Only recently, dedicated graduation paths for Product Management have been established. In fact, most Product Managers transition from other departments and functions. We’ve identified the most typical paths and interviewed product managers who have successfully done their transitions and shared their stories with us.
🙋♀️Reha Discioglu, Senior Product Manager at Quentic, previously UX Designer.
UX Designers and Researchers (UX) already work closely with the Product Management and Engineering teams. We’ve seen in some companies there are halftime UX and halftime product management roles, or companies where UX takes on product management tasks, such as prioritization, stakeholder communication, and user interviews, which makes it a rather natural transition from UX into product management.
When it comes to the difference between B2B and B2C, everything can be different. There can often be much more stakeholder management in B2B than in B2C, which means a higher level of soft skills is required. The balance between what buyers and users want can be challenging to find. And it’s tougher to summarise customer problems in B2B, where although having the same problems when using the same solution, each B2B customer has their particular organizational setup in the system and in reality. Whereas in B2C, oftentimes the focus is either on retention, engagement, purchase rate, etc. Last but not least, in B2B, it’s not easy to ignore “angry customers”.
There are definitely transferable skills that assist a smoother transition:
Still, there are things to watch out for:
Let’s discuss how to break into Product Management from Marketing. Note that here we focus on the transition, not how to land a job in general, i.e., your CV structure or job application platforms.
🙋♀️Mariana Furnari, Product Manager at Quentic, previously ESG Analyst.
When a product is handling problems of a specific domain, say ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) or FinTech, it’s often helpful to have a Product Manager who has previously worked in such domains and could use their expertise to better shape the product. And for the experts, extending their knowledge into a product can be a way to stay in the domain and make a higher impact.
Although it’s never too late to learn on the job, it’s still helpful to first understand the key principles of product management, before transitioning. For example, everything from watching online videos about life as a Product Manager to reading blogs and books about product management practices.
So you’ve decided that you want to be a Product Manager. That’s great! The problem is, you’ve never worked in product before, and you’ve got no idea where to start.