Are you a woman developer with dreams of becoming a product manager? If you’re also a mother, navigating this transition can feel like an uphill battle, but fear not! This article is your roadmap to embracing the challenges and triumphs that come with this journey.
In short, I’ll share the skills acquired through motherhood and development that proved invaluable in the realm of product management.
Challenges in balancing career and motherhood
Juggling the demands of a career and parenting can create unique pressures that require careful time management and the ability to adapt swiftly to the needs of the children.
These challenges may include:
- managing work schedules alongside the care of young children,
- addressing unexpected child care emergencies,
- ensuring a harmonious balance between professional commitments and family responsibilities.
- But the biggest of all is – Work-Life Balance (As my daughter entered the world, I struggled to juggle the demands of parenting and professional growth. Try coding and in the same time answering every ‘mom’ call)
However, when combined with the responsibilities of raising children, women often face a unique journey. During my career transition, I walked a path that revealed the invaluable skills acquired through motherhood and development, which are a must-have in product management.
Skills I learned from motherhood
With the birth of my son, the perspective shifted, and I recognized the unique set of skills that I had acquired through motherhood. These skills included enhanced time management abilities, allowing me to prioritize tasks effectively and optimize my schedule. Motherhood also sharpened my problem-solving capabilities, as I developed quick thinking, adaptability, and the ability to make critical decisions under pressure.
Multitasking and Flexibility
The demands of motherhood necessitated multitasking and flexibility. I found myself ironing clothes while simultaneously preparing dinner, showcasing my ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. This experience proved valuable as I transitioned into a product management role, where overseeing various aspects of a project and adapting to changing circumstances are essential, especially in the Kanban-based Neuralab environment where there’s always something to prioritize.
Resilience and Adaptability
Motherhood inherently teaches resilience and adaptability. Navigating the challenges of raising children while changing careers requires perseverance, a growth-oriented mindset, and the ability to learn from setbacks. And of course, did I mention that the poop time is always when I’m about to solve a bug? My experiences as a mother prepared me for the dynamic nature of product management, where I must overcome obstacles and embrace change.
Professional and Personal Fulfillment
Accomplishing goals in both professional and personal domains can lead to a sense of fulfillment. I recognized that successfully managing the role as a mother while pursuing a career transition will boost my self-confidence, broaden my perspectives, and contribute to an overall well-rounded identity.
Skills I learned from being a developer
Technical Understanding for Effective Communication
As a product manager, you need to collaborate with developers and other technical team members regularly. Having a background in development equips you with a deep understanding of programming languages, software architecture, and technical constraints. This knowledge allows you to communicate effectively with development teams, understand their challenges, and provide clear product requirements and feedback. You can bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders, fostering better communication and alignment in the development process.
Attention to Detail
As a developer, you pay close attention to code quality and perform thorough testing to ensure software functionality. This attention to detail carries over to product management, where you review product requirements, user stories, and specifications to maintain a high-quality product. Your meticulous approach contributes to a robust product development process and minimizes the risk of defects or issues in the final product.
Developers typically work in collaborative teams, and this teamwork experience can be applied in a product management setting. As a product manager, you’ll collaborate with various stakeholders, including designers, engineers, marketing teams, and executives, to achieve common product goals.
As a developer, you likely have experience in managing deadlines and delivering projects on time. In product management, effective time management is essential for meeting product milestones, adhering to release schedules, and ensuring timely product launches.
Unique perspectives and skills acquired through motherhood and development enrich the field of product management in immeasurable ways. By leveraging the skills acquired through motherhood and development, such as time management, problem-solving, multitasking, resilience, and adaptability, women can successfully navigate this transition.
With determination, a supportive work environment, and a strong support network, we can overcome obstacles and achieve fulfillment in both our professional and personal lives. Embracing the triumphs along the way will enable any woman to flourish as a product manager and dedicated mother.
And to conclude, here are some guides and resources that helped me along the way: