Fear has nearly immobilized me due to my lack of faith in engineering, responsibility, and workload. I can only manage my attitude; I have no influence over other people. However, being a PM has so far caused me more concern than I had anticipated, especially as I’m expanding my family.
My manager and the former product manager share my misplaced confidence in engineering. The alpha engineer is a grouchy, nasty person who takes advantage of the fact that he has the most legacy knowledge by providing mediocre responses or griping when you ask appropriate follow-up questions. Even the new scrum master was surprised by the way they spoke to me. Their manager is too frail to offer his players clear-cut instructions. The tech lead, who is a peer of the grumpy engineer and who reports to the same manager, is viewed as a dubious hire since he lacks self-confidence, submits to the grumpy engineer on a regular basis, and makes excuses for him. The rest of the team is made up of contractors from abroad, and when I asked the tech lead a question, the grumpy guy responded, “We are saying the same thing over and over again.” It turned out that the contractors have problems with the tech lead as well because they find him to be very unyielding and closed to their suggestions.
When I mention accountability, I’m referring to myself.
One bit of advice from a seasoned PM with four children: Always make sure you prioritize your family, relationships, and self-care, regardless of how much pressure you feel from work. Although there are many jobs available, there is often just one family. Find a new workplace as soon as possible if you are employed by a company that does not offer an emotionally secure workplace. Life is far too short.
Persistent stress may harm your health and strain your relationships with family and friends. It will be difficult or impossible to get any of things back if you lose them. I have three children and work as a development manager.
A healthy you can take better care of the family and work better. Sleep, eat well, and exercise. I would rank putting on your own oxygen mask first as the top priority, with the exception of the pregnancy time.
Restricted organization and limits on labor, both in terms of hours and mental capacity. Be mentally and physically present for your family.
Make a priority list for work, talk with your management about it, and specify what has to wait. Communicate your concerns to the engineer. Management is responsible for resolving any potential capacity or overcommitment issues. The level of trust between the PO and the technical team members has a significant impact on both the team’s performance and the workplace culture. To be completely honest, after reading your description, I would update my resume and begin looking. Accept the situation as it is and let it go while doing the best you can if you are unable to move on for any reason.
PM for ten years, Director currently, with two children, interviewing for VP. The pressure is constant. Although you alone are responsible for managing your thinking, here are some strategies that have been effective for me:
Creating a strategy for your course of action after imagining the worst-case scenario
Start differentiating your own voice from the impostor voice; mine is always noisier and bothers me.
Daily exercise and careful attention to sleep are important. Quite a bit of what I blamed on work was actually just lack of sleep caused by two infants.
Wow! @LuisNeilson, this is basically great advice and helpful to all. The first bullet point is really good. I believe that’s really what I need to do to reduce my anxiety in general and give myself some peace.
Being a PM is all about setting priorities, therefore you should do the same in other areas of your life. In order to manage your physical and mental health while leading a busy adult life, you must get enough sleep, exercise, and eat well. Ensure that you KNOW how to use your downtime as well. If Sunday is a holiday, enjoy it to the fullest. Don’t send emails and refrain from thinking about the coming week. The same is true with vacations: engage in activities that will genuinely renew you.
There’s a book that details all these tips to a good degree called “peak performance” - highly recommended.
I fully understand. I’ve only been a PM at my company for a few months, yet there have already been at least three occasions where I’ve come close to telling my manager I was quitting. I’ve started to establish more rigid boundaries between my professional and personal lives and make sure I don’t worry about work on the weekends. In addition, I’ve started working out again and visiting my therapist, which helps me with my depression but mainly helps with my job.
I want to underline how important it is to have clear work-life limits. I’ve been here two years now after leaving a development position. It takes time, but once I let go of my intense care, things started to actually improve. I feel more at ease, sleep better, and have clearer thinking. When you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, it is really difficult to let go, but once I do, I truly believe that my work improves.
Perhaps you might also try setting up physical limits. Do not ever utilise your workspace for anything other than work. It might be a large office or a small desk next to your television. Sit at the desk, not in your relaxing area, if you need to take a call after hours.
You’ll gradually begin to link tension with your relaxing areas.
It may seem silly, but when I first started using remote controls, it actually helped
A warm welcome to the newcomer @David. Enjoy being here.
Exactly @Jesus, you must do what @CathrynCui recommends, or else your family, friends, interests, and all aspects of your personal life will suffer. Possibly go slowly. Over the course of 21 days, gradually establish limits on your workload.
I just started and I’m in the same boat. Just remember, you would t have gotten the job if you weren’t slightly qualified. I recommend two books that have really been helping me feel more confident: Listen to Inspired by Marty Cagan on Audible.
I was so worried when I first started as a PM that I finally lost sleep and had to seek medical attention. I had to pause to think about the issue and realised that my ego had tricked me into believing that everything depended on me and that I was terrified to make a mistake. If my story rings true for you, tell your team that you are all involved in this process, detach yourself from the work, and give yourself permission to make errors. In order to change the toxic person from an adversary to an ally, you must speak to him directly and amiably to find out what is upsetting him and what he genuinely wants. For example, perhaps the senior guy doesn’t feel appreciated enough. If that’s the case, consider how you might make him feel valued. Good luck and look after yourself!
As a female PM with less than six years of experience, I believe that a big part of the job is knowing how to research problems on your own. So, my first bit of advice is to study all you can on your own, dive in everywhere you can, and then ask questions afterwards when you’re really stuck.
Focusing on 1:1 meeting to discuss work-related things with the challenging team members seems to assist a lot with relationship-building with them as opposed to group calls, in my experience.
Find a method to assist them with anything they’re working on that you can add value to, demonstrate your respect for their position, and keep doing so even while you are learning from them.
Wherever possible, switch off asking questions to prevent one team member from being too worn out.
Men often have a boys club mindset where they believe it’s beneath them to explain something to someone (if you’re a woman). However, be courteous and ask around if you can’t find the answer you’re searching for. Give them some time, but generally speaking, if people begin to see the evidence of your success in your position over time and the difficulties you’ve overcome, they will change their minds. I like to work this way since it’s friendlier, but if someone keeps cutting you off, it could be worth trying to be more direct by sending them your questions in writing and setting a deadline for responses (and maybe cc their manager).
I may not be writing clearly since I’m thinking, but I have a lot of time as a female PM, so feel free to write if you have any questions or scenarios that I might be able to assist with.