Career Growth of a Product Manager

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The field of product management is booming with employment opportunities and high earning potential. Many people wonder about the career trajectory once they enter the product management field. In today’s podcast, I’ll help you understand the career path of a product manager. I’m Sachin Sharma, with over ten years of experience in product management and having mentored more than 1,000 aspiring product managers. Today, I’ll discuss the different growth opportunities you might encounter on your journey as a product manager. So get your notebook and pen ready to take notes on these valuable insights.

Career Path in Product Management:
Product management is a relatively young field, and the journey of a product manager can vary depending on the organization. While not set in stone, there are some general positions and responsibilities associated with product management roles.

  1. Associate Product Manager (APM) – Entry Level:
    • APMs assist product managers in their day-to-day tasks.
    • Responsibilities include feature planning, designing, market research, and competitive analysis.
  2. Junior Product Manager (Varies by Organization):
    • Responsibilities may include user feedback collection and strategy development.
    • Some organizations do not have a junior product manager role.
  3. Product Manager (PM):
    • Typically reached after 1 to 3 years of experience.
    • Responsibilities include defining customer needs, product vision, roadmap, and collaborating with cross-functional teams.
    • PMs start making critical decisions.
  4. Senior Product Manager:
    • Manages product managers.
    • Leads multiple products and the product strategy.
    • Takes on more significant responsibilities.
  5. Product Leader (Director of PM or Similar Roles):
    • Focuses more on the product itself.
    • Responsibilities include owning the product vision, direction, hiring for product roles, and managing product development processes.
  6. Chief Product Officer (CPO) or VP of Product:
    • Responsible for the overall product strategy of the organization.
    • Ensures alignment between the product team and the rest of the organization.

The career path of a product manager offers various growth opportunities, depending on your experience, skills, and the organization’s structure. The journey from an associate product manager to a chief product officer or VP of product involves increasing responsibilities and leadership roles within the product management domain.

It’s worth noting that some product managers even transition to become CEOs of companies. For instance, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, started as a product manager.

To continue upgrading your product management skills, consider joining my community. You can participate in my free training at For those already part of the community, I recommend upgrading to the Diamond membership to fast-track your product management journey and connect with fellow action takers. 

Best of luck, take care, and stay tuned for more informative content in future podcasts. Thank you.

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