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BUILD A CAREER

3 Key Tips To Advance In Your Carrer as A Product Manager

We had Amandine Durr, CPO of Back Market shares with us her top tips to advance in her career. Keep reading to get the actionable takeaways to implement into your life.

 Tara Johnson
Tara Johnson

Social media and Event Manager at 50inTech

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Here are three tips for you to advance in your career

1. Grow your self-awareness and build your story

Identify what you’re good at

Get feedback about it. Understand and appreciate the positive feedback. Being very clear with your strengths is key to progress in your career.

Know what drives you

To grow your self-awareness, you need to look for moments where you’ll be able to actually learn about yourself. Prioritize building moments where you’ll be out of your comfort zone and reflect on how you react to that.

There are many different ways to explore new opportunities.
Seize the opportunities to explore several things: companies, industries, cultures, jobs…
In moments of questioning, draw your tree of decisions.

Boost your confidence

Understand your strengths but of course, self-awareness is also about knowing your ways of improvement. BUT, this is very general, so my main message here is rather the one below from Esther Perel.

“Confidence is the ability to see yourself as a flawed individual but still hold yourself in high regards."

Don’t let that diminish your confidence! I love that quote so much.

Build your story

It is so important to build your story related to career growth. This is how your self-awareness gets expressed to the world.

Whether it’s for an internal promotion, or to get a job in another company. Your story is something that people will remember.

My main message here is that, you have power to build your own narrative and how you want to be perceived. And this matters so much in terms of career progression.

Don’t think your potential for that promotion will be naturally spotted by your managers. Act on the perception you give from yourself. And for that, you need your story.

There are many opportunities to deliver your story. Either as a whole (ex. there’s a new C-level or high-level manager in my company, I will grab a coffee with that person), or I have a 1:1 with the CEO and this happens once a year. Or other moments which are more day-to-day run of your job, but with your story and self-awareness, act differently, say something differently, reflect on how you would behave if you had the job you’re seeking for.

2. Be explicit and insist a lot

Now that you have your story…

  • Don’t assume your managers know your career progression wish. Express it very clearly, and timebox it.
  • It may take several attempts before you succeed.
  • Being explicit is a broader attitude: it is also about raising your voice when something uncomfortable happens to you.

And also I think I trained a very important muscle: the muscle of speaking up. This might be a side topic but it’s still related to the glass ceiling. And sadly I’m sure a lot of people here have experienced it. If you encounter an unsuitable situation at work, sexist behavior, a discriminating speech, you need to speak up. You might not be able to speak up on the spot, immediately. And that’s ok and normal. But share it with your friend, get a second opinion. And confront that person afterward. Make it explicit that it is not ok.

So don’t hesitate to be explicit. But it’s hard to be explicit spontaneously, so don’t blame yourself, find the right moments to share, and get prepared.

3. Find a friend or a “truth-teller”

Here are the three types of people you should have around you:

  • Someone from the inside, who understands the context, who knows the company and the people and who knows you.
  • Someone you trust, you will support and encourage each other.
  • Someone who is going to be honest with you.

Friends have been instrumental in my career progress because they deeply understand the context, the company, the market. I trust their opinion. And for me, it has always been an amazing way to lower down the pressure, to laugh at situations instead of being angry. To freely share anxiety and be reassured.

It’s also a relief for your life partner who, let’s be honest, can get tired with our work stories.

A friend can’t be someone you manage and should be around the same level as you in order to be sharing the same things.

So that’s why as you progress in your career, and specifically, if you join an executive committee, there are also fewer opportunities to make friends in your company.

In which case, an alternative is to look for a truth-teller. The truth-teller is someone close to you, most of the time in your own team, and that you trust will always be honest with you on how you manage things, good or bad. I won’t lie, it’s not as fun as a friend. But it’s still very important. Because guess what, career progress doesn’t stop when you become a CPO!

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Who is Amandine?

Amandine Durr is the Chief Product Officer at Back Market, the leading online platform for renewed tech. Amandine's career in Product Management spans 10 years, mostly based in NYC.  Prior to joining Back Market, she was at Dailymotion and AOL, building products and features for video creators & publishers. She's a co-founder of the "We Are TV" start-up and built an app to connect viewers watching the same tv show, with hundreds of thousands of users.  And more recently she spent two years at ManoMano building the B2C client experience of the marketplace. Amandine is passionate about Product Management and building scalable user-centric products and organizations. Amandine holds a Master's degree from HEC Paris and a Master's in International Management from the London School of Economics. She lives in Paris with her husband and her two children.

Who is Back Market?

Back Market is the kind of company with a radiating positive social impact, and they work very hard to achieve this. It's the kind of company with strong ethical values no matter what. It's the kind of company everyone would love to work for.

Back Market was born in France six years ago. Since 2014, everyone working there tries to build a better society daily. Whether it's about ecology, diversity, gender equality… Back Market is engaged in many fights and that's what we like about them.

More than being just another employee, collaborators at Back Market are full players of a truly inspiring adventure. Who doesn't want to be part of this journey?

👉 Learn more about Back Market.

This content was created based on a talk during our Bootcamp Wannabe a CPO in February 2022.

How can you watch the full replay?

Join 50inTech and get access to over 50 masterclasses hosted by the most influential women of the industry, you will find top tips to boost your career from women in Tech who are breaking the glass ceiling.

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Why do we run 6 bootcamps a year?

Whichever way you look at it, we are still a long way removed from parity. There is an 18% pay gap in French tech companies (versus 10% in London, and 5% in the San Francisco Bay Area). And while companies are all too keen on preaching the diversity and inclusion gospel, digital banking giant Revolut can still get away with paying its female C-levels 30% less than their male counterparts.

At 50inTech, we believe it’s high time to change that! First, tech companies need to embrace salary transparency and fair hiring and promotion practices. Secondly, women need to be empowered to succeed in tech, starting with better negotiation training.

That's why we organized this bootcamp with free masterclasses and mentoring sessions from the best tech leaders.

We already helped 4600+ Women in Tech with our Bootcamps but we're just getting started…

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