How to Break into Product Management

Photo by Ono Kosuki on Pexels.com

Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s often used in the context of acts of service intended to foster peace, inspiration, and inclusion around the world. If you’re struggling to get hired as a product manager, this is also relevant for you!

I love this quote because I think it can be applied to other aspects of life such as your career. If you want to be a better communicator, start journaling every day. If you want to become better at using data, start capturing data points for the work you are doing, whatever that looks like for you. If you want to be a product manager, start acting like a product manager even if you don’t have a PM job. 

Let me repeat that so it really sinks in.

If you want to be a product manager, start acting like a product manager.

Still with me? Great! So many people are struggling to land their first PM job. I get it because I’ve been there, too. It’s not easy, especially when you don’t have the experience companies are looking for. However, you can start thinking and acting like a product manager right now and that will change your mindset, your personal vibration that you put into the world, and, ultimately, your employment status. 

Here’s how you can start acting like a product manager!

Look for ways to add value

Regardless of the job you have now, or even if you’re unemployed, always examine things around you with the idea of how to make them better. And don’t be afraid to voice your ideas to others. By always analyzing how to do things better, you’ll unlock opportunities and people will perceive you as striving to make an impact.

Be curious

Develop curiosity like a muscle because it’s a skill that gets better the more you do it. The next time you’re buying coffee, look at the point of sale system being used. Are you able to pay quickly and without friction? If not, what would you do to change the experience? Look at things around you and think about how they’re made. Think about how you would improve them.

Treat your resume like a product

By using standard questions that a PM would normally ask while working on a new product, you’ll not only improve your resume but also demonstrate your ability to communicate in a clear and concise way, to design something that’s user-friendly and to be detail-focused and data-oriented. An example is “who is my audience?” Put yourself in the shoes of your ‘customer/audience’ and think about what their needs are before you craft your resume.

If you need more tips on creating an effective Product Manager resume, click here for my free guide

Create something from scratch

When you’re a product manager, you are often required to create something from the tiniest seed of an idea. To be a good product manager, you have to be comfortable working from a blank slate. If you’re not comfortable creating something from scratch, step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Build a personal blog that showcases your skills and know-how. Draw or sketch every day. Anything that requires you to be creative without a template will help you become more comfortable creating something from scratch. 

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