The Secret to Getting a Job in Product Management – Side Project
Getting a job in Product Management is a unique process. It’s is one of the few roles in the tech industry where the need to show your capabilities surpasses the need to show off your degrees. In short, you have to prove that you can do the job.
If you want to a job as a Product Manager -start doing the job of a PM before you walk into an interview.
How do you kickstart your Product Manager side project?
You don’t need to build a startup, it can be a small side project that’s as simple as starting a blog all the way to the complexity of building an application.
The main goal of the side project is to show you can:
- Take action
- Put together a plan
- Finish what you start
Not only will having a side project make you stand out in comparison – but it will give you a lot of references and conversation points during the interview.
For example, if you get the popular question, “How would you prioritize multiple features?” You will be able to use your own experience as a reference and answer it more clearly and confidently.
Start off with a blog and write about products in an industry you want to be an expert in. Talk about how you would market a new or existing product, write product teardowns, discuss what features you would add to a product and why. You can even talk about what user experience changes you would make to a product.
Create a product. Come up with a problem you want to solve, decide on the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), then interview potential users, write user stories and build mock-ups. All this will go into a product roadmap. Give a developer some experience with you and work with them to build the product – then you’re already being a product manager.
A tangible product will increase your interview game, but even simply having gone through the process with documents to prove it, put you ahead of the rest.
“If you want to prove you can build products, you have to start by building products.” – Carlos, Founder & CEO of Product School