Balancing Family Life with a Career in Product Management – Shelly Kalish & Karen Hershenson on The Product Experience "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs October 10 2020 True product management career, Product Management Skills, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 468 Product Management 1.872

Balancing Family Life with a Career in Product Management – Shelly Kalish & Karen Hershenson on The Product Experience


“People are hard.” That’s what Mind the Product co-founder Janna Bastow said in her keynote speech at #mtpcon in 2017. As product managers, we have to deal with demanding, unreasonable people who hold us to unrealistic standards and want everything delivered yesterday – and as a parent, you have to deal with stakeholders and team members in your home as well!

In this episode, Product Directors Shelly Kalish and Karen Hershenson join us to talk about juggling their careers and families and share some advice on how we can all make the work environment a better one for the parents on our teams.

In this episode, sponsored by #mtpcon Digital, listen to learn about:

  • The parallels of product management and parenting
  • Working during lockdown
  • Life as a working parent

Quote of the Episode

One thing that I’ve learned is to connect more. This toddler-raising course I took recently taught me: ‘Connect before you correct.’ If I can win over in a negotiation with my toddler, then I can basically win over and influence any stakeholder.

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Our Hosts

The Product Experience is hosted by Lily Smith and Randy Silver.

Lily enjoys working as a consultant product manager with early-stage and growing startups and as a mentor to other product managers. She’s currently Head of Innovation at Go Compare and has spent 13 years in the tech industry working with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She’s worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank Bristol (which now has 800+ members!) and runs ProductCamp in Bristol and Bath.

Randy is a product consultant and coach who has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. A recovering music journalist and editor, he launched Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, and has worked across sectors including museums and arts groups, online education, media and entertainment, retail and financial services. He’s held Head of Product roles at HSBC and Sainsbury’s, where he also directed their 100+-person product community. Randy’s book, What Do We Do Now? A Product Manager’s Guide to Strategy in the Time of COVID-19 is out now, with all profits going to COVID-19 relief efforts.