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All related (18)
Louisa Henry
Head of Product for Mid-Market Businesses at Gusto April 19

This is a framework shared by one of my former executive colleagues. I've found it to be incredibly helpful when thinking through your career, taking on a new project, or considering your next move. 

Biggest suggestion is to get it on paper. Thinking about your career can be a lot like building product.

  1. Write lists of what you do and don't know. What you're confident about, what you're not sure about. After completing your do know/don’t know list, consider actions you can take to move your “don’t know” into the “do know” column. 
  2. Think through each of these topics and write down what's important to you, where you thrive, and what success looks like.  
  • Areas of passion - encompasses not only the domain you want to be in, but also the skills, experience, and strengths you bring
  • Fulfillment – includes reflecting upon alignment to your values, higher purpose and legacy
  • Environment – examines multiple ingredients that combine to create working conditions that set you up to be most successful
  • Success – creates intentionality around how you are going to measure success in your next role

3. Then think through your decision-making criteria for what is next? (PT, flexible, mission alignment, decision-making authority/span of control, wage, etc.)

Natalia Baryshnikova
Head of Product, Enterprise Agility at Atlassian February 17

First, like to work on problems that I am passionate about. I love to learn and make impact in areas that I think, pardon high brow speak, will make the world a better place. One such area of passion for me is helping people and teams achieve more through working together. I never even considered opportunities that I personally don't feel passionate about, as I know that would not make me happy at work. This is a privileged position to be in, and if you have to pick something in a different framework, don't feel bad please. It's okay to pick work that is just work. 

Second thing I consider is potential. Do I believe that a problem this product is solving has a high enough potential? Are there any macro signals suggesting that impact will grow? I love to understand the industries and their core current problems to make that impact assessment.

Lastly, I look at the prospective manager. This is a person who will make or break your experience at a new company. Study them well, and make sure you have a great rapport.

Vasudha Mithal
Senior Director, Product Management at Headspace Health August 23

You need to assess this based on the things that you care about. I have my few Ps:

  • People: Do I love this team? Do I want to be at the table (in a zoom room?) with this group to solve problems?
  • Purpose: What is the problem I'll be thinking about every day? Is that exciting/interesting?
  • Paisa (Hindi for money): Do I understand all components and what is my risk appetite?
  • Progress: Does this work help me progress - do I acquire a new way of thinking? Learn about a new area? Do I move ahead with my career ambitions? Does it satiate my desire to make an impact?
  • Processes: Can my interviewers articulate a few operating mechanisms of their company? How do they develop products? Who prioritizes, who reviews, who approves? Meeting heavy or document-heavy?

Assessing any career move requires A LOT of introspection. All the best!

Anton Kravchenko
Director of Product Management at Carta | Formerly Salesforce, MuleSoft, AppleFebruary 4

To make the decision, I think of opportunity, ambitions, passion, and time:

  1. Opportunity - obviously there is a matter of compensation, but there is also an opportunity for professional growth. For example, joining a startup allows you to grow much quicker -- you will be wearing different hats and working much closer to the company leadership. You will make a lot of mistakes, but the learnings will be much greater.
  2. Ambitions - depending on where you at in life, different things might take a priority and it's important to keep that in mind e.g. you are starting a family or want to work remote from an island in Hawaii. If you are ambitious and feel that you can do more, you can tell your manager you want more work or go to another company or start a project/your own company.
  3. Passion - you can gain your initial experience in one company, but if your heart is in the other place e.g. music, you probably want to consider getting a job at Spotify or Apple Music. That is where you will have the most fun.
  4. Time - from my experience, it takes ~2 years to get up to speed with a new product area and make significant contributions. That is why it's common to see PMs going to other companies or seeking other roles within the same company. This allows you to grow and shift gears a little. In my 5 years at MuleSoft for example, I worked on 3 different product areas -- I've learned how to build marketplaces, identity products, and API platforms.
Era Johal
Product Leader, Search @TikTok at TikTok August 24

What I evaluate: mission, people, learning potential. You may have different evaluation criteria depending on where you are in your career. Get clear on these ahead of time and never turn down the opportunity to ask questions.

How I evaluate: screening calls/ interviews provide very little time to ask about your needs. Hot tip: Ask your recruiter for the opportunity to speak with members of your daily working team – get more than 1 perspective the facets of the role that matter most to you.

Why I evaluate Mission, People and Learning Potential: Mission because I am at the point in my career where I am energized by the type of problem, not just the existence of a problem 😀. Mission is often telling of the culture, but it could also be lip service!👄 So next, I evaluate the people I'd be working with. Do we share the same work values? How’s the team’s energy? And last but not least, I ask myself, do I admire aspects of my future leadership team? These facets infuse my worklife with the things I enjoy most – connecting with passionate humans to solve important problems✨. Someone once told me, when you quit a job, you’re not quitting the company, you’re quitting your leader. I like to make sure my leader has qualities I would want to see in myself some day. My last criteria: learning potential. When I'm evolving alongside the landscape of digital experiences, I feel SO GOOD. I look for projects/teams/companies that can teach me something new- do I have room to develop here? Will I leave here with a set of skills that will make me smarter, faster and better equipped to tackle the challenges of the future? Sign me up! This may seem like a very privileged list.. I’d say it is. At many points in my career, I was just happy if the salary covered my bay area rent. One thing to keep in mind is, whatever your criteria, be honest with yourself. Evaluating the company for your needs is essential. Noone likes to waste time, and finding out 2 months in, that where you landed is not ideal, can be painful for both sides. So more than this criteria, have ANY criteria, write it down and be relentless in understanding if the opportunity or company is checking your boxes.

Yasmin Kothari
Director of Product at Bumble May 17

When looking for a new opportunity, I ask myself four questions:

  • Am I excited to work on this mission? If I’m going to dedicate 40+ hours a week on solving a specific problem, I need to be sure that the solutions I’m working on are ultimately helping people and making the world a better place.
  • Will I be happy working with these people? I operate best in an environment that values transparency and high standards, has a low-ego culture, and encourages people to bring their whole selves to work. I need to be part of a culture that has values that align with my own, and frankly, I just want to enjoy working with my teammates!
  • What skills will I gain that complement my toolkit? Work is more fun when you consider yourself a lifelong learner. Any new role and company needs to offer me the opportunity to add new skills to my repertoire. This can come through my manager, other leaders at the company, or learning by doing the role itself. When joining Asana, I was particularly excited about learning a playbook for how to scale product teams.
  • Am I poised to have a deep impact? Finally, I want to make sure that I have some uniquely suited skills and experience that will help me make a lasting impact in my new role. I am most fulfilled when I feel like I’m adding value to the business and to my teams.