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Careers: The #1 indicator for Juniors to take on more responsibility
When is the right time for someone to take the next step on the career ladder?
Welcome, software product managers! Today, we're going to talk about when a product manager is ready for the next career step. Product Management is a broad discipline, and there are many skills that one must possess to excel in this field. However, if I were to name a single #1 indicator of someone ready for more responsibility, it would be "breadth of thought".
So, what does "breadth of thought" mean? It means thinking further and broader. Let me give you a few examples of what I mean.
Firstly, let's say that there's a person who used to think one step ahead. They would only consider the immediate consequences of their actions. However, now, they think two or three steps ahead, thus foreseeing more consequences than previously. This person has increased their breadth of thought.
Secondly, let's say there's a person who used to consider only the main feature they were responsible for. However, now, they also consider adjacent features and think about what changes to one feature may mean for other features. Later, it will be the entire product instead of a set of features, or a product portfolio instead of a single product. This person has also increased their breadth of thought.
Lastly, let's say there's a person who used to think about implications for the product trio. However, now, they also think about implications for Sales, Support/Success, Marketing, and others. This person has also increased their breadth of thought.
Breadth of Thought = Strategic View
So, why is breadth of thought the #1 indicator of success in product management? Well, when a person increases their breadth of thought, they are already taking on more responsibility. They're thinking beyond their immediate scope of work and considering the bigger picture.
In other words, they're becoming more strategic. They're able to see how their work fits into the larger ecosystem of the company and how it impacts other teams. This is incredibly important in product management because a product manager is responsible for the success of the product as a whole, not just their individual feature or area of responsibility.
When a product manager has a broad perspective, they're able to make better decisions. They're able to anticipate problems before they arise and come up with creative solutions to complex issues. They're also better able to communicate their ideas to others and get buy-in from stakeholders.
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