30 Questions to Determine if the Product Manager Job is Right For You

30 Questions to Determine if PM is Right For You

This is a guest post that was originally published by Stephanie Oh on StephOhSays.

Are you considering a career in Product Management, but feeling lost as to how you’re supposed to gauge whether or not the role would be a good fit for you?

Several people have asked me for advice on the topic, so before you jump into taking a pricey Product Management course — and for everyone who may not have a “PM friend of a friend” to ask for advice — here’s a list of 30 questions to ask yourself first. Answer them as honestly as possible, and by the end you should have a much better idea as to whether or not you’d be a good fit for a role in Product Management.

In a ‘former life’, were you:

1. That kid who did whatever it took to help your group finish a school project and get an A? Continue Reading

Should You Become a Product Manager?

Should You Become a Product Manager?

A lot of our readers have been asking for advice on whether or not product management is the career for them. I thought I’d first lay out a few points about common misconceptions/buzzkills of the PM role as well as qualities I’ve seen in great product managers.

Misconceptions/Buzzkills of Product Management:

1) I’ll be the mini-CEO of a product!

Let’s get one thing straight. You are not a CEO (at least not yet!). As a Product Manager, you’re going to have to learn to throw away any ego and remember that you own the failures while your team owns the successes.

 The best teams work well because everyone feels ownership over the product and it is your job to gain the credibility to guide your team towards a certain product vision or strategy. Continue Reading

Top 3 Skills to be a Great Product Manager

product manager skillsWhen I first started in product management, I had no idea what I was doing. I had just barely managed to land the job and now that I had gotten my foot in the door, I wasn’t sure what skills I needed to contribute tangible value to the team. Through the past year, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve managed to synthesize what I believe are the top 3 skillsets you should develop to be a great product manager.

1) Empathy

I’m a firm believer that you cannot succeed in this field if you do not have the capacity to understand the emotions of others around you. As a product manager, you simply deal with too many different stakeholders and having the empathy to understand everyone’s motives will allow you to cut through the noise, make the right trade-offs, and set a clear vision for your product. Continue Reading

How to Get a Job as a Product Manager

How to Get a Product Manager Job

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. We’ve compiled some advice on how to circumvent that Catch 22 coming from outside of the industry:

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