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How to Reach the next stage in your Product Career Path

There are three ways to reach the next stage in your Product Career: Ask for more responsibility. Join a Professional Network. Take a class to Up-skill.
How to Reach the next stage in your Product Career Path
Photo by yang miao / Unsplash

I’m a product manager. How do I start managing people?

There are three ways to reach the next stage in your Product Career:

  1. Ask for more responsibility.
  2. Join a Professional Network.
  3. Take a class to Up-skill.

According to a survey by Product Maestro of 200 Product leaders, these are the three best methods to stand out at work.

Survey of 200 Product Leaders, by Product Maestro

Let’s break those down.

(1) Ask for more responsibility ⛏️

Build up your actual impact. This is the most powerful lever you can pull to get promoted. To do that, you need to work on more. But you don’t necessarily want more quantity of work; you want specific quality of work. What does that mean?

You don’t want more of the same work. You want to ask for different work. You want to ask for work that increases your impact.

Ask for the right type of work. ✔️

For example, you might manage a scrum team and ship features within one product area, say the check-out flow. You are given specific features to write up and ship. But you don’t manage the roadmap for the whole check-out flow.

Suppose no one is managing the roadmap for the check-out flow. That’s easy. Ask if it’ll be helpful for you to start building that out and start doing it. But it’s likely that someone else already owns that work. Then you can ask to become more involved in building the roadmap for the check-out flow. Ask to learn under the person's tutelage who owns the check-out flow roadmap. If that person already has other responsibilities, they may welcome your help. If they are protective of their work territory, they may reject your help. This is where storytelling comes in.

Being able to tell a story about how your help will help them is very important. Everybody is thinking about their WIIFM. So step into their shoes and consider their WIIFM before you approach them. It has to be a win-win for both of you.

If you’re not confident about properly asking, you may need to up-skill your storytelling ability.

There are two types of work that you should focus on:

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