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6 Elements Critical to Landing that PM Role

Uncategorized Oct 07, 2020

Six elements are critical to finding your new product management role:

  1. Confidence: Successful job-seekers have confidence and continue generating it even as they go through a long job-search. They know the company needs them more than they need the company.
  2. Strong communication skills: You can increase your probability of getting the job tenfold merely by working on your communication skills.
  3. A well-defined narrative: Who are you, and what are your passions? Why should the company hire you? If you've not spent enough time working through your narrative, extracting the appropriate stories from the past, you're selling yourself short.
  4. Excellence in interviews. You have to know product management basics and strategy, and then you have to practice how to articulate and apply these skills in your interviews.
  5. Listening skills and situational awareness: You can make the interviewer want you to succeed even more by relating with them, engaging with them, and sharing some parts of your personality.
  6. Networking: With the job market the way it is, there are more applications for every job, which means you need to do more to stand out. You have to leverage all the networks you can to get a referral and explore the hidden job market where people haven't even posted jobs.


Hey everyone, it's Shobhit. And I'm here to talk about the five elements that are crucial for success in finding a new product management role, a new product management job. Now, my partner [Sam Feldman 00:00:31] and I, regularly work with product managers in helping them land their first or their next product management job, anywhere from the first PM role to a director or VP level position, and really get them to that next level of success in finding that next job. Now, over time, I've probably helped, I don't know, hundreds of PM's land that product management role. I've helped... I've interviewed so many people. And what I find is that there's five things that help people go from one of the many candidates to just amazing, outstanding, getting multiple offers, negotiating, landing that amazing salary.

So you know what? They're six factors. I just thought of it. Six factors. So I just thought of the six factors. I'm going to talk to you about those six factors. And as usual, if you need my help in figuring out what's going on wrong in your job search, and how do we get you to the next level, use the link that I'll post below showbhitchugh.com/apply, and set up time with me. Perfect. So, here are the take six things. Hope you're ready for it. So, number one is confidence and mindset. Look, the job search can be an incredibly long, frustrating process. It can... You are faced with countless rejections. You are always wondering that, "Am I good enough?" That's what people question, that, "Do they need me more than I need them?"

The people who I found to be really successful, not just have confidence, but they keep on generating confidence. They have daily rituals that help them build up their mindset, build up their confidence, and go in with the err of, "Yeah, you need me more than I need you. There's many jobs that are open for product managers. I am so good, but you need me more than I need you." That's the attitude you need to have. And you can get there even if you don't have it right now. There's rituals you can put in place that enable you to get there. So, that's what I want to challenge you. Can you get to that level of confidence even if you are in a marathon long search process? So, that's number one.

Second. Second out of six skills, your communication skills. Eighty percent of the time, two candidates have the same answer. One of them communicated it well, the other one didn't. Guess who's going to get the job. And I'm not talking about 20% more likely to get the job. I'm talking about 10 times more likely to get the job. You can increase your probability, 10X by purely working on your communication skills. So, that's number two. Communication skills. Number three, your story, your narrative. Who are you? Why should somebody hire you? What are you passionate about? What are your core strengths? All of those things feed into your narrative. And the challenge is that, most of the times when I ask people a question, tell me about yourself, I get this answer.

So, in 1993, I graduated from engineering degree, and then I went and I did engineering. Then I did four years of that, and then 20 years later, I am here in front of you. And in that chronological order of what they've been telling me and whatever's happening, I have completely lost focus. I'm thinking about why don't I have a phone in front of me. Since I'm nowadays interviewing you remotely, I've already switched to the next tab, or it's not fun, it's not interesting, it's not exciting, it's hard to understand. There's a lot of challenges with it. And by the way, a narrative goes everywhere. All your situational questions, all your product questions, how you answer them, everywhere works off of your narrative.

So, if you've not spent enough time working through your narrative, extracting what stories from the past build towards your narrative, become that storyteller, you're selling yourself short. So, number three is your narrative, incredibly important. Number four is just excellence in product interviews. You know the product inside, the strategy interviews. There's no way about it. You got to know the product management basics, you got to know strategy, and then you have to practice, practice, practice, practice until you're sick and tired of them. There is no substitute for practice. I've seen people who say, "Oh, I read the book. I read like... cracking the PM interview book." And I did something else. Reading the book doesn't do anything unless you've gone and actually practiced and gotten feedback from people who've interviewed other PMs, and done all these things that are going to enable you to succeed in those interviews.

Those interviews matter. You have to do them well and you have to practice tons for this to ultimately make sense and to enable you to succeed. That's number four. Number five. Listening skills and situational awareness. I mean, listen, you are talking to a human being. The interviewer is a human being. And in some sense, they want you to succeed. You can also make them want you to succeed even more by relating with them, by engaging with them, by sharing some parts of your personality with them. People forget that. They are so nervous about when is the first question going to come and how will I answer, that they've forgotten this whole engagement. One of my students has been through [inaudible 00:00:07:14], he's also has his testimonial on the website. One of the things he said was, as he worked with me, he learned certain listening skills, ways of listening and relating, that made it so much easier for him to get the job. The pressure was off of him.

So, in all the interviewing, don't forget that you are talking to a human being who wants to be listened to, who wants to be understood, but also who's giving you cues all the time on how well you're doing. If they're engaged or not, and do you respond based on that, or how much aware you are of their body language and exactly how they're speaking, and are they're interested, or are they signaling to you subtly that, "No, go do something else. This is not... You're going the wrong direction." You can learn so much and adjust. That's where the magic happens. You can take a great story. It's a great communication, add the situational awareness, add the great listening skills, and you are to the next level.

And by the way, all these skills, they'll help you land the job, but they'll also help you succeed in the job. So, that's why all of these are so important. And number six, the one that I just thought of, I had forgotten, was networking. The fact is that, it has become so easy to apply to jobs. So damn easy. Use LinkedIn Easy Apply, easy. What's happening? And the other thing that's happened, or the other thing that's happened is that, a lot of companies are like, "Hey, you can work from anywhere." So, both combined, mean for every job... And also the job market's bad. I mean, it's worse than before. It's not awful. Nobody tell me it's awful, because I know all these people who are getting excellent jobs and people are getting 40, 50% raises. So I know it can work.

But the point is that, now, even more so, there are more applications for every job, which means you both have to have a great narrative for your resume in LinkedIn and other things to stand out, but the second thing is, you got to network, you got to leverage all the networks you can to try to get a referral, and other ways, and also explore the hidden job market where people haven't even posted jobs, but they are looking, and use that to get to even the next level. So, to end, I want to say a couple of things. First of all, for anyone looking at a job, anyone recruiting, I empathize with you, look, it's a hard time to find good, try to find a real job. But first of all, you have to really think about how do you react to the challenge. Some people, when they get a challenge, they say, "Maybe I should not go do this." Other people say, "That means I got to work even harder."

So, that's what you need to be doing. Working even harder, even more determination, get the best possible help for you. But the second thing is, keep these six things in mind, confidence and mindset, communication, having a strong narrative, excellence in product insight questions and regular practice, listening skills and situational awareness, and network. Six things. And again, if you want to get the best coaches for your search on your site, so that you can land the best opportunity, landed it faster, and get paid a lot more, go to the link in the comment shobhitchugh.com/apply, apply to speak with me. And as long as we are somewhat fit to speak, I'll check with you. We'll talk through what's going on. And if we're a fit, I'll tell you how we can work together, otherwise I'll still try to provide as much value during the call, by helping you discover what's really standing in your way. Greeting all of you. And I look forward to speaking with you, or at you, as I do in these slides, very, very soon. Have a wonderful, wonderful day.

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