A True Statement on Product Managers


Lately a lot of my friends have been asking me for career advice, recommendations, and the such. One of the things I enjoy most is helping find people something that they love. My mentees, my family, my friends, I just enjoy talking to them to find what they love. I do it because I had wonderful mentors that helped me foster my dream and build my career to where it is today.

My current conundrum is understanding what it takes to be a Product Manager and my friend, a PM herself, offered this description (which from a quick Google of the following description, I believe is taken from a PM Essentials guide or class):

The Product Manager is the professional who leads a cross‐functional team in strategizing, marketing, and managing products across the life cycle – from concept through product discontinuance. In some firms, the Product Manager may be a service manager, an offering manger, or even a solutions manager. However, all Product Managers share a common characteristic ‐ they learn their job on the job. Unlike other professions, there isn’t a university degree in Product Management. Moreover, most people who carry out the job of the product manager do so within the context of the professional areas where they have the most experience, such as engineering, sales, or marketing. Therefore, many product managers approach their job from different perspectives. The result is that they may not be consistent in how they carry out Product Management activities. This is inefficient and it causes confusion inside of the company – and inefficiencies can cost the company time and money.

Finding what position you want to do is never easy in anyone’s career. I was lucky that I chose marketing and it stuck. I love what I do, even if I often dream what else I can do with my career (Creative Director!?). Just listen to others to understand what that “dream role” really involves. You may not love it all, but if you can love at least 80%, I think that’s the ideal sweet spot.

Company Culture


Location | Birch Coffee, 27th Street, New York City

One of the most important things that I look for in my permanent working place is the company culture.

It’s an alluring word, and can mean so many things. Whether it’s the benefits & perks or the people, the right combination is very important. The first company – an actual corporation! – that I worked for had amazing company culture. They were the only company listed on the 100 Best Companies to Work For for 6 years running (right up until they had a merger and didn’t qualify that year). They had fantastic amenities, great people to work with, and the fact that the CEO was extremely accessible made everyone feel like they were a part of something bigger.

No matter what your work is, the people that you work with will be a determining factor in your reason to stay in the long term. The moment you hit that wall where you don’t feel comfortable anymore, it’s time to move on.

Truth? Be honest with yourself, would you rather stick around for the pay and be miserable or would you rather work with amazing people who are passionate about what they do, even if it does pay a little less?