5 Simple Steps for Product Management Job Hunting in 2020

Now that all is said about “being your best self in the new year” or “having that 2020 vision”, it is time for you to ACTUALLY own these big promises. Yes, it sounds difficult, but it is not impossible. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it. The only thing left for you to do is to do what what you learned here. Let’s get started.

We know that some of you out there aren’t exactly the reader types. If that’s the case, don’t worry! We hold weekly webinars to teach you the basics of job hunting in the field of product management. Check out our page to learn more!

1. Identifying Your Goal

Well, this should be the first thing you should do for any problem or challenge you want to tackle. What’s your goal when it comes to job hunting? Is this going to be your first Product Manager role? Are you already a seasoned Product Manager, who wants more responsibilities or more compensation? Before you take any action, think really hard about what you want to do. Write down solid and quantifiable goals. If you’re struggling with goal setting, here’s a useful framework for you. It’s called SMART:

  • Specific: Make it specific, so you know how to get there. Here are some specific goals for you to get started with:
    • “I want to get a job at a FAANG company”: Well, this is an ambitious goal (for those of you who don’t know what FAANG is, it stands for: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google), but it is still specific.
    • “I want to make 200K this year”: You are going for the rewards and that’s great! You either have to prove your higher-ups that you are worth the investment or seek other opportunities that are willing to pay you that amount.
  • Measurable: Make it quantifiable, so that you know when you reached your goal. Using the aforementioned example:
    • “I want to get a job at a FAANG company”: This is pretty straightforward. If you got the Google offer (or the other companies), then you are all set!
  • Attainable: This is where you have to have some real, no B.S. conversation with yourself. Can you actually make that goal happen? Is a FAANG offer realistic stretch for you? Should you have some product management experience beforehand to make it happen? If it’s not attainable, review your goals and make them less ambitious. Yes, it sounds bad, but trust us, having a goal that is less ambitious, but realistic is way better than having an unrealistic goal.
  • Realistic: We covered this in attainable, so you should know what to do at this point.
  • Time: Associate a time frame for your goal. You cannot spend your whole life working towards a single goal, so go ahead and set a time limit or a due date for this goal.

After you think about your goals, also think about why you want to achieve them. Does a Product Manager title sound cool? Or do you want to have a role that has more responsibilities or is more tech-centered? While we respect everyone’s motivations behind their goals, please make sure that you’re setting these goals NOT to impress anyone else, but yourself.

If you can’t wait until the end of this article, schedule a call with us now and we will tell you exactly what you should be aiming for and teach you how to get there.

2. Identifying Your Roadblocks

This is the step where you think and determine what exactly prevented you from achieving your goals previously. These are all the roadblocks and steps that keep your goals pending. Let’s think about some specific examples. During our webinars and consultations, we always encounter people who tell us that they are stuck at getting more interviews. In general, they tell us that they count themselves lucky if they have ONE interview call A MONTH. Most of the time, when they join our program and rebrand themselves using our proven technique, they end up getting at least THREE calls A WEEK.

Want to join our weekly Product Management interviewing webinars? Join us either online or in-person here!

Well, after this step, the roadblocks keep on changing. Many of our members complain about how they land more interviews, but fail to market themselves as the ultimate Product Manager. Product Gym is there for them to teach the techniques to help them channel their inner Product Managers.

Found yourself stuck at interviewing and can’t pass through that first/second/third/fourth round of interview, or the case study that you got no idea about? Well, worry no more. Refer to our publications and join our webinars to learn more:

Pro tip: If you are struggling to think about the specific roadblocks that prevent you from achieving your goals, think about what keeps you up on Sunday night. Many times, people refer to their #SundayScaries as the reason why they schedule a call with us; it is no surprise for us to have the highest number of consultation calls on Mondays!

3. Diagnosing the Root Cause of the Problem(s)

Why are these problems happening to you? Try to think about what might have caused them. With years of experience in career building and branding, we have seen numerous times where the root cause of the problem is the following:

  • Confidence: Many of our members get really discouraged when they fail their very first phone screens or see that a job “requires” at least 4-5 years of experience. These kinds of small failures make a really huge dent on our members’ confidence in the beginning. Don’t let these small things get in your way.
  • Procrastination/Laziness: Having a goal and thinking about how you want to achieve it is great, but it is still nothing if you don’t put in the work. You have to sacrifice some of your fun time and even your sleep to get what you want.

Side note: Yes, we know that applying to jobs and interviewing while having a full-time job is very difficult. But trust us, most of our members who got their Product Manager offer accomplished this while they were working rigorous (we are talking about investment banking or software engineering level) jobs. Want to learn how to effectively use your time to maximize your interviews? Watch this clip and you’re all set!

  • No attack plan: Having the goal and the drive is great, but you’ll get nowhere if you don’t have a good attack plan.

4. Designing a Plan or To-Do List

This is where we come in! We know for a fact that it is extremely challenging to have a solid attack plan without full exposure or knowledge of the job-hunting game out there. And yes, the game is savage. Everyone is overqualified, everyone comes from an impressive background, blah blah blah… Yes, there is every possible reason for you to feel like you are already behind. But you know what? A very small percentage of people out there know what to do and have the confidence to actually do it. Schedule a call with us to join that highly desirable minority and you’ll get your dream job in no time!

5. Executing the Plan

You got the goals and the plan ready to go. Now you have to embrace the fact that you ACTUALLY have to do it. Yes, this means less fun time and more hustle, but what is life without the feeling of accomplishment? Shake off your laziness and fears, and run the marathon of your life! We will be here with you to hold you accountable for the progress you make during this marathon. We are not joking; if you decide to work with us, we will check in with you on a daily basis to get the number of applications you’ve submitted and the number of interviews you scheduled. We are a no B.S. team, so get ready to embrace some toughness. This gym will give you all the muscles you need to dominate the job-hunting game.


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