Helping people kick start their product management career at gettingstartedinproduct.com * Product person at Watchfinder

Stories of getting started in product management

As part of our Getting Started in Product series, we look at some people who have already made the transition into a product role and ask them all about how they got started.

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What’s your current role?

I’m the Director of Product Management within the travel tech sector.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I started out as a business analyst within the healthcare sector, but have no spent twelve years in the tech sector as a subject matter expert and then as a global delivery manager.

How did you get your first product role?

Over my years in various roles I built up a network of contacts, which meant that when the opportunity to work in product came up I had the contacts to aware of it. …


Maximize your skills, focus on your skills gaps, and get your dream role

In their 2019 trends survey, the Product Management Festival found the range of different roles that product managers were in BEFORE they started in product management, and the list is quite long (see image below)

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Product Management Festival Trends & Benchmark Report 2019

In their study, the transition from UX Designer to Product Manager represented nearly 2% of all transitions into product.

What skills do UX designers bring to product management?

There are two main reasons that there are considerable numbers of UX designers who make the transition into product management:

  • Proximity to product roles
  • Shared skills

When it comes to shared skills across roles, the following are perhaps most relevant:

  • Good understanding of user experience
  • Have a customer…


Stories of getting started in product management

As part of our Getting Started in Product series, we look at some people who have already made the transition into a product role and ask them all about how they got started.

Image for post
Image for post

What’s your current role?

I’m a product consultant, undertaking contracts to support businesses with their product management.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I started out as a technical programmer and analyst.

How did you get your first product role?

I wanted to move into product management and worked with a professional recruiter to find me the right role for my skills.

What was your biggest challenge when you started in product management?

Always being aware of a customer’s focus. In other roles it’s easy to get into the solution and get work done.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give someone starting out in product?

Get Agile and/or Pragmatic Institute trained. …


What do you want to achieve? How are you going to get there?

There’s something about a New Year that makes us review the past and make plans for the future.

What are we going to achieve this year?

Get your dream job? Become more organized? Read more books? And of course, lose weight and drink less!

Sometimes we need a little push and once we’re rolling we need some support to stop us toppling over.

This is where this collection of books come in. They can be your guiding light what you want to achieve and your reminder to keep on that path.

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

Keith Ferrazzi

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Is your plan for this year to get ahead in life? Climb the ladder to success? …


Stories of getting started in product management

As part of our Getting Started in Product series, we look at some people who have already made the transition into a product role and ask them all about how they got started.

Image for post
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What’s your current role?

I’m a Senior Product Manager at T-Mobile, the telecommunications company .

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I worked had a few roles in instructional design and technical writing within both financial services and retail.

How did you get your first product role?

I was in a business analyst role and when the organisation changed its working practices I transitioned across into product management.

What was your biggest challenge when you started in product management?

I think the biggest challenge was learning how to take ownership of something that previously you were just told what you should do with it. …


Maximize your skills, focus on your skills gaps, and get your dream role

In their 2019 trends survey, the Product Management Festival found the range of different roles that product managers were in BEFORE they started in product management, and the list is quite long (see image below)

Image for post
Image for post
Product Management Festival Trends & Benchmark Report 2019

In their study, the transition from Project Manager to Product Manager was the most frequently followed career path. I’m one of the ones who had been a project manager in a previous life, although not directly before my first product management role.

What skills do project managers bring to product management?

There are two main reasons that there are considerable numbers of project managers who make the transition into product management:

  • Proximity to product…


Stories of getting started in product management

As part of our Getting Started in Product series, we look at some people who have already made the transition into a product role and ask them all about how they got started.

Image for post
Image for post

What’s your current role?

I’m an Associate Product Manager within a voice AI company.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I was a Machine Learning researcher within the same company.

How did you get your first product role?

I had some conversations with the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) within the organisation and then made the transition across the roles.

What was your biggest challenge when you started in product management?

When you gather feedback from users you end up with lots of unstructured information, and you need to adapt your mindset to allow you to create a problem statement from this feedback. …


What do your customers want? Is your idea actually a good one?

We all have ideas for ways to improve things.

They might come to us when we’re queueing at Starbucks for our coffee, or when we’re standing in the shower.

We might hear some feedback from our customer and put this together with another customer’s feedback and get that spark of inspiration.

The difference between product people and non-product people is that product people do something about the idea. They want to take the idea and figure out whether it is viable and what it will take to get it off the ground.

We’re not alone, and there are a few books out there that helps us take that next step and go from idea to validated idea. …


Stories of getting started in product management

As part of our Getting Started in Product series, we look at some people who have already made the transition into a product role and ask them all about how they got started.

Image for post
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What’s your current role?

I’m a Senior Product Owner for Advanced, a Health and Care software provide.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I worked in support desk roles within the health and care tech sector.

How did you get your first product role?

In my support roles I worked very closely with the product team, which gave me the opportunity to learn more and more from them, until an opening came up in their team, which I applied for and got.

What was your biggest challenge when you started in product management?

We often have a tendency to generate a solution upfront, so it was difficult to stop that and learn about ‘problem first’ approaches. …


Stories of getting started in product management

As part of our Getting Started in Product series, we look at some people who have already made the transition into a product role and ask them all about how they got started.

Image for post
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What’s your current role?

I’m a Product Owner for HM Revenue & Customs in the UK.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I was a software engineer for a number of years, first for the logistics company DPD, and then for Cap Gemini and Bank of America.

How did you get your first product role?

I transitioned from another role within the organisation I was in.

What was your biggest challenge when you started in product management?

Having the time to do everything that needs to be done is the biggest challenge.

I mention this to all other new product people within the business and everyone agrees. How do we find the time to do everything the role entails? …

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