Product | Career

Product Career Insights and Tips

Titles in product roles are not as important as you think-

Say, if you are Sr. PM in your present organisation, you may end up having the role of PM in other organisations while switching, according to their organizational hierarchy.

So titles don’t matter much. You should focus on where and what you want to work and learn.

How reporting hierarchy works in Product Management -

One Product Lead can be the single point of reporting or there could be different PMs at different levels as you in the flow diagram.

Role of Principal Product Manager -

They just work as an individual contributor and don’t involve in managing teams.

Approach to first 90 days of switching to a PM role -

  • Don’t go and just suggest changes.
    Understand the context, ask the tough questions, what’s the product for, what value is, what customers are saying, and so on.
    Try to get the context as much as possible
  • Access the product completely, from step 1 to the last step.
    Write everything down, whatever makes sense for you and whatever doesn’t
  • Once you understand the context and the product, expand your network, and talk to teams around you

Now go to the first day, and again look with fresh eyes.

Product Management role and myths around it -

MYTH#1
It’s been said that the PM role is a mix of all these three (as shown in the Venn diagram below)

But it actually depends on the organisation to organisation and role to role as well.

Suppose you may be working only on the Growth aspect of PM, you will be majorly dealing with Customers and Business and Technical PM is more focused on Technical & Customer and so on.

MYTH#2
Product managers set the vision, and strategies and create roadmaps.

Entry-level PMs may be focused more on execution and Sr. level may be more on strategizing things.
Still, it may vary from organisation to organisation.

Flavours of PM roles -

Which product companies and products do you want to work for?

B2B vs B2C -

Say you chose Google,
Now, which product in the company -

You may want to work in the consumer space, Google maps. But it’s not sure if you get a role as PM at Google, you will get to work on Google Maps. You could be working on any of its products right?

So it's not always about the company, there is a lot more depth in choosing a PM role and its responsibilities than you just see in a job opening title.

Startups vs Corporate

Understanding the tradeoffs.

Corporations will offer better work-life balance than startups.
Also, startups are good for learning trajectories.

It’s hard to do something on the side with startups as they already have very tight work schedules. That’s why people prefer corporate jobs and do side hustles as well.

Not everything is about having the perfect background or experience.

Keep the confidence and zeal to work on problems, solve case study rounds, try participating in product-based cohorts and put them in your portfolio.

Patience is must required.

Plan a side project if you didn’t end up with a good PM job even after 2–3 switches and try showcasing the same in interviews to fetch some good offers at good places.

Tip —
Don't talk about your projects as you did it to find the job in the first place
Do it as if you find some problem and you just tried to solve it.

If you are highly experienced and looking for a lateral change in PM roles -

Try for startups who are just started as they value your expertise in their domain more than the PM experience they need. Sooner you will get along with the PM domain to try elsewhere.

Special thanks to TPF and Diego Granados.

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Pranav Bansal

Pranav Bansal

Highly curious generalist with a bag full of ideas!