How I got my dream job

The tips and tricks I used to secure my dream job as a product manager

CAREERPRODUCT MANAGEMENT

3 min read

In late 2022, I left a company I've worked at for close to five years to pursue a role I've been striving for. I had always been interested in working in product, but faced countless rejections trying to break into this field as I didn't have direct experience, and people just didn't think I had what it takes.

Getting my current role took a lot of preparation and upskilling behind the scenes, and in today's blog, I want to share the tools I used and the actions I took to secure my dream job, even though I didn't have experience in it - it is possible!

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Make your own experience

When I was applying for my dream job, I was constantly ghosted and rejected from the application process because I didn't have any direct experience. But how do I get experience, when I can't get experience because I don't have experience πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

If other people weren't willing to give me the experience, I decided to get it myself, by creating my own project to gain the skills I need. One of the big projects I took on was brokefromboba, where I learnt skills I didn't have much experience with, such as digital analytics, UX and product management.

After some time, I was able to share this project on my resume and during interviews, which helped me get into the interview process and eventually land an offer!

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Get certified and skill up

To stand out from the crowd and to get a better understanding of the concepts I should know for the role I wanted, I decided to get industry recognised certifications.

When I shared I was doing the General Assembly Product Management course in my CV, it was well received in my interviews which helped me land my first offer. I also did the Entry Level Product Management* and Certified Scrum Product Owner certification, which helped me better prepare for my interviews, especially those with an assessment.

*This is an affiliate link where you will get 10% off any course

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Learn from others in that role

I wanted to learn the tricks of the trade from those already in the role, so I observed and learned from those in my current organisation. This helped me pick up some of their processes, ways of working and workshop templates they use in their day to day job.

I also followed a lot of content creators on social media platforms who shared their experience and insights into the role. My favourite product content creators who helped me through this journey include Chloe Shih, Pawel Huryn and Shyvee Shi.

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Get on the job training

Seek mentorship

Expand network

This one may be a bit controversial - some people may say to act your pay, but I personally went beyond it. I wanted to practice the skills I learnt so I sought opportunities to apply it in my day to day job. This then gave me more confidence and experience that I could share in my resume and interviews.

I sought to get free mentorship on ADPlist from those who didn't know me to expand my network and to get objective advice on how I can achieve my career goals. I was able to get advice on my resume, linkedin profile, as well as practice some interview questions to better prepare for the application process.

As an introvert, I personally dread networking, but I cannot stress how important it is to build your professional network, such as through industry and networking events. By building my network, I was able to get a few referrals, as well as hear about jobs that weren't listed or promoted publicly.

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Get regular feedback

Rejection = Redirection

I sought frequent feedback from my manager and team members in regards to my performance (i.e. what I'm doing well in and what I could do better). With my manager, I also have regular 1:1 catch ups to discuss my career and development plan. This ensures I am on track to hitting my professional goals and I am always improving.

My job hunting journey wasn't smooth sailing. Some never got back to me, and others just straight out rejected me. It was initially demotivating, but over time, I saw these experiences as practice, where I can become a better version of myself when I encounter a role that was best suited for me. And that's eventually what happened, and I landed a role that was at least two levels higher than what I was aiming for!

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Extra bonus tips!

As a thank you for staying to the end, here are some bonus tips that have helped me:

  • Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job listing / description

  • Reach out to those in the company and get a referral or try and get connected to the hiring manager - LinkedIn is great for this!

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