How to Plan your Career Change to become a Product Manager

Do you have transition to product management on your mind? Career change can seem stinking hard, overwhelming and bemusing until you know you are just plain ready to become a Product Manager. A stable job, in the ultimate rollercoaster of life, is a security blanket that promotes a growth mindset and tenacity to traverse on paths less travelled.

Product Managers are trending in employment news as they are a part of core group that determines the progress of any product’s life and scope. Every successful company today has competent product managers who have a drastic influence on the product, company resources and market expansion. If you want to know how to plan a career change or transition to product management, you are neither alone, nor wrong. What you  haven’t realized is that if you want a career transition and become a product manager today, you probably have subconsciously started transitioning to product management a long time back. The gap however, is in between the 5 steps we discuss in this post.

Product Manager role is a destination you want to arrive at if you have firepower that’s going untapped and you’re ready for a lifestyle redesign to give your career that huge lift. But to come up with a regret minimization framework, there’s a process. This regret minimization also unloads anxiety, eliminates sleepless nights and chucks away the cynicism that impedes personal and professional progress.

So if you refuse to believe a job should simply be survivable, here we have five crucial steps to plan your career change and get into product management to have a thriving métier.

1. Developing Core PM Competencies

Enough of motivational quotes on following your passion! Studies reveal that people who follow their passions have lower odds of accomplishment than people who leverage existing career capital when making a career pivot. You need a “smack-in-the-forehead” obvious skills to become a product manager who’s irreproachable.

Building on your career capital, be it your skills, connections or credentials, lays a stronger foundation for a role as robust as a product manager’s. Diversify yourself to company needs– like a chameleon! You will commence multiple tasks: running designs, road map planning, success tracking, assessing loopholes, customer interaction, harmonizing to the market needs and others. How quickly you manage and adapt to this role with your career pivot determines the longevity of the product and your career. Mastering the core competencies will lead you to better calculated risk management and avoid reckless moves you don’t want during your career pivot. Product management isn’t a stencil job; every PM caters to the company and product needs, and the vital skills come with practical knowledge, case studies, and interaction with industry leaders. (unless you have time aplenty to make your share of mistakes)

2. Build a High Awareness Level

Change is terrifying, and the secret of those who make it to the other side isn’t a secret anymore. We aren’t just working on getting into product management plan here, or a survival tool kit, but actually a plan for steady (and fast) career growth. Okay, so the growth hormones for your career is the high awareness level.  From Communication and Business Administration, to Marketing, Economics, and industry statistics– awareness let’s tackle the odds in the leadership capacity.

Are there certain skills that you lack or an area that are still unexplored?  DevOps? Product Roadmap? Scrum and Sprint? Sometimes, even if there are, they’re totally within reach. It could be just a matter of upgrading yourself with the help of product management courses to gain baseline proficiency so that you can confidently say, “Yes, I know Agile Methodology” or “Yes, I build great Kanban boards.”

When the design crew, engineers and customer have different opinions, your decision and prioritization power has utmost significance. Ignorance make you hit the panic button. Besides, a PM runs short on time, chases revenue targets, allocates resources, heeds to market needs and what not! It requires an excellent level of knowledge and presence of mind. You wouldn’t want to freewheel this.

3. ‘Customer First’ Approach

PM is solely responsible for the entire customer interaction.

transition to product management

Take a full-on run at it and develop an approach where your key priority remains the customer. The more satisfied the customer is with the product, the more valuable Product Manager you are for the company. PM plays a direct role in customer dealings. From understanding their needs to acknowledging the pain points – PM handles entire customer interaction. More importantly, striking empathy, and relationship building with the customer is what makes your PM life rewarding.

Keen to become a Product Manager?

Read: How I Transitioned from Business Analyst to Product Management

4. Learn Co-ordination and Delegation

Shift your professional brand so that you make sense to your new target audience. PM bonds with engineers to enhance UX and compatibility as per the needs of the product stakeholders. They focus on team co-ordination, and acquire in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. This helps them deliver the best result during crunch time. So leverage your skills, network and professional brand to deal with the sponsors. Establish proper channel to resolve conflicts for streamlined ideation, execution, testing, and delivery.

5. Get Ready to Enjoy your Job

Upskill yourself in product management with real-life case studies, and establish a preparatory routine. Get acquainted with each facet of the work ethics of a Product Manager. Consequently practical Product management courses provide an upper edge to boost your career while going through change. A product role is a hefty one. Sleuth this out and take small steps to have a snowball effect. Build momentum and confidence, and slide your job from the ‘survivable’ zone to the ‘enjoyable’ tract. Walk towards the promised land. If being the master of what you do doesn’t make your job enjoyable, nothing will.

Want to step right up? Our specialized mentor-led Product Management courses will show you exactly how to do that and start tomorrow, today.

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