Episode 3.3 “Getting into new industry”
Welcome back! Today I want to talk about a dilemma I faced myself when I was getting this new role. That dilemma is getting a role in the industry that you do not know. So why the industry matters and what should you do, in my opinion, if you are in such asituation. Let’s get started.
Let’s start with industries first. Different industries have different needs and minor details, starting from the terminology all the way to their processes, their regulations, habits and all. Why are these important? Because if you do not know how the industry works and all the itsy-bitsy parts, then it will be almost impossible to understand the customer, the needs and therefore provide valuable service or build the right products. Not only the customers but also the companies in the industry will have customs and set ways of working and terminologies they use, which if you do not know, will leave you confused and out of loop. Sounds scary? That leads us to the question — should you get into a new industry? The answer is definitely yes, but with some conditions. Rule 0, make sure it is not the industry where your lack of knowledge can cause human lives, such as a medical field or aviation. Ok once you got your base covered, first thing first, you have to be honest with employer or HR during the interview. If they are open for a fresh out of industry mind, then not only will they accept you but they will make sure to give all the knowledge you need in no time, while hopefully accepting your thoughts and feedback. Second rule is — be open to learning, be humble. Even if you know something, listen and try to acquire new information or an existing info but in a new way. You can do it through various ways, such as reading the industry news, watching interviews of industry experts, etc. However, what is the best single way of learning? — It is working with the customers directly. Spend time with account management or sales team, join the calls get to the customers, their stories, the narrative and problems. They will give you all the right answers if you listen. Now, if you are working in one of those roles, then get to know product and engineering team and learn how your products are getting built and solutions are created. Communicate, listen and learn from everyone you can. Now all that sounds good, but if your main role is not linked to directly those activities, how are you going to balance it timewise? You have to plan your week and create a routine, where your proportionate the time per sections for your main job and extra duties. Not only you have to make the time management well, you have to transition the learned knowledge into your main role as well. Having said that, it is not as easy to do as it is said. From my experience so far, where as a product manager I work with account management duties and operational duties, there are times I mismanage the time and delay my main duties. It is inevitable sadly, but important thing is to try to balance and remember that it is only until you get grasp of the industry and feel comfortable to focus on your main duties only.
Ok, Today we talked about stepping into a new industry. I would summarise episode by saying that if you are honest with the employer and company, if you are open minded and willing to learn even if by doing some extra work with other teams, go for it, the skills it will add to your your resume is invaluable. While I am drafting the next episode, stay tuned and let me know if there are any ideas. Thanks a lot for listening and as always remember to check Anchor for audio version of this blog. Thanks for being here, stay safe, talk to you later!