Skill Level Beginner
- Hey, everyone. So this is a section all about preparing for a job in product management in order to maximize your chances at getting a job. There's one big problem that's also kind of a benefit about being a product manager. The problem is that it's pretty hard to get the job at first because it requires prior experience but on the positive side, once you have that sort of experience or you've done it at least once, you have a lot of career security because everyone else has trouble getting that experience.
So it's really easy to switch jobs and get promoted and that sort of thing. There's also just a low number of really qualified product managers out there and the demand for them is really increasing lately. Unlike programming and computer science, there's no way to major in product management in college and say that you have prior experience from that. So how can you best position yourself to get the first associate product manager job or junior product manager job? What you really need to do is demonstrate that you understand the concept and role of a product manager thoroughly but just talking about product management is not enough to get a job.
You need to have the experiences to point to and discuss with people that are interviewing you. Alright, so where can we get these experiences? Well, we can find them in two major places, either in your current job or with a side project. In this lecture, we're going to talk about finding relevant experience in your current job and then we'll talk about a side project. Since what you do as a product manager is so broad and we just do so many things, I guarantee you that some sort of stuff you're doing at your current job is related to product management.
In other words, you're probably already doing it, you just don't know. Think about all of the stuff we've learned in this course so far and then think about the things that you do in your current job that involve these concepts. I'll give you some examples here so write down any experience that you have with the following. Number one, think about any time you've had multiple things to do either by yourself or with a team and you have to prioritize what you do first. You made the priority decision based on information and that's what we do all the time as PMs.
Number two, think about all the times you've talked to any users of a product or a tool internally or externally. If you work in marketing for example then talking to the people you are marketing to in focus groups or that sort of thing is very similar to talking to the users of a product. If you work in customer service then you're definitely talking to users of a product on a regular basis. Number three, think about any times you've given feedback or reported bugs on the product of your company or even another one.
Number four, if the company you're with now has a product team then recall all of the interactions you've had with them and how you may have helped them acquire data to make decisions or gave them feedback on the product. Alright, number five, think about any times you have worked on something at your job with multiple other teams or groups of people. Have you ever worked with the legal team, the engineering team, sales, marketing or customer service? If you've helped teams communicate something between them, this is very relevant to being a product manager.
The last thing I want you to consider is any work you've done to improve the efficiency of a process. Product managers work a lot with different processes so any efficiency you have made better in your job by finding more efficient ways to do things or improving the way things are done from either stuff you do every day or stuff you and your teammates do is going to be very relevant to talk about. So after you've written all of these things down, think very deeply about each one and then detail each one of them even more. These experiences can be put on your resume and then they can be talked about during product management interviews.
One other thing you can do is email product managers that you find online and ask if you can ask them a few questions. Use what you learn from them to inform your job applications and interviews. I recommend browsing for product managers in industries you're interested in in places like let's say Product Hunt, LinkedIn and Twitter but if you can't think of anything related in your current job to product management then doing a side project is going to be the most helpful. We're going to talk about that in the next lecture.
Alright, I'll see ya there.