Breaking into Product Management, step-by-step

Being a Product Manager is an awesome role. You get to help your team (and company) build and ship the right product, that will bring impactful experiences to your users.

I have been getting the “How can I break into Product Management?” question at least twice per day, so I decided to put together a checklist, that will hopefully be helpful. This was presented at Product School and my talk was named top talk of 2020!
Follow me for more tips or reach out if you have any questions!

Before Applying:

  • READ — Read and understand what a Product Manager does. Is it for you?
  • BUILD — Gain some experience in creating and launching
  • TELL — Get your storytelling skills right

Application Time:

  • ONLINE Revamp — Revamp your online presence
  • OFFLINE Revamp — Revamp your resume
  • SPREAD THE WORD — Tell the world (friends/colleagues/Linkedin) that you are available
  • APPLY — apply apply!

Interview time:

  • Take it seriously. Do the work, this is the moment that matters.
  • Learn about the process. Learn about the process, how many steps are there? What kind of interviews does this specific company have? Get comfortable with the process. Know it in and out.
  • Ask for time. Take as much as you need to prepare !
  • Mocks mocks mocks! Improve your interview skills with mock interviews
  • Fail. This will most likely be part of the process and that’s OK!
  • Succeed!

THROUGHOUT the process:

This is probably the most important step. You have to make sure to adopt a PM mindset. And you need to be one before you become one, if that makes sense. How?

  • CHALLENGE Challenge the status quo. Why should x work like this and not like y?
  • EMPATHIZE Empathize with the users. They are what matters.
  • CREATE Be creative. Think of solutions that have never been done before.
  • ADVOCATE Inspire those around you. Advocate. Motivate.
  • MEASURE Have an analytical mindset!
This was named Best talk of 2020 @ Product School

Here’s the talk!

Reach out if you have any questions!

Marily Nika

AI Product Manager @Google | Epidemiology & Social Networks Ph.D @imperialcollege | Harvard Business Analytics Teaching Fellow | 2018’s Woman of the year award

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