Been a while since we talked. I have been busy and in this episode I aim to update you all.
As you know since the last episode, I have been taking consultancy projects as part of GetGuided to keep myself alive and to cover costs of the company. However, besides these vital reasons, taking on these projects was crucial for finding a job as a product manager. Product Managers are like artists, they need product portfolio to show their experience and expertise. The more products you have launched and the more data you have, the better it is. I took projects from the art world, travel industry and real estate industry, each being between 1 and 3 months. I have learned to work on various products and teams and got official experience of external product manager. The only lacking thing with these kind of short projects is that you are not there long enough to track data and get quantitative results for your portfolio. No having that is a massive gap in a Resume and time and time again I have been challenged on that front during the interviews. Data is king, especially for product manager, that is how you measure that the products you built are successful or not. But at the end of the day, even with some challenges and gap, I got a job as a follow up of one of the projects I did. I will tell you about that a bit later. For now, let’s remember what else I was doing to help me in the job hunt and let’s re-evaluate point by point:
- I said that, you are only 6 people away from someone you want to know — it is actually true, the network played massive role in my job-hunt.
- Job platforms — cannot say they are useless, got dozens of interviews and some were last stage interviews, just most did not work for various reasons
- Customising Resume and CL — in the job application my referrers specifically advised me to make sure it matches the description as well as it can, without of course making any false claims.
- Website and Podcast — it was great chat opener on interviews, and made me stand out or just warmer to the interviewer. It can be something else related to your field, I just chose these two.
- My calculation that you need 800–1000 applications to get a job still stands true, I still believe it is the case, sadly or not.
- Prepare for interview — definitely, even when I did not get the job on late stage interviews, the interviewers said that they enjoyed and were impressed by the intel I gathered.
- Not having feedback — sadly it is still true, but if you had technical interview with the person from your field, you can ask to keep in touch over LinkedIn and if they like you do that and keep conversation alive and ask for advice. That advise is your feedback.
8. Finding freelance projects that can help you gain experience in that field, but also pay your bills — as mentioned in the opening, this I stand by 1000%.
9. Reaching out to companies and ask for case studies to work on or ask for short internship opportunities — Yes, I forgot to mention that, but I did that with three companies, for free and had several more companies lined up. They provided amazing reference, gave me advice and taught me some skills and some even offered a job after, but I already had things planned out. This is such a golden, valuable and easy thing to do, just reach out to people and ask for projects to work on for free, or for little cash, and believe lots of companies love it. Just do it not with HR department but directly with the person in your speciality. They understand your need and value better, will match with the right project and will give very detailed feedback.
10. Write or make some kind of a content in that field that can give you a credibility boost — That helps, not massively, but helps, especially if you have some kind of online audience. I had my Linkedin network of 4K+ people and that spread some word around.
11. Work on a personal project or support a start-up that you can add to your portfolio — it may be helpful, but to be honest not by a lot, surprisingly. People asked a lot of corporate experience, but this is a nice bonus. There is also an understandable distrust from the company and/or HR, as anyone can fake the results of their project
So, has my thinking changed from 6 months ago? Not really, I still agree with points I mentioned, just with tiny updates. Let’s move on.
As mentioned, couple minutes earlier, one of the freelance works has ended up offering me a full-time career and that company is in the real-estate industry. Although I do not have an experience in the industry, I have had experience they needed and during the freelance work I managed to build the network within the company, gain enough knowledge about the industry and prove that skills are matching. I will give snippets about the job in the next episodes, but question today is how I landed that freelance work in the first place? Well, when you need to pay rent and bill and need a job in the role you want, you do not say no to opportunities and you learn very quick and you make sure that you are open to any offers. Using Linkedin, direct network and other sources I managed to do that. Obviously, the work I have done before for others and at GetGuided was very good reference as well, which shows that it is always crucial to do your best and work with everyone, you never know what and who you may find helpful.
To sum up, today we tried to restart and re-dive back into my job hunt journey and what has happened since. I will try to keep you updated about the job details in the next episodes, including the new methodologies I have learnt, the details of the work I do, the challenges of switching from entrepreneurial behaviour to more corporate and more. Thanks a lot for listening and as always remember to check Anchor channel for the audio version Thanks for being here, stay safe, talk to you later.