Product Management

How do you become a Product Manager?

We're confident there is no one answer to this. Product Managers comes from all walks of industries and professions. So what did you do to become and product manager and what would be your advice to people looking to move into the profession?

  • The Team at JAM

    Want to move to becoming a PM? Hold your socks, it’s gonna be a crazy ride.

    Figure out if the role suits you

    Product management sounds lush. It has an aura of prestige, ownership, and knowledge. But, it requires quite specific skills and work style, which might not suit your personality. Be aware of that and consult your doctor. Erm, I mean, talk to other PMs and learn what the job looks like in practice.

    Start shadowing

    If you’re lucky and can spend more time with a PM you know — do it. Watch what problems they face and how they approach them. That’s not the end of shadowing though. As a PM you’ll need to be familiar with the work of all other departments. Spend time shadowing customer support and the back-end wizards. It’s all equally important.

    Focus on what you don’t like.

    It’s pleasant to focus on what interests you and comes easy. But, there is no way to escape it. You need to gain a solid understanding of all aspects of the product. Data analysis is boring and hard? That’s precisely why you need to spend more time learning it. How much time? Until it starts making sense.

    Train your product muscles

    Before you sail the big waters, practice thinking like a product person on the dry land. Test new products (find them on Product Hunt or Betalist) and try to reverse engineer the decision making process behind them. Learn to concisely explain what impresses you, and what the shortcomings are, list ideas how you’d improve the product (with justifications!). If you’re feeling gutsy, you can even send your analysis to the creators and — who knows? — maybe get a job once they start hiring. Or, practice dealing with rejection or constructive criticism.

    I'd also recommend you look at...

    Ask JAM a follow-up question!

    Ask a question

Need help convincing your boss?

Please read the guidelines first

More tips like this...

Product Management
How much data is enough?
It's hard to find a balance between 'quick and dirty' research and more time-consuming in-depth studies. Where do you draw the line to make product decisions?
People & Teams
What's the #1 thing teams should expect from their Product Manager?
Product Mangers come in many shapes and sizes, and are all subject to varying expectations from team members as well. What matters the most to you and why?
What is the tool you can't live without?
We've all got our own 'stack' of tools, platforms and even productivity hacks. But which adds the most value to you and how have you used it?