11 Apr 2023
This is a question and transition nearly all Product managers and leaders have faced at some point in their career. For some, it has been an organic transition from their current role into product, others have proactively made the change. The below blog is an outline of how to pivot into a product role, with some top tips on where to start or what to do next.
The first stage is to truly understand what Product Management is as a discipline and understand the function of it within an organisation. This will help you decide if it is the right career path for you. There are three places to start when understanding Product Management:
Great, so you’ve spent a few months learning about Product Management and networking to find out more about the industry and you’re still keen to venture further. Now you need to look at your skill sets and see how they can be applied to Product Management.
Attached is a great, free tool for people looking to get into product. It is a quick and easy way to assess both the soft skills and technical skills you’ll likely need to excel as a Product Manager, click here.
From this you can figure out where to focus your efforts, is there a specific area you are stronger in or an area you need to focus on growing further. Did you have to look up what scrum is or prioritization?
If you are a complete novice when it comes to the Product Management industry then looking into Product Management boot camps could be the way to go. These forms of training can give you a strong grounding in the fundamentals of Product Management, but be aware, they can be costly! I recommend this one here.
You are now ready to start the job search, but what do you apply for? Who do you speak to? Where do you start?
Firstly, speak internally to your company’s product team (if your company has a product team) they will already know the value you could add with domain experience and the soft skills. They might be able to help with a gradual transition if they don’t need someone in their product team right away, letting you help on smaller projects. If you look externally, then target your search on companies you can add the most value to. Consider any domain experience you have, whether that is professionally or academically.
Make it clear on your CV that you are looking to move into Product Management, a few lines at the top of your CV can express this and the reasons can be useful. On your CV include any certifications and side projects you have done to help with your transition into product. A lot of people will apply for any job on LinkedIn so make it clear why you are applying for that role!
This can be very subjective depending on your preferences and your background, but make sure you are applying for the right roles at the right seniority, whilst also leveraging your background and previous experience.
If you are looking for entry level or junior product roles, then often titles like ‘junior product manager’ or ‘associate product manager’ will find you better results.
If you have a Software Engineering, Data Science or related background, you are likely to have success applying for Technical Product Manager or Product Owner roles where you can leverage your technical knowledge and likely join as a more senior role.
Domain specialist, this means applying for roles with the sector you have previously worked in which can lead to more successful role changes, for example: moving from financial services into a fintech company role.
Want to know more? Feel free to reach out to be via my email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Barnes – Managing Consultant.
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