After years of thinking deeply about professional development for PMs and training hundreds of product managers in a traditional classroom setting, the realization that offering training by itself as a way to develop PMs is of questionable value was an inconvenient insight. I spent untold hours developing courses that I believe educated people, inspiring them to approach their work more methodically, intelligently, and creatively. However, upon following up with my students months or years after they took my courses, I realized that training without follow-up that involved reinforcing the basics and incorporating theory into practice simply doesn’t produce the long-term benefits I endeavored to provide my students, who were paying a non-trivial amount of money to attend my courses (many PM courses cost thousands of dollars).
In an attempt to help engrain theory in daily practice, I started including follow-up coaching sessions as part of course tuition. I felt better about the results that I generated with my students but couldn’t shake the feeling that something very important was still missing. It was during a conversation with a prospective student who told me about the books she was reading, the events she was attending and the online content she was consuming that I had what for me was a breakthrough: the best professional development results come from a set of varied activities that are part of a broad, integrated plan. Great professional development requires a great professional development strategy, not just a clever course that lasts a few days.
It was the word “strategy” that led me to start thinking about the “product perspective”. I’ve always considered myself a strategic thinker and prided myself on the emphasis I had learned to give strategy in my product management work. It then occurred to me I could leverage my tendency to “PM” everything (the hallmark of “natural born” PMs) to better manage my and other people’s careers. Just as with a product, I needed to think about the outcomes I was pursuing and then develop a comprehensive approach to delivering them.
This is the philosophy that underlies our approach at career.pm. We help PMs articulate their career goals, develop a career strategy and then formulate a plan that includes a mixture of development resources: online training, coaching, interaction with others and, of course, real-world practice. It is this combination of diverse resources personally tailored to our members’ aspirations that makes our approach so effective.
We also acknowledge that having great knowledge, judgment and experience are of limited career value if you don’t know how to position them with prospective employers. That’s why we’ve invested in defining an “Intelligent Job Search”, bringing together a winning approach to finding a job with traditional measures like resume reviews and mock interviews. In short, career.pm is your one-stop-shop for developing yourself as a world-class product manager and getting the job you want.
I am incredibly proud of the approach we’ve developed at career.pm and immensely gratified to see the results we’re helping generate for our members. If you’d like to take your product management career to the next level and agree that taking a few days of training isn’t the answer, poke around our site and schedule a consultation with us to determine if career.pm is right for you.