How to get comfortable as a PM?

PM role is famous for imposter syndrome

What helped you settle into the role? What made you get at ease so that you didn’t feel daunted or like an imposter?

And instead you felt like a valuable member of the team and as a product manager


Top tips that I’ve picked up from many years at this:

  • Don’t hide the fact that you don’t know things. Be up front with the team that you are learning
  • Make sure your managers are aware that you are still new to an area and that they support your educational process
  • Find the subject matter experts on the team that you can pepper with questions about the area you are now in
  • Read and watch everything you can about the topic you are covering so that you are well versed on the current situation
  • Talk to customers for the product space that you are in. Know their problems, challenges, wants, needs, and outcomes
  • Research and understand the competitive market space and any industry analysts that cover it

Once you have these areas covered you can start to build up your product sense in an area where you don’t feel confident today.

  1. Participate in product conferences, events, etc. Not just visit, but speak there, share your experience, listen to feedback. The first company I worked for as a PM had quite a toxic culture: unrealistic goals, CEO never happy about our performance etc. I was fully confident I’m a bad PM and maybe the profession is simply not for me. But when I spoke at my first conference and talk to other PMs I was able to get the recognition needed and realised I’m not that bad.
  2. Psychotherapy. Seriously, imposter syndrome is mostly about you punishing yourself, not giving yourself enough support, depending on others’ opinions, which often comes from some wrong beliefs, traumas etc. But it’s extremely hard to understand and change on your own. I’m sharing it from my own experience. 3 months or so of weekly sessions with a therapist helped me overcome it and now I’m feeling much more confident at my work as a PM
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Time (experience) and success (confidence).

Throw yourself into it, spend as much time as possible with customers and earn those scars.