Networking Facilitates Product Manager Growth

Reza Shirazi

Senior Product Manager at AffiniPay



"I believe being a product manager is a difficult job, especially in the small community of this relatively new field. If you just stay in the office with the product managers that you work with you will miss out on learning from other product managers. They are natural problem solvers and idea generators - they can be your best allies as you grow your career."

Actions taken

  • Go to networking events and speak to other product managers. Every time I go to an event or meetup I try to meet one new product manager that I haven't talked to before and see if I can set up a coffee meeting with them.
  • Create a community where you can talk about your problems and how to solve them. I connect the product managers that I meet with one or two others and I hope that they can do the same for me as well. I manage a partner API product and early on when I was starting this job I had spoken to a few product managers who had done something similar. They were able to give me very specific insights on what I should work on to make myself more successful. One of those instances was not even on the topic of product, but about improving the process for how you identify partners, onboard them and ensure they are successful.

Lessons learned

  • By networking with other product managers I believe you can learn more than you could by just reading books and blogs. This in-person communication has been extremely valuable to me in the way that it allows you to brainstorm with the other person about the problems you are aiming to solve. It is a highly leveraged activity to improve as a product manager.
  • While I try to do one networking activity a week, I have adjusted my aim to at least two to three activities per month. I have been doing this for two years now and it has proven to be very helpful.
  • The aforementioned meeting I had had early on in my new job allowed for a big positive impact on our company. We have since doubled the number of partners because we became more efficient at onboarding them. We were able to learn a lot about what things we could tweak in our process in order to make it easier for partners to integrate with us.
  • Even if there are specifics about your product or company that are confidential, there are so many things you can speak on that are outside the realm of confidentiality that can still become a really rich and useful conversation.

Be notified about next articles from Reza Shirazi

Reza Shirazi

Senior Product Manager at AffiniPay

CommunicationCareer Growth

Connect and Learn with the Best Eng Leaders

We will send you a weekly newsletter with new mentors, circles, peer groups, content, webinars,bounties and free events.


HomeCircles1-on-1 MentorshipBounties

© 2024 Plato. All rights reserved

LoginSign up