I’ve been coaching Product Managers and teaching the PM class at AllWomen.tech for the last 2 years. And the biggest help people have asked me for, understandably, is about their first PM role — how and where to find them.
Some talk about hitting a wall. Being blocked by job openings that require years of PM experience. Or being told that they’re not technical enough. (What does that even mean? …
I haven’t put on a bikini in a very long time.
I have always worried that if I dared to put on a two piece bathing suit, I’ll get side eyes for having had one doughnut too many. Clearly I should have spent more time at the gym and less time in the kitchen, people would think. Or at least I worried they would.
And this worry, about what other people might think about me, or the negative reaction they could have over what I’ve done — has followed me around for as long as I can remember.
A few weekends ago, I got talked into going on a ski trip with my friends. I, who have never had real winter experience, much less have affinity for doing any winter-related sports actually agreed to go on a ski trip.
I was excited, of course. It’s a new experience. We were renting an amazing cabin up in the mountains. I also bought ski gear that I was excited to wear. Sure, they were from Decathlon. But they were new clothes and I’m definitely that kind of person.
I was also terrified. Skiing represented so many fears for me. Specifically…
At the end of 2018, I made a promise to myself, after much urging from my former manager slash coach, Anna Cosic, that 2019 would be the year I conquer my fear of speaking in front of strangers.
I’m not exactly afraid of being on stage or being in front of a crowd. On the contrary, I enjoy it immensely. I did theatre when I was younger and I have unrealized pop-star dreams. So whenever you put me on stage (or just in the front of a meeting room) with a microphone, I’m pretty much in my element.
When work started using OKRs to plan for our quarters a few months after I started with the team, I had a minor panic moment. I didn’t know how to define OKRs nor use them.
I knew roadmaps. But roadmaps, as we’ve discussed before, have only caused us problems with the other teams that we work with. Unfortunately though, so do OKRs when they are not done correctly.
When we first started using it, our problems with OKRs manifested in several ways:
I wanted my first blog post to be a classic — like one of those “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Product Manager”. Always popular, those ones. A crowd pleaser.
Problem is, I have about 1 Million things, AT LEAST, that I wish I knew before I became a Product Manager, and I’d very much like to publish something before I’m 60. So let’s start with something different. Let’s start with a story of failure — because this blog is for sharing learnings, and not just glories.
I heard it’s a very good place to start.
If you’re a friend of mine and you’re reading this, then you’re fully aware of how much of a know-it-all I can be. And that I also love telling people what to do.
And we all know these 2 characteristics are quite possibly the worst combination a person can have and can make a person an insufferable ass. But wielded right, when used for the good of mankind, it’s a superpower that can rid the world of bad things. Have I also mentioned that I am also quite self-righteous and my biggest mission in life is to save the world…
So when the year started I said I was done with resolutions and annual goals. Instead, I started an experiment and set out to having OKRs instead for the first quarter of the year, as a response to the learnings I’ve gotten from my failed resolutions and annual goals of years past.
Now it’s April and it’s time to take a look at how that little experiment went.
I did this! More than that, I am quite happy that I’ve finally gotten back into the habit of setting aside money for my emergency…
It feels like I woke up in 2018 with a full awareness that I’m in my 30s and I still haven’t done anything with my life. It doesn’t help that I’ve been devouring lately lists that tell you what you should have accomplished by the time you’re this age. Most of them include items like:
These lists are great for motivation if you’re probably 25, fresh out of business school, bright eyed, and optimistic. …
Of course I expected the normal things:
Like becoming more independent, and brave, and all those cliche things that happen to you when you try to make your entire life fit into 2 suitcases and you board a 17h flight with your chin up and your eyes dry (barely)- while convincing yourself the entire time that you’re off on a grand adventure and that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach is just the extra helping of Deli Mundo corned beef you had for breakfast and not because you’re scared shitless coz holyshitwhathaveyoujustgottenyourselfintothistime?! Breathe.
But nobody warned me about…
I like to write about Product Management and sometimes my feelings. Currently living in Barcelona. And still trying to save the world before HAMMER TIME! Stop!