How to Get a Job as a Product Manager

Finding your first job as a product manager is just like the ever frustrating chicken and egg problem of getting your first job. Companies like to hire people with prior product management experience and it’s hard to get prior experience without first getting hired. Here is some of our best advice (compiled from years of speaking to candidates trying to break into the industry as well as from our own successful experiences) around landing a job as a product manager.

Things You Should Do Immediately

Side Projects:

One of the best ways to demonstrate your interest in product management is to work on a side project that gives you the experience in shipping a product. A side project could be anything from a tangible iPhone app, wireframe, or even powerpoint case study. You could volunteer to help a non-profit or small business or you could just do some research on a company’s current product / service and show how you might improve it. Continue Reading

Day In the Life of a Product Manager

Day in the Life of a Product Manager

The role of a product manager tends to vary heavily depending on product lifecycle and stage of the company. Due to this variability, there is a wide range of day-to-day activities, but ultimately a product manager is still responsible for doing whatever it takes to collaborate with multiple teams and move different conversations towards closure.

Below, we’ve provided two examples of day-to-day activities for 2 different PM roles:

Consumer Tech PM

8:00AM: Wake up and check the Outlook mail app on my phone to make sure there aren’t any high priority issues that popped up overnight. Immediately after, I usually check my company’s Slack to see if I got any new direct messages from anyone that need to be immediately addressed. Continue Reading

What is a Product Manager?

What is a Product ManagerAs a product manager in San Francisco, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been at a bar, been asked what I do, and then hear the follow-up question “Wait… you do what? What’s a product manager?” When I first started answering that question, I would stutter, throw out some nonsense jargon like “cross-functional teams,” and “customer advocate” and receive a blank stare from whomever I was talking to. Since then, I’ve spent a lot more time learning even more about all the facets of being a product manager.

The role of a product manager really differs from every company and lifecycle of a product but in general:

A product manager helps to guide a team in discovering and developing the right product for users.

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