As of January 1st we are almost certain you have put together a few resolutions, maybe even a long list of things you plan on starting, stopping, changing and improving. If switching your career path and pivoting into product management falls on that list, here’s a few things you can do to focus on making it happen.
This is not to say that you aren’t already. But, the start of a new year always brings on a powerful wave of motivation. Take advantage of that wave and ride it out. When the calendar starts back at one and you haven’t lost any of your weekends watching Netflix, there’s an increase in intent and intensity in the air. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon and there’s no better time to get started than now.
“To differentiate yourself and grow in your career, you really have to continue making small investments over a long period of time to reap the rewards. Quoting one of my mentors, ‘You got to crawl, walk, then run.’” Mohammad Musa, Product School instructor and former Google PM.
In order to get the job as a product manager, you have to start working and thinking like a product manager. This takes time to learn, read and understand. Set aside some time each week to study new tools, review product teardowns, read about the industry and learn how to talk about product management fluently.
Start Your Side Project Now
The truth is, most people who land jobs in product management have worked on some sort of side project, whether it’s founding a startup, putting up a blog or designing an app. Whatever it is that you’re passionate about, use it to build something. This will give you that outside experience of being a product manager, and give you an edge that not everyone has. It shows you’re a doer, and that you are willing and able to rise up to challenges and put yourself outside of your comfort zone. The key is to not wait.
Build your writing skills
No matter where you are in your career, it’s never too late to work on your writing techniques. You’ll need this for your side project, blog, or anything else you plan to do related or even unrelated to product management. If you’re looking for motivation check out this 52 week writing challenge.
Increase Your Network
Here’s the big one we always mention. It helps to surround yourself with the people that motivate you and that you aspire to be like. Go where you can meet other product managers, mentors, or peers also looking to get into product management. Join communities or meetups like our Slack Community. We also host events every week covering various topics from how to get a job in product management to storytelling and many more.