Breaking into Product with Google Product Manager
Getting a Product Management job without experience might be tough but not impossible. You need to be ready for it, and you have to accept that you will have to hear a lot of “no’s.” Former Google Product Manager talked about how you can start applying best practices from product management to your career and shared the specifics on how you can get a product manager job.
Former Product Manager at Google
Jocelyn Miller is a businesswoman and entrepreneur with a deep love of product. She has worked at Amazon, Google, and Zazzle, as Director of Product Management. Over the course of 10 years, she has innovated in the areas of search, personalization, commerce, ads, and customized goods. She currently acts as a personal accelerator, helping teams and individuals catapult to the next level.
She also teaches a number of topics to Fortune 500 companies working at the team level, as well as on large-scale organizational change. She holds a degree in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from Dartmouth College as well as Fashion Design and Interior Design certificates from Parsons School of Design.
What hiring managers need to see to say yes to hiring you into a product role?
“Transitioning to a product management role from scratch or another position is a process that I have been through many times – and fundamentally is helped by following product management processes to get the job (and life!) of your dreams!” – Jocelyn Miller
Jocelyn covered some of the key practices to help you get your desired PM job as well as more out of what you want in life generally. More specifically, she covered what specific processes and approaches you should use (as inspired by great product management) to get a PM role, what pitfalls to avoid and how you can understand influencing better.
- Make sure that Product Management is your thing before getting into it. Know what it is exactly before jumping in.
- Get clear on your vision.
- What does it mean to have a clear vision or idea of what you want to do next?
- Learn a lot about product management and be prepared to take responsibility.
- The clearer your vision is the easier the process will be.
- Set goals for yourself. If you don’t have well-defined goals, you don’t have well-defined vision.
- Network, use your already existing network and get information.
- The likelihood of following just one linear career path is extremely low nowadays.
- Before making a career change make sure you want to do it. Test it and learn about it because you’re talking about two to three years of your life.
- To test it, you can shadow other Product Managers, get mentors, etc.
- Empathy is essential for Product Managers. If you don’t like working with different people, it’s maybe not for you.
- Product Management trio: business, design, technology.
- If you don’t convince yourself that you should get hired for a Product Manager job no one else will either.
- Try transitioning internally first within your current company. There are also other options, such as rotational program training and small companies.
Getting to the bottom of what it is that you want to do and figuring out if the reality is as great as it sounds on the outside is crucial. Once you know what the day to day life is like and you still want to get into it, you can start planning the route to get there. Still, it’s going to be a tough process because making the change requires you to work double time at some point.