Landing Your First Product Management Role

Alex Mitchell
5 min readDec 11, 2021

Do you work with Product Managers in your current job and want to land your first Product role?

If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.

According to product leader Josh Herzig-Marx:

“There’s no degree, certification, or other credential for Product Managers which can be tricky for someone who wants to pursue a career in Product Management! While it’s true that FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) have been favoring candidates with computer science or other technical backgrounds, that’s far from universal.

Product Managers are equally likely to come from other backgrounds like consulting, engineering, customer service, marketing, design, or even sales. Many companies and hiring managers (myself included) love internal candidates from other departments and many industries strongly prefer candidates with deep domain expertise.”

The Modern Product Manager has partnered with career advisor Lloyd for this blog post to outline the benefits of pursuing a Product Management career, how to stand out, and how we can help you make a transition into becoming a Product Manager.

Getting your first Product Manager role is doable, but will require you to be intentional and thoughtful about your approach and strategy.

Product Management Overview

Product Management is a popular career path for a reason. Not many business roles allow workers to fully utilize both their logical problem-solving skills and their creativity as much as a Product Management role does. Product Managers (PMs) are constantly collaborating with different parts of the organization, which makes for an exciting job that always brings new challenges.

We can think of Product Management as an intersection between technology (the development or engineering required to build a product), the customer (understanding market demands), and the business (maximizing profits and building efficient operations).

Most people who make a shift into Product Management are already working in product-adjacent roles as an analyst, operations manager, marketer, or software developer. Most first-time Product roles come from an internal transfer within a company.

Product Management roles are also in very high demand — the number of roles in the US grew by 32% in a two-year period from August 2017-June 2019. Interest in Product Management has grown too, as there has been a 270% increase in the search term “product manager jobs” since November 2014 (Source).

As technology constantly evolves with new products being introduced in huge numbers, businesses need to stay on top of their game to avoid falling behind. And if their product isn’t on par with what the market needs? Then the future of that business isn’t looking good.

Product Managers live at the intersection of the “why” and the “how” in the process of building the optimal product.

There are a couple of common archetypes of Product Managers: the Technical PM, the Analytical PM, the Marketing PM, the Visionary PM, and (what we like to call it at The Modern Product Manager) the “Get Shit Done” PM.

Landing Your First PM Gig

PMs are skilled professionals with a large, varied set of different aptitudes. Skilled PMs are in high demand but also in low supply — companies are looking for PMs with experience in multiple fields within Product Management and a desire to learn and grow.

If you’d like to read some quotes and advice from established PMs, you can check out Lloyd’s blog post (link here) about the steps to take to become a PM and also hear from an aspiring PM who wrote about his interest in Product Management.

The Modern Product Manager is here to take the mystery out of how to get hired as a PM and kick-start your career. Establishing yourself as a competitive candidate starts with creating a unique edge for yourself.

The Modern Product Manager has already written a piece about how to stand out which you can check out here.

An important first step is to build a project — any project — with technology and document your journey on a platform like Medium. Do something unique with your time and make an impact in whichever community you feel the most compelled to make a positive difference in.

TMPM + Lloyd + You

Another crucial step is to build connections with other PMs and find a mentor. That’s where we come in! The Modern Product Manager course is now partnered with Lloyd.

Lloyd offers one on one career advising, with live support for your career goals. Now, when you sign up for the Modern Product Manager course, you’ll receive 3 free months of Lloyd career services. We created this partnership with the understanding that landing your first product management gig requires a combination of knowledge, resources, planning, and personalized career support along the way.

According to Deepak, who recently took the course:

“The Modern Product Manager course was perfect as I prepared for PM job interviews. The content helped me through the process and kept me focused. Highly recommend.”

The course is currently on sale so if you’re interested in taking advantage of this discounted course to turbocharge your New Year’s Resolution, check it out here: How to Become a Product Manager Course

Please reach out with any questions!



Alex Mitchell

Product @Kinsured | 5x Product Leader/Founder | Syndicate: | Author: @producthandbook @disruptbook