How to Manage Your Career Like A Product
As a Product Manager and a coach, I have found one sad thing to be true — most Product Managers will do what others tell them to do and consistently avoid conversations related to their careers. They spend 100% of their energy managing their product and none on their job. The only time spent thinking about it is when they are expressing anger or frustration.
My clients are happy in their careers. They are getting promoted faster than ever. Why? Because they have found extreme value in managing their job like a product.
When you get this aspect wrong, you feel angry and frustrated. You do everything others ask of you. You have no roadmap in sight and no career strategy to grasp.
With that, I have one question — if you were the Product Manager of your career, would you be proud of how you run it?
When we get this right, we get promotions and raises without fighting for them. Recruiters begin noticing you and reach out to you. You get more speaking engagements. When you manage your career like a product, you are happier.
With all of this, there are five fundamentally essential things to do to manage your career like a product.
Gain clarity on what matters in the context of your career.
When asking a product manager about their strategy on a product, one can expect a detailed answer. When asking them about their approach to their career, on the other hand, the responses tend to be lacking.
With a product, we know what exactly needs to get done to reach our goals. We have to treat our career goals the same way.
“What do I need to do to get this promotion?”
“Does this align with what my managers and stakeholders feel?”
“Who needs to buy into this goal for me to accomplish it?”
When these questions have definitive answers, you can successfully do the work to make it happen.
Manage stakeholder relationships with intention.
Knowing what your stakeholders need to know about you to cast their vote for you confidently is critical. Most product managers fail significantly simply because they have no idea where their relationships stand right now.
Not managing stakeholder relationships with intention is a vital oversight to getting where you want to go.
Manage your stakeholder relationships. Please don’t leave them to chance.
Communicate like a marketer.
Marketing yourself is a crucial ingredient to managing your career. If there is no marketing on a product, how would people know anything about it? How would they know whether or not they even wish to buy into it?
Careers are the same in this way. If you are not promoting yourself, how do people know if they wish to buy into you and your career?
Not properly promoting yourself does gravely affect your career. More than that, it also involves your team and your stakeholders. If you do not market yourself to your stakeholders, how can they market themselves?
When we get this right and promote ourselves and our team well, we create a culture of celebration, leading to positive work environments and career success.
Work on fine-tuning your mindset.
“Mindset” encompasses many areas. Let’s focus on the mindset of self-promotion in this case. Being introverted or not wanting to brag is not an excuse when you do a disservice to your team and stakeholders.
Because of that fact, having the mindset and the confidence to self-promote will make all the difference. Life and success is 80% psychology and 20% strategy.
Fine-tuning your mindset will make things like self-promoting easier and efficient.
Build a mindset that self-promotion is for the good of your team, the world, the organization, and your customers.
Ask for the promotion several times.
Communicating your goals with clarity will bring about opportunities you did not think possible. To get this outcome, you must share your goals with your coworkers, your managers, and essentially anyone that will listen to you.
When we put our intentions into the universe, opportunities will greet us.
In my own life, I often marvel at the people I get to help. If I do not check my mindset, I could think, “why am I the one helping them?” But I know that is rubbish because I have the confidence in knowing that I put my goals into the universe, and the universe met me with the opportunity to do this.
When launching a product, it takes time for people to understand why they need it. In the same way, it might take some time for the universe to know what you want.
Stand firm in your goals without fear.
It’s not just about how you do something; it’s about how you think about it, how you feel about the world, how you feel about yourself, and how you show up.
If you liked the blog post, you would love my free workshop, “5 Steps our Product Manager Clients Take to Land Their Dream Job, Increase Their Salary by 200%+, and Accelerate Their Career.” Go ahead, enroll now!