As a Product Manager, you want to thrive within the role. This is heavily dependent on which company you choose to work for. So you want to know the best companies for Product Managers? Obviously, people tend to list the Big Five as the best tech companies to work for. But there are so many additional companies that have a reputation for being top product management companies.
The best companies to work for as a Product Manager are generally considered to be Uber, Amazon, Airbnb, Microsoft, and Facebook.
What factors go into making a company one of the best places to be a Product Manager? This article will touch on the common best practices of top product management companies, examples of some of the best companies to work for, and what they have in common that makes them so desirable.
What Do the Top Product Management Companies Have in Common?
When it comes to weighing the best companies for Product Managers to work for, many people simply focus on the salary. But remember that your happiness and success in a job are about much more than money. Here are the other the common elements that the best Product Management companies share, and why they’re important:
- Responsibilities: a good company will be able to match your skills and experience to your experience and work history, and ensuring that where you don’t have experience, you have support and training. You don’t want to work for a company that sticks you in an entry-level job you’re overqualified for, nor one that burns you with tasks that you don’t have the skillset to complete.
- Growth opportunities: at any job, you will want the opportunity for professional and personal growth. The best companies for Product Managers will offer you a healthy amount of challenges, opportunities to widen your knowledge and experience, and are open to development and promotion within the ranks.
- Professionalism: it’s very easy for a company to look professional from the outside, through their websites and external representation. However, this doesn’t always translate to how they work internally. No one thrives under an unorganized and messy working environment. When interviewing, remember to ask questions about the company and the team you’ll be working with to ensure that you catch any red flags. Companies that rank as the best places to be a Product Manager will be able to answer your questions and keep a dialogue of helpful and professional information going.
- Company culture: this is an important one, especially when taking into account the point above. You want to work for a professional organization but this shouldn’t mean it lacks personality. Your Product Manager salary shouldn’t be the single, constant drive for wanting your job: you will also want to work within a company that has character and is an enjoyable place of work. How you get along with your team can make or break even the best places to work.
Essentially, if you’re asking about the top product management companies, there is no one wrong or right answer. All companies are unique in the way that they operate. So, providing a strict list of what a company has to have to be a good organization to work for as a Product Manager.
Furthermore, what company is the best place for you to be a Product Manager will be very dependent on you as an individual. Still, the list above should be able to guide you on what to look for in a general sense when applying for Product Manager roles.
What Are the Best Places to Be a Product Manager?
Here’s a brief round-up of the top 5 best companies for Product Managers.
The typical salary for a Product Manager at Amazon is $131,281.
It’s not difficult to find articles circulating about Amazon’s company culture — it’s been called bruising, relentless, and painful, just to name a few. However, its culture “fosters a performance-driven environment that fires up employees to innovate in pursuit of an outstanding, continuously-improving customer experience.” Say what you will: they’re effective.
You know that if you’re applying for a Product Manager job at Amazon that you will be working hard, but this provides you with great opportunities to grow, progress, and get creative and innovative freedom when it comes to your role.
The typical salary for a PM at Facebook ranges from $166k to $485k.
Facebook’s company culture famously centres on individual ability. It is very much your own show — no one is holding your hand, your project is your project. This benefit takes the forefront when Facebook advertises for job roles, as the individual has such a significant output and impact on the company’s output.
Furthermore, Facebook is very generalist when it comes to hiring in some ways. They decide where to place you and which team you’ll belong to after offering you the job. This gives a Product Manager candidate the chance to try something new.
Facebook is also one of the best places to be a Product Manager because of the PM internship opportunities that they offer: “Facebook offers real work, real money and real experience”. This includes being paired with a one-on-one mentor, real projects to work on, a well as a fun and comfortable working environment.
The typical salary for a PM at Uber is $161,011.
Uber is renowned for being one of the best places to work in product management, as well as for the way they’ve revolutionized the way that we travel. Uber’s pivot to the B2B market gives Product Managers a powerful incentive to be part of the team. As a PM at Uber, your work is valued and rewarded.
Also, you’re very much in charge of your own ideas, with the encouragement to make bold decisions. Uber directs its culture towards diversity and inclusion, as well as philanthropy and safety.
On top of all that, Uber is renowned for its organized and well-managed operations. As mentioned in the previous section, professionalism is important when it comes to choosing a company to work for. Uber is certainly one of the top product management companies in this respect.
According to Glassdoor, the typical salary for a Product Manager at Microsoft is $96,471.
Microsoft’s company culture fosters innovation and diversity, something you would expect from any big company in 2021. However, something that really defines its culture and makes it one of the best tech companies to work for is how fun a place it is to work. Microsoft aims to have the role fit you, instead of you fitting to the role or into the company. If you don’t like your circumstances, then you’re in control of changing them.
Furthermore, Microsoft pushes the ideology of innovation not being limited to rank. It’s a given: you’d want to work for a company that values your input and where you have an overall impact on the company’s landscape. Microsoft is a firm believer that good ideas come from any position, and they maintain a culture where this is fostered and encouraged.
The typical Product Manager salary at Airbnb is $206,289.
Airbnb’s main advantage as one of the best companies for Product Managers is that it always stays one step ahead of its competitors. Therefore, the Product Manager roles at Airbnb are incredibly instrumental to the success of the company. Expect to work hard but have ownership and personal and professional development as you learn through completing tasks and operations.
When in Doubt, Consult a Career Coach
Career coaches provide a range of services to help you navigate your career path as an aspiring or first-time Product Manager. For example, Some of the career coaching services offered at Product Gym are tangible and easy to unpack, like reviewing your resume and providing pieces of strategic advice when it comes to interview questions and salary negotiation.
