Posted on December 18, 2020This fall, I had the pleasure of being part of the Boston Product Management Association’s panel on job searching and career advancement during COVID. As a Tech Recruiter for the past twenty-six years, I am often asked if it makes sense to take a new job if the title does not reflect a next step opportunity. The answer cannot be a generic one or a “one size fits all.” The right answer for each Product Manager has to be based on the current job market conditions, the quality of the job opportunity - including company culture and team - and each individual’s personal situation – finances, work/life balance, and other important factors.
In an ideal world, a candidate is able to get a job offer from a company with a product offering that is exciting, reporting into a phenomenal hiring manager, with the added benefit of getting a title and pay bump. However, the “ideal” is not always possible. When the opportunity arises to work for a company with a bright future, it might make sense to take a lateral role, even a slight step back, to eventually move forward. The mindset is that the role can offer career advancement as well as a job title and compensation increase down the line. Also, if you are presently out of work and have hit tough financial times, taking a role that is less than ideal in order to avoid financial peril makes sense. You can justify that decision down the line by being honest about your reason for accepting the position to a potential employer. Each person’s resume has a life story behind it, and the way an individual chooses to navigate their career and the people they choose to work with is more important than just a job title.
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Larry S. Kahn
Vice President of Recruiting