Seven Keys to Your Product-Management Career Success

In the December 2011 PM360, Richard Meyer commented that recently he has seen many very talented people leave DTC pharma marketing because “it’s too exhausting.” Richard makes a good point. Pharma marketing is a tough job. But if you have the passion, you can have a great career in pharma marketing.

Richard’s column got me thinking about pharma marketing careers. When you’re a career success coach, people often ask for your best thoughts on life and career success. So here are my seven best pieces of advice on how to create the product-management career success you want and deserve.

Clarify the purpose and direction for your product-management career.

Develop your personal definition of success. Once you do this, you need to create a strong mental image of yourself as a success. Make this image as vivid as possible. Then, clarify your values. They are your anchor and help you make decisions in ambiguous situations.

Commit to taking personal responsibility for your product-management career success.

Set high goals. Do whatever it takes to achieve them. Don’t let problems and setbacks stop your march towards life and career success. Stuff will happen this year. Choose to respond positively to the negative stuff. Learn what you can from your setbacks. Use these learnings to move forward.

Build unshakeable self-confidence.

Become an optimist —believing in yourself is the first step in creating the life and career success you deserve. My success quote for December 29, 2011, came from Woody Allen, who said, “80% of success is showing up.” Show up. Don’t let your fears bog you down. Surround yourself with positive people. Jettison the negative people in your life. They are energy black holes. Find a mentor to guide you along your path to career success. Mentors are positive people who are willing to give of themselves to help you improve your life and achieve career success.

Become an outstanding performer.

This starts with lifelong learning. The world changes rapidly. You have to keep up. Keep learning and growing. Develop your business acumen. Know your company’s business and business in general. Get a handle on your time, life and stress. Live a healthy lifestyle. You can’t perform at your best if you’re not in reasonable shape.

Create positive personal impact.

Become the person everybody wants to work with, or to have on their team. Create and nourish your unique personal brand. Make sure that everything you do is on-brand. Be impeccable in your presentation of self—in person and online. Make sure that how you dress and act and your Facebook and LinkedIn postings and tweets show the world that you are a consummate professional. Brand yourself as a polished professional.

Become a dynamic communicator.

Become a great conversationalist, a clear and succinct writer, and a dynamic presenter. Good communication skills are the best way to catch the eye of the people who can make a difference in your life and career. Many a product-management career has been launched on the strength of one conversation, a well-written report, or an effective presentation. Build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life. Get to know yourself. Use this self-knowledge to determine how you are similar to or different from others. Adapt your communication style to each person with whom you work. You’ll become more influential this way. Pay it forward. Doing for others without being asked is the best way to initiate strong relationships. Finally, resolve conflict in a manner that strengthens rather than weakens your relationships.

Put these seven common sense success keys to work and you will become the product-management career success you deserve to be. I guarantee it.


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