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Why Finance Professionals Make the Best Product Managers

Did you know that a career in Finance primes you for a career in Product Management? In today's article we are discussing how a background in Finance makes the best Product Managers!
3 min read

Product Gym welcomes members from all kinds of backgrounds, and without a doubt, a good number of our members have careers in Finance. Many Finance professionals struggle to see themselves as Product Managers; however, with our proven strategy and instruction, they have realized that experience in Finance does prime you for a rewarding career in Product Management.

For those who are still fighting with self-doubt, we asked Melinda, a Product Gym member. She successfully transitioned from Investment Banking to Product Management, and she is explaining why Finance professionals make the best Product Managers.

Before her career in Product Management, Melinda was an Investment Banking Analyst at Citi. She leveraged the skills she gained in Finance and went through the Product Gym program to get a Product Manager job at Xaxis. For her full transition story and suggestions for Finance professionals trying to juggle workload and interviewing simultaneously, make sure you watch her previous video!

When we asked about why Finance professionals make the best Product Managers, Melinda told us that they have the following skillset. People coming from other professions might not be as competitive:

  • Having a thicker skin: We all know that a job in Finance is extremely stressful. On top of the long hours, these professionals are under the extreme pressure of continually delivering to the clients. They don’t have the privilege of giving up or let their stress levels harm their productivity.
  • Mental capacity to work on multiple tasks simultaneously: There are varieties of deliverables that have to be presented to the client with strict deadlines. Therefore, these professionals don’t have the option of focusing on a single task at a time. Multitasking is the name of the game!
  • Communicating with a multitude of stakeholders: In addition to dealing with a demanding workload, these professionals also have to constantly be in contact with different stakeholders to ensure that the business goes smoothly.

You might also be wondering how the work environments in these two professions differ. Does the Product Management function offer a suitable work environment for professionals coming from Finance?

According to Melinda, yes, there is a huge contrast between a bank and a tech company. The latter is way more relaxed (not just the dress code!) in a way that nurtures teamwork, collaboration, and growth. While the two professions’ responsibilities are equally sophisticated and require critical thinking, Melinda points out that tech companies offer a work environment that helps professionals overcome the pressure and deliver products efficiently.

She also mentions about her struggles to adapt to the tech culture coming from banking. In the beginning, her coworkers thought that she was quite intense in terms of her expectations! For any professional coming from a corporate setting, the turnaround and response times at corporate functions are different than tech companies in general. It is a massive mindset shift, and obviously, it takes some time and experience to adapt to a new company culture fully.

We concluded our interview with a discussion on how to simultaneously interview and work while one’s career is so demanding and intense. Perhaps, many Finance professionals abandon the idea of getting a Product Manager job because the interview process on top of a full-time job seems impossible.

For Melinda, this was a challenge as well, but it wasn’t impossible at the end of the day. She took three months from starting Product Gym to getting her offer and had to sacrifice weekends and weeknights to apply to jobs and prepare for interviews.

Interviewing, however, is “a walk in the park” compared to the 14-hour grind of a typical Banking Analyst. Yes, interviewing does require deliberate preparation and effort, but it can result in a job offer quite easily when done right. So, there is no reason to lose hope!

Here’s the full interview with Melinda, if you haven’t watched it already! Make sure you subscribe to our channel to learn more about how the transition from Finance to Product Management works!

Are you a Finance professional who feels like they are stuck in the process and need guidance? We are here to help! Schedule a free consultation with us today to find out how we can turn the course of your career in a matter of months!

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