Starting out a career can be difficult if you don’t know where to start, especially when no two paths are the same.
The rise of product management
The product management craft has grown exponentially over the past few years according to the Product Management and Marketing Survey conducted by Alpha. The profession is a combination of skills and experience, all while giving those that choose this career a purpose in creating products that their customers love.
With the rise of digital products, and the increasing importance of customer-centric approaches, product management has become a crucial role in many organisations. However, breaking into this field can be difficult, and navigating the many challenges of the role requires dedication and persistence.
What are the biggest challenges of delving into a product role?
One of the biggest challenges facing those looking to break into product is the lack of a clear path to entry. Unlike more rigid professions like law or medicine which require specific qualifications and degrees, product is a relatively fluid field that doesn’t have a standardised set of requirements or credentials. This can make it difficult for newcomers to figure out how to get started.
Additionally, the role is constantly evolving. Product requires a wide range of skills, from strategic thinking and problem-solving to leadership and communication. As new technologies enhance the landscape and customer needs constantly change, it’s important for product managers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices.
Rewarding opportunities that lie ahead
Despite the challenges of breaking in, product management offers many opportunities for those who are passionate about solving problems for people. Successful product managers have the ability to make a meaningful impact on the world by creating new things that people love. Additionally, product people also have the opportunity to work with diverse teams from functions such as engineering, marketing, and design, collaborate with experts, and continually grow in their careers.
Finding a career in product management can be challenging, but the rewards are worth the effort.
So…where to next?
Read our free guide Climbing the product career ladder.
In this handy resource, we look at what’s expected at each level of your product management journey, what common challenges you may face, what skills you need in order to grow, and the key practical steps you can take to move up the career ladder.
What’s it all about?
Part one of this three-part guide focuses on associates, juniors, and product managers. Part two (for senior, product lead, and product director roles) and part three (for head, VP of product, and CPO roles) are coming soon.
The starting point for this series is a post written by Mind the Product Co-Founder and former Chairman, Martin Eriksson, in 2018 – Product management job titles and hierarchy. Martin sought to bring some clarity to the confusion around product management job titles, seniority, and hierarchy and his post has proved a consistently popular reference for the Mind the Product community.
This guide covers everything you need to know about your first few years in product management, from finding your first job, to setting yourself up for a promotion. Inside, you’ll find expert insights and practical advice on topics such as:
- Associate and junior product management roles
- Graduate trainee schemes and internships
- Alternative routes to your first product job
- Finding your first product job
- What’s more important, hard or soft skills?
- How to set yourself up for success
- 7 early product career tips
Whether you’re looking to make a pivot in your career, or have just finished studying, this guide will provide real-world examples, useful links to career pages, and invaluable tips from product leaders.
Be prepared to make that transition into product
Product management is not an exact science, and there is no golden formula. Each individual must refine their own tools and methods to reach their goals. By accessing this guide, you can receive advice from product experts around the world to craft your own unique path.
Download your free guide now