A Day in the Life of a Product Manager

BY SUSANNA PAEVALI ON JUNE 7, 2017

This is the introductory piece to a series of interviews with product managers. I am on a quest to find out what different product managers do, how their role compares to product management theory, what their daily struggles are, and how I can become a great product manager myself.

Why am I doing this? I want to become a great product manager, and hopefully down the road some people might also find my learnings interesting and useful.

In March I attended Product Camp in London, an all-day event where the crowd is greeted by an empty schedule, and it is up to participants to create the agenda and content of the talks. The most popular talk was from Prad Patel, on impostor syndrome. It became evident that majority of attendees at the event were wondering what other product managers really were doing, whether they faced similar hurdles and blocks to progress, and if looking for support in that group was an option. Hearing a room full of specialists not sure of themselves and encouraging each other led me to believe that an insight into the various product management roles in the vast field would be a great learning opportunity.

First the Blog, Then the Book?

After the talk was over, Simrun, a PM working in fintech, said he would love to read a book on daily life of different PMs, and compare it to his role and experience. Eager to find answers to similar questions, I thought that a book would be a big commitment for someone to write, but that short blog posts would be a great starting point. As a result of that conversation at the un-conference and a further conversation with Mind The Product’s James Mayes, I decided to take the task in my own hands.

Secondly, I am looking for a new job as a product manager. But not just a job, I want to know that I could be a great product manager, and for that I have to learn.

Two years ago I joined  MarketInvoice, a prominent fintech company in London, with the aim of becoming a product manager. With little experience in the field I made an informed decision to get hands-on involved as much as possible in product work in MarketInvoice, and I loved it. Continuous self-studies in online courses, participating in mentorship programs to gulp information on product management, and mingling in the product scenes in London confirmed to me that this is what I want to do. I am fascinated with building and creating new things, and it makes me a feeling of satisfaction and achievement to know I have made someone’s day better.

While I had a great learning experience in MarketInvoice and I met some of the smartest and most amazing people I know, my career wasn’t progressing at the rate I wanted, and two weeks ago I left the company.

Please get in Touch

Having had a whiff of experience in the product field and wanting to learn more, I am now on a quest to listen and pick up insight from other PMs.

If you have any specific questions you would like to ask other Product Managers, let me know. And if you are a PM willing to share your story and experience, please do step forward!

About SUSANNA PAEVALI

Relatively new to the product field, Susanna comes from a fintech and private equity background. Her urge for wanting to build amazing tools to make someone's day better comes from rebellious teenage years which included lobbying state budget changes and organising demonstrations in her native Estonia.

  • I’m happy to talk about my story and experience with you for this series, Susanna. Feel free to get in touch via tim@herbigt.com

    • Susanna Paeväli

      Hi Tim, thank you so much. Will be in touch.

  • Christian MacLean
    • Susanna Paeväli

      Thank you, Christian. I will be in touch.

  • Anthony Thalman

    Good luck on your journey. Becoming a great product manager does take time and it’s really a life long adventure of learning, coaching, mentoring, educating and being educated. I’m happy to connect and or share my experiences and I would love to hear more about your experiences. Thanks Anthony – Anthony.thalman@yahoo.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonythalman

    • Susanna Paeväli

      Hi Anthony, thank you so much for the support. I will be in touch shortly.

  • Vazgen

    Good idea! 🙂 I’m a relatively new PM as well, but I’d be happy to help. badalyanvaz@gmail.com

    • Susanna Paeväli

      Glad to hear from you, will drop you an email.

  • Abhishek

    I have been working as Tech Lead since 4 years. Product management is my new passion, I want to make my career as product manager. As per my research, i can excel in product management while working with great managers. I am looking for mentorship support, please do guide me how I can make the move. It would be really helpful if someone can share his/her experiences, hurdles, what they did wrong/right, skills to develop to become a successful product.

    My email: abhishekgem35@gmail.com

    Thanks, Abhishek

  • Ashley Hewins

    Hi Susanna i am also new to the field but 6 months in and am loving it. Cannot wait to see what insight you receive from seasoned pros. DM me on linkedin if you want to chat:https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyhewins/

  • Grace Miller

    Happy to talk with you if you need another person. 🙂
    sgracemiller@gmail.com

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