are plenty of product related groups, chats and meetups going on, all the time, everywhere. Start mingling, talking to people and reading articles. There are also several really good podcasts that I like listening to that might be beneficial to others (I must state I have no connection to these people, I just like listening to them), one that I really like is called: Agile for humans. Another place that is great for reading endlessly is Quora, just type in one of these keywords and you’ll open up to a whole world of information: Product management, Agile, Scrum, Kanban, these are only a few, but I’m sure once you start you’ll be sucked in.
Let me know if you liked this article in the comments below, I might just continue writing a few more in the future.