It’s Time to PM Your Career

As a native English-speaker living in a country with a different mother tongue, I often marvel at how flexible the English language is. We can effortlessly turn a noun into a verb. For example, how many times have you heard someone refer to "PMing" something, meaning driving it toward a conclusion? I would say "natural born" PMs "PM" most things in their life. We step up and take a leadership role and help groups of people align on a set of outcomes and drive them toward execution. Two families taking vacation together? Group of friends trying to decide where to have a drink? Volunteer group needs to raise money! You can PM all that!

How ironic is it then that we as product managers don’t "PM" our careers? If a product has no roadmap, we expect it to become rudderless, reactive and, without direction, eventually become obsolete. Shouldn’t we expect the same of a career that isn’t planned strategically?

I asked myself that question and knew I had to do something. As an educator, I became frustrated when students left my courses inspired and motivated, only to return to the operational overload of their job, failing to realize the full value of what they learned.

During a conversation with a potential student for my online PM course, I had two important insights:

  1. All professional development activities should be pursued as part of a broader career development plan
  2. Most PMs already have many of the skills they need to manage their careers -- they just needed to be inspired to think that way.

The result is career.pm. At the center of our approach is a clever way of using concepts and activities familiar to product managers to help them treat their career like a product. I often tell my students and consulting clients that if a product manager could only generate one artifact, it should be the product roadmap. I now feel the same way about career management. We’ve made a personalized roadmap the center of the career.pm approach.

But planning a career strategically is only the first step. How can you refine it over time while you are executing it? That’s where our intelligent combination of expert coaching, courses, resources and other professional development opportunities come in. By packaging these offerings, we can provide unprecedented value to product managers and those aspiring to be product managers.

Although we’re just getting started, we’ve already acquired a ton of valuable knowledge and experience! A few of our key thoughts and learnings:

  • PMs already have most of the skills they need to effectively manage their career -- they just haven’t made the connection!
  • For 1%-2% of your salary, we can give you the knowledge and confidence you need to radically accelerate your career growth
  • For less than the price of a 2- or 3-day course, we can give you a year of strategic career growth

We are launching a pilot program in the next few days. We couldn’t be more excited about changing the way product managers approach their careers. If you’re interested in our journey, whether as a spectator or a participant, sign up to get our newsletter. We’ll be making a lot of exciting announcements over the next weeks and months.