How can I shift my career from Business Analysis to Product Management?

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Do you know what goes into being a product manager? Do you feel like you have those skills already, or is it something you would need to build up?

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Ok , cool. I wasn’t sure if your question was more around “how do I gain the skills to be a product manager” or “how do I get a job in product management even though I don’t have that title on my resume currently but believe I have the skills to be successful”. Sounds like it’s more the latter.

I got into a product manager role initially by being in an adjacent role and always interacting with the PM for the product I worked in most. That PM ended up leaving the company and suggested me as a candidate to fill his role. I’ve heard of others following a similar path, of jumping laterally like that from an operational or similar parallel role.

If you’re applying to roles, you may want to include a quick cover letter or blurb that highlights how your experience relates to being a product manager to help the recruiter / hiring manager connect the dots.

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I used to be a former business analyst so I’ll just tell you how I did it. I was a business analyst for about 3-4 years, and then I spent my last year as a BA working under a PM at a tech startup which is when I learned what product management even was. At that point, I figured I could do it too so I just started applying for all the entry level PM positions I could.

However, I spent a lot of time tweaking my resume and studying for interviews. Maybe I just got lucky but I was able to get hired twice as a PM with very little experience as one (I was laid off from my 1st PM job after only being there less than a year).

My advice would be to do your research, try to shadow a PM if you can at your current company, and figure out if this is really something you want to pursue. I’ve seen too many new PMs struggling on the job. It’s just not for everybody.

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Thank you so much for your prompt and honest response on this. I really appreciate it.

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