3/30: Top Skillsets for Product Managers

Many folks considering moving into product worry they won't cut it as product managers because they lack the "skillset required."

The honest truth is that there is no predefined skillset for product managers, partly because we're all still figuring out the scope of the job, and also because being a PM in different environments changes what might be needed of you.

But if I had to pick a few, in my opinion, a product manager ought to:

  • Learn about systems design on a conceptual level,

  • Develop basic qualitative & quantitative research know-how,

  • Invest in building good writing ability,

  • Grow project management skills, and

  • Actively work on at least a basic understanding of how a business operates (especially business models, basic financials, etc.).

The job involves a lot of interaction with other humans, so "soft" skills like public speaking, (executive) communication, conflict resolution, and negotiation will likewise benefit you greatly in any product role on any level of seniority.

Product management is about solving customer problems in a way that sustains a company. So you need to be curious, empathetic, and driven.

What's important for folks looking to break into product or evolve into product leadership roles is to look for transferable skills gained through past experiences. None of the above is unique to product management.

So I'd think twice before dismissing yourself and what you already know. You may very well already have what it takes!


4/30: Writing is a PM Survival Skill