But product management career coaches can also help you in more hard-to-describe ways. Product Gym career coaches can help guide you as you pinpoint which companies or industries you want to target as a Product Manager according to culture fit and what you’re passionate about. They can also help you build your confidence, crush imposter syndrome, and develop a growth mindset.
Our goal is to help our members land a Product Manager job they love, and thrive in their day-to-day as a PM. All in all, working with a career coach to determine what company is best for you as a Product Manager will help ensure you make a well-planned and thought-out decision for your future career happiness.
How to Determine a Great Culture Fit
Dear Product Gym,
How do I know if this is the best company for me to be a Product Manager? What are some good questions for testing out if this place is really the kind that I would want to work?
When you’re looking to determine if a company is a good culture fit for you, there are a few ways to find out. Find out if this is the best company for you to be a Product Manager by asking stakeholders about the following:
- Mission and Vision
- Exit Strategy
7 Components that Determine A Good Product Manager Fit
1. Mission and Vision
Mission and vision are the most important aspects when assessing if an opportunity is right for you. It is crucial to understand what the company stands for aligns with the values that you care about.
If these two aren’t strongly manifested in a company, you can expect the rest of the components (i.e., culture, people, salary) to be weak and dissatisfactory as well. These are the kinds of questions you should be asking to understand if the company’s mission and vision work for you:
- What does the company stand for?
- What kinds of changes does the company want to make?
- What is it that the company believes in?
In general, the companies clearly manifest their mission and vision on their websites, similar to the one shown below. If you don’t see anything related to the values that the company believes in, that’s a red flag.
2. Company Culture
Make sure you carefully observe the culture in the company you are considering. Is the culture based on a growth mindset, or is it toxic? Who determines the culture in the company? Most of the time, culture is determined by the leadership.
If the leadership is weak, regardless of how excellent the company or the product is, you will have very low chances of being happy with your role in the company. This is because if you don’t have a good culture, all the skilled people will leave the company sooner or later.
Similar to vision and mission, a company’s culture (especially if it’s large) is manifested on its website. While the website might not be the most reliable resource, you can always ask people working/worked there or go to a third-party website, such as Glassdoor, to see what people are saying about the company.
This brings us to our third component: the people that you will be working with. It is quite easy to assess this as there is only one question that you should be asking yourself: Do I like the people that I work with?
If the answer is no, there is no way you will find the right amount of motivation to drive a successful product. Yes, you don’t have to like everybody, but you should like the most significant decision-makers or the people you are going to work with daily.
Always bear in mind that your work is your net worth. So, if you work for a company that doesn’t have the right mission, vision, culture, and the people, you will end up working with incompetent people.
Not to be the bearer of bad news here, but if you are going to be with insufficient people, you will end up losing your talent and intelligence. Make sure that you are working with smart people who motivate you to bring your best self to work.
Also, note that awesome people in your company will go to awesome places, meaning that you will have a reliable network well distributed in great companies. This will open doors for you in the future!
When assessing whether a given company is best for you, you should also be asking yourself this: what kinds of skills am I going to be gaining from this experience? This question is closely tied up to the three components that we discussed above. The vision and the mission of the company have to be centered around cultivating a culture that is focused on raising the best talent and making the best out of their people.
Note that you will learn 95% of your skills on the job. You will not learn most of them on your own (yes, Udemy and Coursera will not be enough), but on the job, where you are required to put them into work. So, make sure that the opportunity will teach you to succeed in your current role and will give you the skills and the experience to find a better offer in the future.
What about the product that you will be developing? Why didn’t we rank product as the most important component? It’s because you will always be better off working on a boring product with intelligent people rather than having insufficient people on your team to develop a fascinating product.
Keep in mind that you cannot launch a product on your own. It is still teamwork. That being said, you should always aim to stay away from working on internal products. This is where careers go to die. With internal products, you get limited resources and visibility. So, don’t just asses the company from a name and salary perspective.
Make sure that the projects you will be working on are client faced as all, if not many, companies search for client-facing product managers.
6. Exit Strategies
It might sound weird, but when you are accepting an opportunity, always think about the exit strategy.
How does this company and this opportunity look in the market when you are trying to get your next offer? Are you going to be able to develop skills that will make you look competitive in the market? Is it going to help you build a better network?
This component also explains why it is essential for you to land the right Product Manager job in the first place. If you go to a place that doesn’t offer you anything we discussed here, then you will find yourself searching for an opportunity that will have all of these components.
You want to make sure that your job hunting process is as smooth as possible because let’s face it: job hunting sucks!
Yes, money is not the most important thing. But let’s face it, living in a big city costs a lot, and we need to pay our bills. We can guarantee you that while salary is not as important as the factors mentioned earlier, if you are smart and fortunate enough to land a Product Manager offer that checks the boxes above, you will most probably be rewarded generously in terms of salary.
Money talk can be really tricky. If you are struggling with salary negotiations, check out our free training course on how to negotiate better Product Manager job offers. And make sure you’re ready for the salary question to come up in the interview:
What Makes a Company Great for Product Managers?
Essentially, the best company for you to undertake a Product Manager role is very dependent upon what is the best fit for you. If you’ve got a job hunt on your list of things to accomplish before the end of the year, or as a resolution going into 2022, you’ll need to start with company research to learn what product culture and work environment are going to suit your style and ambitions. Generally speaking, the best companies for Product Managers listed here are opportunities you wouldn’t want to pass up.
Do you want access to our exclusive job board? Of course you do: clicking here gives you the opportunity to view a daily updated list of Product Manager job openings at some of the best companies for Product Managers on the market. Because we put this together with our insider knowledge and vast network, you won’t find some of these listings anywhere else.