We had a really interesting conversation with Damilare Ogunnaike, the principal product manager at TeamApt during the IG live series with TeamAp. Damilare had worked with TeamApt as a Software Developer for about 3 years, and then took up a project management role and grew in it.
Here are 5 things we learned from Damilare’s experience;
1. Build strong communication skills
Communication is at the foundation of product management. This also applies for other tech roles. You’ll have to have conversations with customers, team members and other stakeholders and you need to learn how to speak in a way that you’re understood. You might need to present bigger concepts in simple words. You can train yourself to listen patiently and speak with clarity as much as possible.
2. Accept feedback from others
At the start of Damilare’s journey he struggled with people management and communication. He got feedback from people and committed to working on improving himself.
As you work with people, they’ll notice your weak points and likely comment about it. Don’t ignore these concerns. Be willing to learn and make good use of the feedback to improve your skills.
3. Pay attention to your mental health
Learning or working as a techie can get very overwhelming, however you need to pay attention to your mental health. Damilare talked about rest and sleep as his personal method of recharging when stressed.
It’s okay to accept that you can not solve every problem and ask for assistance when needed. Remember that you’ll achieve more at work when you’re in the best frame of mind.
4. Keep Learning
We asked Damilare one thing that has made him stand out as a product manager and technical depth was at the top of the list. It’s true that you don’t have to code in order to work as a product manager. But having technical depth, fair knowledge about the product you’re working on would help you relate better with other members of the team.
For example If you’re working on a software product, you’d stand out as a product manager if you know some of the basics of development and a little bit of UI/UX design as well. You can read books and take online courses to gain this knowledge.
5. Great work will always be rewarded
No good work goes unrewarded. The reward is not only in the money you receive for the services rendered. Damilare shared with us the joy of seeing the product he worked on impacting people’s businesses and making a difference in the tech ecosystem.
We hope this inspires you to put much effort in your own journey. Remember that the little steps in the right direction counts.