A time for reflection.

Christmas is fast approaching, and this is the time of year when things start to wind down for many of us.

Perhaps you’re celebrating the holidays with family, and taking some time off. Chances are, if you’re not, many of your colleagues, clients, or users are taking a break.

Perhaps you believe in New Year resolutions, or that the start of a New Year can give a fresh outlook on things.

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on how things are going, both professionally and personally.

2023 has been a tough year for many, with large numbers of layoffs across many tech companies. Maybe you’ve been affected by this – or you know people who are.

Your goals could be as simple as needing a job. Which can be tough when it feels like a lot of people are competing for the same job opportunities. Companies are cutting back, and December is often a quieter period for jobs as it is.

While it can be stressful, I believe there will always be a place for Product Managers, regardless of companies such as Airbnb apparently getting rid of the role.

Product Managers have the opportunity to completely transform a company. It’s easier to see this in a smaller company. But even if you’re one of a large number of PMs in a company, you can still make a big impact in your area.

If you’re looking for a new role, whether by choice or due to redundancy, one way to maximise your chances is to have an action plan.

If you get the job, what will you do first? What will you do in your first 4 weeks?

What you do after that will depend on what you learn and which areas you think need the most attention.

But those first 4 weeks are critical. They will give you a good insight into the company and its product (or products), and how they are doing. You’ll need to meet people, learn the product, and look at user feedback. Stay as broad as you can before getting into the details.

You can do this in an existing role too. Forget what you’re currently working on. Imagine anything is possible. If you started this role today, what would you do?

This was my final post of 2023. In March 2023, I launched a Substack newsletter, and in that time I published 48 posts. Since then, I’ve moved the best posts over to Quick Product Tips.

I really appreciate everyone who subscribes to the newsletter or reads my posts. It is hard to build a site that people want to read each week. I hope you find it useful. If you have any topics you’d like to see covered, I’m always happy to hear from you. Have a great end of the year and I’ll see you in 2024.

Photo by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash