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AMA - Just accepted an offer with 200% TC increase and listing my top takeaways as comments below - will answer questions on each. Here you go!

likeupliftinghelpfulsmart
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Thanks so much for sharing this with the community! Some questions:
1) If you have done product related projects, is it okay to not have an engineering degree?
2) When negotiating on your “level” what matters most? YOE vs title (e.g. manager, analyst) vs your interview performance
3) I’m interested in PM roles, but the only hesitation is that I heard sometimes you look at just a few features for a really long time and dont get the chance to develop more strategic mindset with high-level overview of things. Any opinions on this?

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Years of experience

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Great job OP for defining a path and making it happen. Congrats! A couple of observations:
-The first jump to product is important and was early on in OPs career. It also wasn’t to a top tech company either and pay was not great.
-The above is key for success, once you make that first jump with pm on resume and work experience, it makes the next jumps much smoother and that’s the path to high tc in tech.
-It’s much harder the later on you jump to product, there’s going to be a mismatch between desired comp and actual experience/skills.
-Many people here want to go consulting->top tech product right away without any in-between step and that’s a difficult jump. Having intermediate steps/positions to your long term goal is keys. Again, when you have <3-4 yoe it’s easy you can take a lateral or downgrade in comp to take on a non-top tier product role but as you get older it’s much tougher and you don’t have time to take that intermediate step.

Lesson, if you want to move to product start early and be ready to make sacrifices/first move not end game.

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+1 to OP’s point. I took a product manager adjacent role at FAANG (think Product Strategy/Ops/Dev/Data Analysis) at 2 YOE. Pay was literally equal to my consultant role

I’m one year in and picking up experience for a pure product manager role (I already get hit up by recruiters cause they see I’m on the product team even though I’m not a Product Manager)

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Recent IconRecent

Interview Prep:
- Lewis Lin Slack Channel to meet interview peers (only did mocks with relatively experienced PMs)
- Cracking the PM interview by Gayle
- Decode & Conquer by Lewis Lin
- Exponent - videos / structures
- Heavily relied on blogs written for PMs instead of aspiring PMs for behavioral / partner interviews
- Case Interview Prep and LOMS by Victor Cheng (didn’t actually study them this time around but this experience help me outshine almost all candidates in incorporating business sense in my answers)

likehelpful

Not a small company - I work at a Fortune 500. Though I wish I worked at a high growth smaller startup instead - would’ve learned more I think

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Compensation: TC 350K (250K cash, 100K equity)

likeuplifting

The kind of engineering I studied is very different from software product management. All it does is help me be break problems down in an analytical way

Negotiation: Went from 230K TC to 350K TC via negotiation; current TC is 110K

Always have BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement)

Got an offer, accelerated timeline for other interviews and got the 2nd offer. Showed excitement to work along with clearly mentioning comp expectations and why it’s important.

likeuplifting

M3, https://joinfishbowl.com/comment_4gde8jaddy

Sounds like you put a ton of work into this interview process, congrats on the new role

likehelpful

Thank you for sharing

Tracking: a lot of people struggle with interviewing as they’re in pressure with their current roles. My way out: solid tracking so I know how close I’m to finish line and how many interviews I’ve lined up for a week

Post Photo
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Mindset: Didn’t stress about finding a new opportunity. Full disclosure I like my current role but knew I was being screwed over in comp - so I figured I wouldn’t stress out because I don’t have much to lose

LOW STRESS is a game changer for PM Interviews - helped me come up with bolder / more creative ideas than ever before and helped a lot when questions didn’t fit the structures I’m familiar with

likehelpful

No lol

funny

Role - Product Manager
Why - only PM on net new product and revenue stream, strong path to management, contributing to an important mission

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Applying:
- 70% applications by referrals
- 10% apps by applying online
- Rest by connecting with recruiters who reached out on Linkedin (change your setting to be visible to recruiters)

likehelpful

I accepted a role for which the recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn. Yeah, particularly good luck with online apps this time around - def would recommend if no leads at a particular company! And thanks!

You… sound like a superstar and light years ahead of me 😂 I wish I had this determination and drive. I’m just so lazy haha! Super congratulations!!

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2 month lite prep + 2 months of actual job search for my first PM gig
This job search: prep and interview - agile style, all done in 45ish days

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I won’t stand in an interview next to you 😂

likesmartfunny

Interviewed with 8 companies, 3 offers, 1 final round reject

likehelpful

You should run for president! Awesome job sharing and motivating the group here👍

likefunny

Haha this will def get to my head, thanks

likefunny

You totally deserve this! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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OP - are you single? 😂😂 Just kidding. Congratulations 🎉🎈

likefunny

Thanks lol and I’m already taken

name the company

likefunny

nice cap then bud

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How to get interview slot at top paying companies without PM experience?

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In my experience, these factors help: Pure strategy background, engineering undergrad, familiarity with product skills, and above all, your NETWORK

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Congratulations!! And thank you for sharing the details and tips on preparing. It sounds like a Microsoft role but I understand if you’d like to keep that private.

Also, it looks like you were paid pretty poorly in your current gig so excited you’re finally getting comped appropriately!

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What level did you join at? I saw you mention that you jumped a pay band. Curious how that happened?

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1.5 years in current PM role

WOW

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Well done! Is this at a FAANG company? Beyond already being a PM, was there SME that made you a better fit for your new role?

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A7, don’t start using a product to get a job. It probably won’t do much for you. But think about products you already use that are huge - some examples slack, teams, outlook, notion for work, insta, tiktok for social media, etc

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