I have always envied people who know exactly what they want to achieve in life. You know the people I’m talking about. People who have known from a very young age who they are and what they will do. It gives your life a purpose. Besides if you want to excel at something, the more time you put in the better.
Think of the legendary 10,000 hours of practice required for mastering anything. If you started practising when you were 13, 15 or 20 you are off to quite the head start.
I have never had that unshakeable conviction. That used to be a big let-down for me. Like I was missing out…falling behind. That is until a few months back, when I realized in a sudden blinding flash (well actually it was over a couple of weeks) what my calling was.
I am a product manager. A What? A Product Manager. And I have been for at least the past two and a half years. I just didn’t know that what I did was called product management! I used to really struggle when people ask me what I do. Mostly I settled for the not at all related title of R&D Engineer. I don’t know how or when I first stumbled across the term product management in that context. I had known it first in my masters at NTU but had always associated it with brand management.
After my flash I became obsessed with learning as much as I could about product management. I read all the articles and books I could lay my hands on. I was still amazed that I could do something for almost 3 years without knowing what it was called. But as I read I found that stumbling into Product Management is a common way that people become product managers.
And all the resources I could find, definitely improved my ability to do my job and heightened my enjoyment in doing it. And I couldn’t have found them if I hadn’t known the name. Which led me to ponder the importance of names.
I have fallen head over heel in love with product management and I think that it is my life’s calling.
I will explore my experiences in product management in future posts.