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Hackernoon logoFrom Being A College Dropout To Becoming A Product Manager by@utsav

From Being A College Dropout To Becoming A Product Manager

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I currently work in a SaaS startup as a Product Manager. I’ve about four years of experience in the SaaS domain and have worked in various functions in my career.

I spent my time hustling and struggling hard to reach where I am now. Get ready for an exciting story ahead.

In my 10th holidays, I started working as a data entry operator in a small shop at 3k per month for nearly 10 hours a day. My family was happy to see that one more family member had the means to earn income apart from my dad as a helping hand was much required back then.

I was working all day with my studies on those days. All things considered, it was getting hard for me to concentrate on my studies while carrying out a responsibility.

I fell into the money trap, the adage which you ought not ever. What’s more, one acceptable day, in the wake of having a few conversations with my parents, I chose to drop school. My parents were not happy with the choice I made; unfortunately, we didn’t have any other option.

Never fall into the money trap and don’t run behind it. Instead, focus on adding skills to your resume, and that will ultimately help you earn money.

Everything got normal following a couple of days; however, I was feeling the loss of my school friends; thus, they are. However, I was making most of my first full-time job as I was earning and supporting my family.

Now, the time had come to change the city because of some close to family reasons and needed to move to a greater city. Following a couple of long periods of to a great extent, we settled in our new residence. I began searching for my next job, and doing as such, I’ve applied for around 20 organizations. Out of the 4 have called me for a meeting.

The following day, I prepared for my meetings and began doing interviews. The first organization dismissed, the subsequent organization declined, etc. I got a dismissal from each organization I met.

Following four meetings that day, I felt that I’d committed a great error of not finishing my studies. At each call, organizations were requesting for a degree as I didn’t have much experience.

After right around 13 interview meetings, I got chosen by a call center company for 10K/month. That was a happy moment for my family and me.

Meantime, I checked that some of my neighborhood buddies were working in IT firms. They were making a decent amount of money and living a great life. I used to visit their home and started trying to learn and research more about the kind of work they did. I mostly remembered them doing some work on a black computer screen all the time.:)

After much research and following the conversations I had with them, I discovered they were into website designs and mobile app developments, which was a little new and crazy to me back then. I found their career path interesting and started doing more research on it while learning more about IT Companies and what they did.

I realized that I am not a call center guy, and I shouldn’t be doing this for my entire life. My friends were also insisting on switching my career.

If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.

Again started hunting for a job but now with a clear target in mind. It was apparent that I wanted to join an Information Technology company. With that said, I improved my resume and started doing interviews after my office hours.

I need to admit that it was the toughest time of my life. Each to a great extent, I confronted dismissals from each IT organization I met. So my inspiration begins falling, and I was really tense and disappointed with whatever was going on with me. On the double, I believed I messed everything by not finishing my college education, and I’ve destroyed my profession totally. Nobody was prepared to hire me, not a single organization.

Never stop trying. Never stop believing. Never give up. Your day will come
Karma may take its time, but it is inevitable.

As the above statement expressed, I tried constantly. One wonderful day after different meetings, I got a proposal from an IT organization, and they were building a SaaS product. I despise everything and appreciate that day, which was an upbeat second for me however not for my family this time. You might be addressing what happened to my family now?

Let me reveal to you the answer; the new organization where I got chosen has offered me 7K every month, which was 3K less than my continuous (BPO) work. So my parents addressed me saying what’s the reason behind dropping an incredible job where you were acquiring 10K every month and why I needed to downsize myself financially. Nonetheless, I knew about my future.

Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward.

I immediately joined the new company in the next two days as a customer care executive. On the first day at the office, we were around 4–5 people in the company. The first couple of weeks was centered on understanding the product.

In the meantime, I saw that my founders were battling to recruit team members so I hopped into that and began discovering applicants and planning interviews. We did recruitment for five months, and we grew from 5 to 15. Out of 15, there was one scout who joined the group, and henceforth I moved back to customer care.

I recall everything that day, composing my first email to a client, and my founder reproved at me for my unprofessional email and my use of English. He at that point showed me how to compose a lovely and expert email. That second shook me and terminated a warmth inside me, a fire of learning, and developing myself.

I concluded that I will upgrade my communication skills, and to do as such, I began reading books and watching films. I would state reading has changed my life completely, and I should state everybody should read books. I endure passionate feelings for reading.

Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

As a part of my responsibility, I started attending to customer’s requests via live chats and email services. Every day was a change for me as each passing day was filled with learning new things.

Fast forwarding, worked as a customer support executive for almost two years and got promoted to customer success manager. Now everything was set in my life. I was enjoying the work I was doing. Being a part of the customer service team I get the chance to collaborate and interact with the customers a lot. All things considered, I got a lot of feedback and bits of knowledge for our product which I communicated to the product team.

While Working on customer’s requests and feedback, I used to cooperate a great deal with engineers. I needed to disclose the customer’s concern to engineers in a manner they comprehend, to get it appropriately executed.

I like to be the voice of the customers and connect with engineers to speak with them on what to build and why and the effect of it on the customers. That Is where I heard the word Product Manager from my boss and made some research on what they did, I saw it as something I ought to do because it was very fascinating.

I got some information about working with engineers and how everything functions. I was an all-out newbie in that field. I began going to day by day stand-ups and scrum gatherings to get my hands dirty and gather more knowledge.

With strong customer empathy, in-depth product knowledge, and business acumen, I got the opportunity to work as a product analyst in the product team.

There is nothing you can’t achieve by hustling in the right direction

Then, I started learning more about Scrum, Sprint, Agile, and every project management term to understand the basics. Since I would be working as a part of the engineering team. I started writing user stories and creating wire-frames.

Being a first product guy in the product team, I was opportuned to work directly with the founder on creating a product roadmap & prioritizing features. With each passing day, I got a lot more excited as I learned new things and dived deeper into product management.

Don’t wait for your boss to create opportunities for you–create them yourself.

I worked for around one year as a Product Analyst. The journey proceeds from Product analyst to Associate Product Manager and currently I work as a Product Manager.

If I can do it you can as well. Let nothing stop you. I hope my story inspires someone out there. You can connect with me directly on Twitter.


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