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Getting Creative to Land Your First Tech Job

Nani Nitinavakorn

Sr Product Owner at Revolut

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Problem

When I began my job search, I felt like I was sending hundreds of applications without a single response. It felt impossible to gain an interview, let alone land a job. Every company wants you to have experience as a PM, although it is difficult to gain that when you’re new to the field. When I first started in the product world, I wanted to get into Fintech, but no companies would offer me a role. I decided to broaden my horizons and look for just tech opportunities that would benefit me in the long run. Even then, I found that I rarely landed even an interview. I was located in Thailand at the time, looking to join a startup with structure and other successful product leaders whom I could learn from.

Actions taken

Instead of applying to jobs on whatever platform the company was using, I tried to locate the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Once I found them, I would send them a message detailing my experience and skill set. While I thought this was a unique idea, other candidates were using this same technique, and my messages weren’t standing out.

So, I decided to create my strategy, where I made a short PowerPoint presentation that described features and business proposals related to the company I was applying for. The idea behind my methodology was that my message would be more useful to potential employers than one detailing my skills. Not only was it useful for employers, but it displayed my initiative. Once I began this process, I received my first interview with a company. Although I didn’t land the job, my morale was boosted after I received validation that this process was working on landing me interviews.

I duplicated this process until I landed my first role. After I was employed in my new career, I started stepping up and taking every opportunity to help the product manager. I hustled for the first nine months until the product manager left the company and I stepped in. Since I worked closely with the PM and understood the workflow, my company let me envelop the PM’s roles. Once in this position, I was able to gain experience and work myself up the career ladder to achieve my goals.

Lessons learned

  • If you want to enter the product management market, now is a prosperous time. There is an overwhelming amount of available opportunities on LinkedIn, and those that have relevant experience or initiative will be successful.
  • As a junior, joining a company is a give and take. For example, when I received my first position, I used my experience in the stock market and investment banking to leverage my way into the product market. You should be thankful for any opportunity you receive as a junior and treat it as a resume builder.
  • In this day and time, technologies change so fast that everyone feels imposter syndrome. The people who survive in our evolving world are not always the most knowledgeable, but those who can adapt and push themselves into the realms they are unfamiliar with.

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Nani Nitinavakorn

Sr Product Owner at Revolut


Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyMentorship ProgramsCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill DevelopmentOvercoming BiasIndividual Contributor RolesLeadership Roles

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