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Career as a Product Manager - Ask Me Anything

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  • Jul 20th, 2017 5:25 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 1, 2017
126 posts
60 upvotes

Career as a Product Manager - Ask Me Anything

Hi Everyone,

I have been a Product Manager for 10+ years. Ask me anything you'd like to learn about this career.

Thanks,
ProductGuy
45 replies
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 1, 2017
126 posts
60 upvotes
I have worked in financial services and banking in product roles.
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May 18, 2015
1111 posts
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Ottawa,Ont
ProductGuy wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2017 10:24 am
Hi Everyone,

I have been a Product Manager for 10+ years. Ask me anything you'd like to learn about this career.

Thanks,
ProductGuy
What was your career progression to reach your current position and what were the approximate salaries along the way?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 1, 2017
126 posts
60 upvotes
nikels21 wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2017 7:07 pm
What was your career progression to reach your current position and what were the approximate salaries along the way?
I was one of the few lucky ones who got into product management almost straight out of university. My university degree was in Economics. I learned everything about product from on the job training and courses my employer sent me to. In terms of positions and base salary see below:
- Product Analyst - $60k
- Product Manager - $75-85k
- Senior Product Manager - $90+k

Keep in mind that I have always been at the top salary range for my positions based on my experience, skills and ability to sell myself during interviews. The average product manager in financial services and banking makes about 10% less.

Product managers in software companies make about 10-20% more than product managers in financial services and banking.
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1) What are your hours typically like? What is 'busy' for you?
2) What does a product manager do in your sector? Do you 'own' a P&L?
3) What is the progression FROM your current role - where do Product Managers go in your sector (a Bank)?
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 1, 2017
126 posts
60 upvotes
TodayHello wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2017 8:20 pm
1) What are your hours typically like? What is 'busy' for you?
2) What does a product manager do in your sector? Do you 'own' a P&L?
3) What is the progression FROM your current role - where do Product Managers go in your sector (a Bank)?
1) Most people come in between 8:00am-9:00am and leave between 4:30pm-5:30pm. It gets busy when you are launching a new product and you have to put in some extra hours. Most places are very flexible and allow remote work/work from home at least once a week. In some organizations there are some people who work from home 4 days out of the week based on their arrangement with their manager.

2) What does a Product Manager do? You are a pretty much like a CEO of a startup where you do everything business related: develop new products, create business case, work with legal and marketing, create pricing, implement new processes with operations, work with IT, train sales and support them on sales calls and a ton more!
Yes, you typically own a P&L unless you are in an innovation role or a channel role.

3) The progression from my current role (Senior Manager) would be senior manager --> director --> senior director --> VP. Some places don't have a director role and it's avp instead of it. All of these are product roles. Product VPs typically run the whole product department in a specific business line. Directors or AVPs typically have 4+ people reporting to them.
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Oct 10, 2005
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What are the products that you create? Financial products such as different account offerings and features? I'm assuming you're not talking about software products for delivering financial services. Sorry for the obtuse questions but I never really understood how product management in financial services works. I'm a product manager in tech so I get software and hardware product management.

Thanks
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May 3, 2009
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Which business line are you in? Retail, Commercial, Insurance, or Investment?
[OP]
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Jan 1, 2017
126 posts
60 upvotes
TheRed wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2017 12:19 am
Which business line are you in? Retail, Commercial, Insurance, or Investment?
I've worked both in Retail and Commercial.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 1, 2017
126 posts
60 upvotes
polarbear111 wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2017 12:15 am
What are the products that you create? Financial products such as different account offerings and features? I'm assuming you're not talking about software products for delivering financial services. Sorry for the obtuse questions but I never really understood how product management in financial services works. I'm a product manager in tech so I get software and hardware product management.

Thanks
Polarbear111, what are the salary ranges in your field and location? Your profile says you are in the Silicon Valley.

I am Toronto based.
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Oct 10, 2005
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That's right I've been down south for some time now. For the Bay Area, the salary ranges on Glassdoor are actually pretty accurate. Maybe 120-160ish USD base depending on the company, its stage, and the product. However, compensation can vary pretty wildly when you factor in RSUs, bonuses, or stock options.

Salaries are high here but so is the cost of living. You can get pretty far though, overall, if you are responsible with your money and save the excess. It's a lot easier to save large amounts of money here in a short period of time if you're diligent. You can eventually take those savings and put them to work in a more realistic housing market when you're ready to leave.
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Oct 3, 2009
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120 - 160 is very tight in Sillicon Valley especially if you have kids.
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ProductGuy wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2017 7:48 am
I've worked both in Retail and Commercial.
What kind of personal or commercial products have you worked on? What did you have to do to get to where you are right now (ex, education, experience, know someone inside etc)? Thanks!
Member
Sep 14, 2012
264 posts
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Greater Toronto Area
How did you initially land your Product Analyst position after finishing school? Did you have any other work experience at that time like internships?

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