Landing your dream job in Product Management


The Tolpagorni mission is to increase salaries of Product Managers. We believe that money represent the best indicator for the value we deliver in our role. (I have however met more than one CEO where this indicator was not relevant).

It is not only an increase in competition in your Landing your dream job in Product Managementmarket. There is also an increase in competition in the work market. You compete with smart minds from all over the world when you apply for a Product management job in the technology intensive world. You need to build your edge and deliver value.

The value delivery from a Product Manager is defined by three components:

  • the market you’re working in
  • your individual performance
  • the organization you work in

The three areas need to resonate with each other to optimize the value delivery.  A great product strategist does not create value if the strategy development is not on the table. A fantastic product planner in software doesn’t maximize his/her value if he is working primarily with market introduction for industrial machinery, etc.

So, I started looking at some of the latest ads for product managers here in Sweden.  To understand what is really being required today from the organizations recruiting product managers.

It is clear that there has been a shift in the role of product management over the last three years. Three years ago the three main characteristics for a product manager were:

  • Being the link between development and the market in both directions
  • Responsible for the Roadmap – making the product plan
  • Experience of the relevant technology - the roles demanded ~5 years working experience.

Today it has changed.

When looking at the ads today I see some common trends in the descriptions:

  1. Commercial drive

    It is no longer enough to be the link between development and sales. You need to be the driver of the business. The product manager must be commercially driven - understanding business modeling and product marketing. The role is critical in guiding and supporting the sales team in reaching success.

  2. Executable

    It is not about product planning or creating a strategy it is about execution and implementation. In the development we have started to work in an agile or “pulse” driven environment. Where execution is the key.  Creating a good product strategy is rather easy but to make it executable is difficult. When I read the ads of today I find words like realistic, implement, deploy, execute all pointing towards the execution not the planning.  

  3. Experience

    The importance of the product management role is increasing.  The ads point out 10+ years of experience and characterize the role as mid senior level. You can of course accelerate your experience by changing roles, working at different companies in the similar role or attend product management training.

    Wrap-up: All three major trends, Commercial focus, Execution and Experience drive the salary of Product management into the right direction. Now all you have to do is deliver the value. 

  4. Product Management Role description


About The Author

Magnus's profession is to turn technology into selling products. He has worked with product management for more than 20 years with electronics, software, services and hardware and is a thought leader within high performance Product Management.