Becoming a Product Manager

A lot of people ask me "how can I become a Product Manager?" and unfortunately, I don't think there's just one way. 

I read once: "They just need to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the user and weave a beautiful and compelling story about their site."

Product Managers have characteristics that make them good at what they do.
  • Passion for what they do, so they can influence others
  • Innovative-ness is important for creating new products
  • Organization and ability to prioritize
  • Empathy and the ability to understand the customer need (and prove that they're right!)
  • An understanding of the company's technology and what they're using
If you have these things, then you can be a product manager - it's just a matter of showing your management team that you would be a good fit!

I like Quora and the answers I've found there:
Quora: How do you become a product manager?
Getting visibility in the company you are in is also a great way to showcase the talents that you have.  Join projects that they are working on, provide information and feedback when the PM's are looking for it, ask if they need help testing or working through a problem... there are many ways to showcase your PM skills, you just might need to be patient!

You can also do a few job searches for associate product manager and junior product manager positions!  There are only a handful of them out there, so get started!

What are some of your recommendations for becoming a product manager?  Is it all about luck? Skill? A little bit of both?  Some people say they "fell into product management" - is that the case?

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