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How To Break Into Product Management (HelloMeets)

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A talk I did for a HelloMeets event about how to break into product management based on my learnings from writing my book The Making of Product Managers.

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How To Break Into Product Management (HelloMeets)

  1. 1. How to Break into Product Management HelloMeets Event w/ Lena Sesardic
  2. 2. My Story 2009-2013 2013-2017 2017-2019 2019-2020 2020 Economics degree at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) Customer Service & Operations Business Analyst, Product Manager Product Manager @ Innovation Lab Product Management Consultant, The Making of Product Managers, Entrepreneur 2021 (Present) Entrepreneur
  3. 3. The Making of Product Managers www.themakingofproductmanagers.com Get 10% off with code "hellomeets10"!
  4. 4. The Making of the Book Finding Product Managers to interview. Conducting the interviews. Structuring the stories. Adding information boxes.
  5. 5. Product Managers come from extremely diverse educational and professional backgrounds. A Diverse Field
  6. 6. Statistics Commercial Banking International Relations Customer Service Customer Care IT Administration Salesforce Administration Business Information Systems Electronic and Electrical Engineering Nanotechnology Engineering Project Management English Literature Industrial Manufacturing Chemical Engineering Electronics and Electrical Communication Industrial and Systems Engineering Food, Nutrition and Health UX Software Engineering DataAnalysis AccountManagement SalesOperations WebDevelopment Technical Support Program Management Cognitive Psychology Product Marketing Product Design Operations Mathematics Economics Software Engineering Marketing Computer Science MBA Business Analysis 20 Product Managers interviewed for The Making of Product Managers
  7. 7. Studied International Relations Salesforce Administrator Salesforce Business Analyst Product Manager, Business Technology Real Product Manager #1 Stan
  8. 8. Real Product Manager #2 Studied Food, Nutrition & Health Data Analytics Business Analyst Software Implementation Consultant Scrum Master & Project Manager Product Manager Filza
  9. 9. Real Product Manager #3 Studied Economics & Statistics Analyst & Underwriter (commercial banking) Product Manager Nene
  10. 10. Types of Product Managers Knowing what the different types of Product Managers are is important in defining your path. Large organization vs. startup Agency Consulting Founder/entrepreneur Product Manager Product Owner Software Product Manager Group Product Manager Growth Product Manager Technical Product Manager Associate Product Manager
  11. 11. How to Break into Product Management? There's no magic recipe. But I have observed 6 patterns that are helpful!
  12. 12. Pattern #1 Prior work experience in a broad range of jobs and responsibilities. Mature decision-making, ability to communicate with different types of people & ability to influence stakeholders is required. Product management is not an entry-level position.
  13. 13. Working in a position that either interacts with Product Managers or has an overlap with the job of a Product Manager. Pattern #2 Business Analyst, Software Engineer, Scrum Master, Product Marketing Manager, Marketer, Program Manager, etc.
  14. 14. Pattern #3 Being where the action is: Acquisitions & mergers Startups Organizational restructuring & transformations New opportunities to help Product Managers with their tasks, formally take on Product Manager tasks or get a position as a Product Manager.
  15. 15. Pattern #4 Being able to spot, size and pursue opportunities quickly & effectively. Collect small wins on your portfolio and be patient while they compound over time. Exploiting all opportunities, no matter how small.
  16. 16. Pattern #5 Networking with as many people in Product Management as possible. Helps you learn how to talk about Product Management, find out about new job opportunities and get recommended by individuals in the field.
  17. 17. Pattern #6 Building your own product where you're the Product Manager. The best way to build real skills in product management while showing strong initiative and passion.
  18. 18. What Does It Take? Being a risk-taker. Being flexible & adaptable. Patience. Being willing to learn.
  19. 19. The Value of Networking Create personal connections Be top-of-mind for Hiring Managers Take advantage of "weak-tie" connections Find your raving fans
  20. 20. Imposter Syndrome Especially with those who are a few steps behind you. Share your knowledge with others to demonstrate your expertise, increase your confidence & become part of a community.
  21. 21. Thank You! in/lenasesardic @LenaSesardic lenasesardic.com

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