How to Make Your Product Management Transition Happen

Product management is all about solving problems. As Product Management is still so new, and isn’t a topic covered at length by traditional educators, today’s PM is likely to be an engineer or designer who transitioned. There are a lot of factors to be considered if one is willing to invest in this blooming career path. Roberta Dombrowski, being a UX designer herself, consciously chose to become a PM.

This session closely covers her personal insights and tips on the journey of transitioning into a PM.

From Design to Product: Roberta Dombrowski

Roberta Dombrowski graduated from Boise State University with an MS degree in Organisational Performance and Workplace Learning. She worked as a designer and support manager in The Predictive Index, before jumping into Pluralsight as a Product Manager. She believes in the power of learning and is currently involved in connecting with customers and gathering quantitative insights for product development.

What to Focus on When Transitioning into PM

Product Managers come from all kinds of different backgrounds. As there is no bachelors degree program in Product Management, people wanting to pursue it often discover it when they’ve already begun their careers elsewhere. So a transition into PM is commonplace across all industries.

While working as a lead designer, Roberta took that leap into becoming a PM. She says it was a thoughtful and conscious decision and it took a good 9 months of research and mind mapping.

Roberta’s top tips for a swift product management transition:

1. Take a good long look at yourself

Conduct your user research, but you are the user here.

Ask yourself why you are looking to make the change. What type of environment do you want to be in (startup, enterprise, remote)? What type of products do you want to work on? What unique perspective can you bring to the PM role?

You can then ask yourself what you’re going to have to work on to get there.

2. Make friends and influence people

After all, a great PM is a great communicator! Connect with:

  • PMs
  • UX
  • Engineers
  • CSM
  • Sales

Learn more about their journeys and the types of environments they work in.

3. Promote yourself

Share your unique voice by writing articles or blog posts, posting to Twitter and LinkedIn, maybe even giving presentations on things you know about related to Product.

You could also showcase yourself by setting up a portfolio site. Make sure your message is cohesive across all your platforms.

4. Embrace the chaos

In Product, no two days are ever the same. Learn to take control of your schedule and set aside time to think.

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