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

Stories of success and pushing the barriers in a male dominated world

It’s tough to start a new career, especially if you plan to have a career in an area that’s dominated by another group, which is the case when it comes to women breaking into technology and product management.

In this book list we’ve included some stories from those who are pushing the boundaries within technology, those who are highlighting the challenges that are being faced, and stories of success.

Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories

Tarah Wheeler


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.

What’s your current role?

I don’t currently have a role, having taken early retirement, but am looking for new opportunities.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I worked as Technical Service and Development Manager within the petrochemical industry.

How did you get your first product role?

After working within my organization for a while a role was created and I was recommended by people in the company.

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

Definitely my lack of knowledge of commercial subjects and price management, as my background was quite technical and…


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.

What’s your current role?

I’m a Product Management Specialist within a laboratory instruments supplier.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I entered product management directly out of graduate school, where I earned a PhD in Analytical Chemistry.

How did you get your first product role?

My research advisor knew the hiring manager, who told him they were looking for someone with my skills. …


It’s a varied route to get into product management

Despite what you get led to believe if you listen to the ‘product experts’, you do not need to get a degree in computer science and then get hired by Facebook, Google or Apple in order to become a product manager.

Product Managers come from all walks of life, and wherever people are in their careers now, there are routes into product management.

I was a recruiter, before moving across in the same organization to work as a project manager overseeing the building of recruitment websites.

From here I then worked with people to support them in developing the strategy…


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 Product Director within a large retailer.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I was the head of fuel supply/trading and transportation for the same large retailer that I currently work for.

How did you get your first product role?

I was recruited by the company’s digital department to move across and take responsibility for the product team.

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

I actually didn’t know what the heck product was.

I ran business units for years up until then, so the notion of…


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.

Chris Schenk

What’s your current role?

I’m the Strategic Product Manager within a transportation software company.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

Before being a product manager I was involved in the implementation and training side of the business.

How did you get your first product role?

I made the transition into product management within the same company. I was a trainer and became a Subject Matter Expert (SME), which led to me becoming the Product Manager for the product.

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

Everyone had a different idea about what…


Why a break might set up your career for success

In 2019, Emma Rosen wrote the book “The Radical Sabbatical: The Millennial Handbook to the Quarter Life Crisis”, for the 72% of millennials who want a complete change of career.

In her book, Emma offered ways for people to rethink their careers and figure out what is right for them, by answering the following questions:

  • Why don’t they like your current job?
  • What would they like to do instead?
  • How might they make the move from their current job to dream job?

There is an acknowledgement these days that careers are not what they used to be. My father spent…


How should we harness our great idea and make a success of it?

We’ve all got idea. Ways to improve our lives, and those of countless others. An app that will do this. A service that will do that.

The challenge isn’t having the idea. The real challenge is taking that idea and shaping it into a successful business that pays the bills and makes the impact you want it to.

Now, more than ever in history, people are creating start-ups with the vision of having a large impact, so how should we go about it?

How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success From the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs

Guy Raz

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How do we get the confidence to follow our ideas? It helps if we know…


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.

What’s your current role?

I’m a currently the Product Director at The Keyholding Company, a tech-led security business.

What did you do before you got into Product Management?

I worked in IT consulting for a while, primarily as a Business Analyst, but also multiple roles within Project Manager. Skills wise these roles required being process-driven, logical, able to work with a range of stakeholders, turn ambiguity in to certain and work to deadlines.

How did you get your first product role?

During my 2.5 years at NTT DATA, I…


Finding a new career through choice or circumstance

Over 60% of us would consider a complete change to our careers, but many people struggle to take the leap and put those dreams into action.

Jenny Blake had a successful career at Google as a Career Development Program Manager, before she left to launch her book, ‘Pivot; The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One.’

In this book, Jenny defines a career pivot as “doubling down on what is working to make a purposeful shift in a new related direction.” adding that “It’s an intentional, methodical process for nimbly navigating career changes.”

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Basically, a career pivot isn’t necessarily…

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