My Product Manager Journey – Lessons learned so far.

Whew! Where do I begin? 

Honestly, it has been a fantastic three months since the first day my life as a product manager began in SeamlessHR. So far I can say I have learnt a lot, crossed a lot of hurdles, dived into deep waters and found my way back to the top. It has been quite a journey and I would not have done it without the help of the people I work with especially the senior PMs who I have learned a great deal from.

Writing this brought back memories about that Saturday morning in December 2019, when I woke up and decided a change in my career and life was necessary. I needed to take a leap, change course like a captain on a ship (By the way, the best captain to ever grace the screen is Captain Barbosa from Pirates of the Caribbean. Know this and know peace). That same morning, I found Products, made the necessary call (Shoutout to Tobi Otokiti) and decided this was the next step I needed to take.

These three months have been filled with lessons, mostly pros and hardly no cons, if I am being honest. If there are any cons I would say a lot of my time has been taken, a lot of work has been done as well as a lot of brainstorming but hey! what role does not have those cons?!

I will share a few lessons I have learned from my first three months as a product manager. 

Good is wayyyy different from Great

Every PM knows being good is just a step. But great? that remains the ultimate goal. Good never seems enough in the product space. From my research along with the little experience I have gathered from working closely with PMs in my company as well as relating with other PMs in various industries, I have realized that being a great PM does require both the small and large things to come together so that good can transpire to great.

No aspire to perspire here but to be a great PM, high effort and continuous development is required. At this stage of my PM journey, I can say that I am taking the right steps and continuously putting in the work in ensuring I become a great one.

PMs need to teach (a lot more!) 

In reports I have prepared and tasks I have been assigned to, I have had the privilege to teach others and align them with what needs to be achieved either in sprints or on the long run. In doing so I have had to learn.

Personally, I have never had a problem with teaching as I enjoy explaining and dissecting random facts or topics with people that I know or just met. As a PM, I have become aware of the importance of investing time and knowledge in teaching and mentoring whenever I can. A huge pro of teaching is that everyone around your team is leveled up and that is how you build a great product team – by leaving no one behind. 

I give credit to my manager for this. Through him I have been able to see the absolute necessity of it and pass knowledge whenever I can. 

Marry Research and never leave her!

Seriously no joke. I am married to Research. She has saved my life many times than none. I hear a new term that lacks familiarity, I open a chrome tab and find answers until I am satisfied.

Great PMs understand the power of research and how it can drive growth for their companies both short term and long term. If you are starting out your PM journey, always play with research. Through research, I have been able to get information into what our competition is doing today, gain insights into their plans for tomorrow and how we can match them or do better than them in the future.

Research = Information = Power

There are so many lessons I will share with you as my PM journey progresses. So far so good, I am enjoying every bit of it.

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