{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m currently working in Customer Success. I’d like to pivot to Product Management. How do I start? Do I shadow someone? Read books? Get a certificate? I’m open to all recommendations.", "post_id": "61b006f92c8a81002cc41ec7", "reply_count": 12, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "55375ce690f5eebe1d2a0f88", "bowl_name": "Tech" }

I’m currently working in Customer Success. I’d like to pivot to Product Management. How do I start? Do I shadow someone? Read books? Get a certificate? I’m open to all recommendations.

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I am going to disagree with those saying to get an MBA and pivot. The most common path into Product is an internal hire. Get to know the PMs at your company (ask to do coffee and pick their brains), volunteer to help them on projects where it makes sense, and make your desire known internally first. I refuse to hire MBAs fresh out of school into a product role. It is a senior role that requires a lot of domain expertise as well as skills that MBAs just don’t learn. If you want to go the education route a product specific certification could help. I did do Product School and I think their program gives you a lot of knowledge that is fantastic for a PM, but I don’t think anyone would hire you based on that certification alone. Ask a PM in your current company what they think your best options are as they will be able to give you the best advice for positioning yourself internally to make the transition. Start there before dropping the $$ on an MBA that may or may not even get you a PM role. Most companies I have worked at see an MBA as a plus but not a substitution for actually doing the work. It is a hard field as you generally need to be a PM to get hired as a PM.

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This is giving me hope! Thank you!

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I'd see if you could shadow someone first if you do have that option. It gives you a great perspective if that's the field you want to be in.

smart

Thank you! That’s a great idea. I have an idea what PMs do on a macro level but I don’t know what they do on the day to day.

Few options: Get an MBA and pivot. Alternatively, read books, do certificates, etc. so you know the lingo and scope of work. Also try to do side projects that flex competencies required for product management. You will have to network to get an interview, but once you do, if you can speak the language and have some related experience, it will shine through and maximize your chances. Looking at smaller companies or takimg a more entry-level role also could help.

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Had no idea an MBA was that important for anything anymore

Get a mentor, or a couple of mentors that will help and support you (colleagues, consultants, doesn’t really matter as long as they have good hands on product experience). Books and courses can help, but nothing beats learning by doing. Aside from that, the hard part is landing an opportunity. Consider moving internally, and be on a lookout for associate/junior positions on the market. Also note that it will most likely come with a pay cut, and that the compensation is product has different components than in GTM.

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