What Challenges to Expect in a Transition from Finance to Product Management


The first challenge you have is obvious, you are not a Product Manager right now. How are you going to break into the role without having the experience?


Stop focusing on your title and function for a minute and take a deep look at what you do on a day to day basis. You have more in common with a Product Manager than you will ever know. The key here is to focus on all your strengths and what you have to offer.

  • Your ability to conduct effective research
  • Work under pressure
  • Deal with difficult people
  • Deliver outstanding results in often unreasonable circumstances
  • Thrive in hostile and toxic environments
  • And the list goes on and on and on

Sure, it may not seem like much considering your colleagues do the same thing, but think hard for a minute on how many more people out there can’t even do what you do. You also do it on a daily basis at a high level!

  • Go find 25 reasons why you would be an awesome Product Manager and send it to us.
  • Go and also look up 25 Product Manager job descriptions (not just the ones from the companies you want to work at) and see for yourself all the things you can do.
  • That’s what you need to focus on

Salary Challenge

The other challenge you have is whether or not you have to take a pay cut. Let’s face it, you are probably pretty good at what you are doing right now and you may have to pay a premium to get your foot in the door. The problem with this assumption is that you do not know how much that premium is. How much do Product Managers make in the city you are living in? The ranges vary from city to city; but what are the numbers and ranges?


The average salary for a Product Manager is $108,000 to $134,000 depending on where you live, but that’s not important. The more important thing is to get the notion out of your head that you are going to take a pay cut. Thinking like that will not increase the quantity of the Product Manager interviews that you go on, nor will it improve the quality. These are the only factors you need to consider when making the transition. If a company lists their salary expectations on the posting (be it LinkedIn or Indeed), apply anyways. Would you tell your realtor your true budget in buying a home? Then, why would you expect a company to put true numbers on their posting? That just doesn’t make any sense.

Lack of Technical Knowledge Challenge

You may not have a software engineering background, but you have the next best thing you are analytical by nature. This means you can understand complex concepts and ideas.


If you needed to be a Software Engineer in order to transition to a Product Manager role then you are making some very bad assumptions. Here at Product Gym, it is our business network with Product Managers through all the major tech hubs in the country that sets us apart. There are many rock star Product Managers without a software engineering background and many rock star Product Managers that do come from a software engineering background. You can’t change your core competencies of what you studied in school. Forget about the Computer Science or Engineering requirement on the job description and just apply to those jobs anyhow. Even if they don’t call you back after you’ve applied, we can guarantee you that they won’t call you back if you don’t apply to the role either.

Most of these job descriptions were not written by the actual hiring manager themselves, so why are you taking it so seriously?

Besides, we got you covered. We have all the questions and answers to every Product Management category in existence from Engineering, to Product DesignDataProduct MarketingStrategy, Culture Fit, and Behavior. It’s just like studying for the GMAT, except we make it much more fun; because you will be interviewing for this position instead of taking a multiple choice exam.

The Job Description is Asking for 4+ Years in Product Management Challenge


Apply to it ANYWAY!

Game Plan Challenge

These are the most common questions we get here at Product Gym from our friends working in Finance and Banking that are looking to make a transition. The core flaw with all of these assumptions is that these questions are rooted in the weaknesses of the candidate coming from Finance and Banking; rather than their strengths. There are so many qualities Finance and Banking professional bring to the table that would make them phenomenal Product Managers. The real frustration is knowing that if you were just given the opportunity to prove yourself; you would most certainly deliver.

If you are in Finance and Banking and reading this article right now, you are probably looking to open the next chapter of your life and researching strategies to do so.



Getting in your own by way focusing on the skills that you do not have.

You already know the trajectory that you are on does not make sense.

Your boss is who you will become in 5 to 10 years if you stay the course.

Focusing on the strengths and skills that you do have.

Perhaps it is just the nature of the industry that you are in, but being overly critical about all the skills that you don’t or wish you had will not help you in this transition.

You cannot turn back the clock, so

Looking at how to solve this problem by thinking about how the Finance and Banking industry does hiring Understanding how technology does hiring
Cherry picking and saving yourself for Google, Facebook, Spotify, and every other technology behemoth

This companies are highly saturated markets to compete for roles as a first time Product Manager

Opening yourself up to new opportunities with companies that you never heard of but are also doing innovative and engaging product development

Surely, your analytical skills

Wasting your time building side projects.

It is simply too difficult to develop side projects on your own with the intention that it will be a conversation piece during the interview. The reason for that is it’s just too hard to build a side project every company you will interview at will find interesting.

Imagine you are a chef and you can only create one dish to represent you as an artist or professional. What do you choose?

A protein dish eliminates any seafood restaurant that would be interested and vice versa.

An ethnic dish may not fit with everyone’s dietary preferences.

What then? A dessert?

You do not know where you are going to end up. We have had coaching clients take Product Manager positions from Health to Education companies. The most extraordinary case is a coaching client taking a Product Manager position that builds mobile applications for people with cocaine addiction.

Dedicating your time, energy, and effort on developing your repackaging your new brand and honing your Product Management Interview skills.

Product Gym has the resources for you from technical assignments used by companies that are interviewing for Product Managers right now to flashcards with all the questions and answers you need to know.

We have everything you need and our arsenal of resources is only growing by the week.

Thinking that you will take a position that you can obtain, in the hopes of transitioning to a Product Manager position later.

You already have that job right now and you HATE it, so why do you want to keep doing what you do not want to do.


Commit that you can and will make this transition because this is what you want. This is what you are passionate about.

Product Gym has helped others from your industry just like you make the transition and we can help you as well.

The path is clear and simple; but not easy and there will be many ups and downs. You will find, however, that the journey will be a lot easier with our support group and seeing others that are succeeding right now in this transition will inspire you as well.

Please schedule a call today or RSVP for our next event to see how Product Gym can help you land your next Product Manager job.

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