How To Break Into Product Management

How To Break Into Product Management

Product Management
Ah yes, the breaking into product management question that I usually get once a week from people on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Here’s my take on how I would approach “How to break into product management” in 2022 with a brief glimpse into how I did it in 2015.
I got into product management, the extremely traditional way of doing an MBA and then getting into the field. Even then, it wasn’t a cakewalk. This is a much longer approach that can take 1 or 2 years and a lot of money. I don't always recommend this approach now.
Let’s list down this approach:

How to Break into Product Management

Build proof-of-work

If you don’t have any full-time experience, you will need to showcase that you have the required skills and interests to make you suitable for the role.
Certificate courses on their own wont get you anything, because there is no entry barrier there, and there’s no separating one person from the other. You can join some of them, I would highly recommend The Product Folks’ free Insurjo program
UX Teardowns
UX Teardowns are one way, but I think they are very narrowly focussed on design. Whereas in product you have to consider so many other factors like the competition, the market, user’s needs, etc
What worked for me was taking part in product case competitions, doing well, and showcasing my proof of work
Write longer deep dives into a product or a space and cover more aspects than just a UX teardown. What to build is an important question for a product manager. How to build can be a more pertinent question for a designer or developer
You have several no-code tools available. Identify a problem or idea and build a solution, get feedback from users, and iterate on the product.
Offer to do an internship or help startups or solo creators with side projects and learn while doing

Read the best PM content

The reason why I didn’t place this above is a lot of people get stuck at this step.

Create an online presence

Create a presence online on Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram/YouTube
  • Post your writing/analysis on Twitter/LinkedIn
  • Build in public

Network with relevant people

Internally at the company
Take up product management duties, shadow the product manager. Make their life easier by helping them out.
Network in your friend/alumni groups.

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