The Challenge of the Perfect Job: Product Management

So here I thought that I have finally exhausted the growth potential of my job and, thus, ready for another challenge and more responsibility.  Turns out – I am just another statistic.  Is it shocking that 91% of my generation (born in 1977-1997) are changing jobs every a couple of years?  There are many reasons to change jobs.  Sometimes it’s the signs; sometimes it’s the times; sometimes it’s your values; sometimes it’s theirs.   Fortunately, sometimes it is also a deeper comprehension of yourself.   

I think I have finally figured out what I want to do with my life.  I have looked at all aspects discussed in the previous post, reflected on all opinions, considered other options, and picked Product Management.  Granted, if I had the means, I would totally go for the glamorous life of a fashion designer.  However, when someone tells you what no one else tells you about a role, it opens your eyes to the reality, not the glamour.

The authors on Product Management blog share so much information about the rewards as wells as the demands of the job that it makes me excited how great of a fit it appears to be for me.  I have been doing a lot of research and reading on this topic.  I even took an online class that gives an overview of the career.  Product Management seems to be my thing for many reasons.

  1. I have great analytical skills – Product Manager (PM) has to distinguish data from metrics on regular basis.
  2. I work well independently and I am effective at using those analytical skills to make decisions – PM owns the “product” throughout its lifecycle as well as the results of her decisions.
  3. I am constantly demanding more responsibility – PM bears all of it.
  4. I want the life of never-ending challenge – challenges come at PM from many different sources – technical and social, IT and Business, functional and strategic, top line and bottom line.
  5. I love learning – no two days are the same in for a PM.  PM has to be good at so many things.  This job will finally render me the opportunity to know it all.
  6. I am striving to become a radical leader – PM is a leader by definition.
  7. I set no limits for my career – many executives have a Product Management background.
  8. I feel like I don’t know enough about other functional areas of the company – PM is a liaison between many groups that are instrumental to the implementation of “product” strategy – underwriting, marketing, distribution, finance, just to name a few.
  9. It amazes me to see how my actions contribute to the big picture – PM is not just focused on the product, but on the problem that it solves, the value that it creates.  PM is customer-centered, which directly contributes to the strategy execution.
  10. I have opinions and ideas, and I am not afraid to voice them – not only PM has to communicate product vision across many business units, but also PM has to defend her point of view to ensure everyone’s buy in.

Now that I know what my next challenge is going to be, I can figure out my next steps – what skills I need to work on, what kinds of things to watch for, and in which direction to channel my networking efforts.  I know it is not going to be easy.  I know it is not going to happen tomorrow.  But also I know what I have the potential and the drive to make it a wholehearted success – the passion for the job will only make it that much more spectacular.  I am ready for some Product Management magic.

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