Here are some of the great advantages of becoming a Product Manager.
Product Management as a role always existed ever since products have existed.
Even if not specifically hired as a Product Manager, someone or multiple people had to take up these responsibilities to ensure that great products and user experiences were being built and released all the time.
But nowadays tech has integrated itself into even the most traditional industries and since being in the tech industry is one of the most attractive careers paths, it has also made the role of a Product Manager very attractive as well. One of the reasons is that you don’t need any core technical skills like coding or design to be a great one.
Obviously, that is an oversimplification, PM requires a lot of other specialized skills. But it has opened another backdoor for a career in product development, which wasn't available to everyone before, especially those with a non-technical background or degree.
So whenever I talk about PM, this is my favorite part to talk about —
Why should you consider becoming a PM?
So here goes…
- It is a very in-demand role. Every company that is doing something successful in tech, has Product Managers and will always have open roles for Product Managers.
- It is open to anyone. Most of these roles will not require the technical skills that I mentioned above. Even if they do require it, it would be at a much lower level than an actual expert. So no matter what your background, as long as you have the right skillset you will be able to do a good job.
- The domains are endless, and skills are transferable. As a PM, your skillset includes one important thing. Being able to learn anything quickly to the right depth level. This is very handy because then you have all the options in the world to explore. Want to work in video streaming? Join Netflix. Want to work in Social Media? Work at Instagram. Want to work in fintech? Work at Stripe. There is so much variety, that you won’t get bored.
- Career Path is very well structured. You can go from Junior PM, all the way to Chief Product Officer. Enough to aim for.
- There are exciting lateral career paths. Once you have had your fill of multiple industries and domains as a PM, you can easily transition into other exciting career paths like being a product consultant, Venture Capitalist, and much more
Finally, one of the biggest inspirations for me and why I see it as one of the best careers is because…
It is the best training ground for future tech CEOs and entrepreneurs.
Do these faces seem familiar to you? Just in case you were living under a rock, let me tell you who they are, and who they were. All of these people started as PMs and rose to be the top contenders for some of the largest tech companies today.
Sunder Pichai: CEO, Google, Alphabet
Previously: Product Lead for Google Chrome and Android
Satya Nadella: CEO, Microsoft
Previously: Product Lead for Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cash cow, cloud platform
Susan Wojcicki: CEO, Youtube
Previously: Product Lead of Google Adsense
Marissa Mayer: Ex-CEO, Yahoo
Previously: Product Lead of Google Search
Edit: I recently also got to know that the CEO of Adobe and the Head of Instagram also are from Product Backgrounds
Not just CEOs, so many successful companies have also been started by people who have PM backgrounds.
Steve Jobs: Founder and CEO of Apple, Pixar, Next
Product Experience: Basically led Apple as a product first company and immersed himself into the products he was creating.
Ivan Zhao: Founder and CEO of Notion.
He was a PM before he started one of the most documentation tools in the world right now.
Stewart Butterfield: Founder and CEO of Slack.
He too, was a PM before he disrupted workplace communication.
Finally, as an ending note, I would just like to mention that the reasons I mentioned above are more focused on a professional career and personal success, but honestly one of the biggest reasons one should become a Product Manager is because its exciting, impactful and has the ability to change the world in a positive manner.
If we all are working multiple hours a week doing something, it only makes sense to do something that moves society forward and improves our lives.
If you are interested to know more about Product Management or are ready to become one, feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have!
My DMs on LinkedIn are always open!
This is an excerpt from my talk “The Roller Coaster World of Product Management”, where I introduced PM as a career and my personal journey becoming one! Feel free to check out the video below for the entire talk!