How to transition from small companies to bigger ones ? From 80k to 120k PM roles

New / Mgmt
cryspro07

New Mgmt

BIO
Ecom strategy on 30+ selling channels & marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, etc.). Shopify/Wordpress expert.
cryspro07more
Sep 22 35 Comments

I think I went to 20 interviews in the past 2 years.
Never got the job. I get approached on LinkedIn by recruiters for jobs at companies like wayfair, bed bath etc. My experience is at small companies where I do everything, built websites, edi integrations, account management for 30+ channels like Amazon, Walmart etc, PPC campaigns. I lead a small team. These companies dont use agile/scrum. At big companies the PM roles are for very specific positions so It seems I'm going from Jack of all trades to master of none and never get the job. Not sure how to overcome this. Any interview advice or career path advice for making the jump to the next level ? Small companies cant afford bigger salaries than 100k so I'm stuck with what I have. New York is too expensive for my salary. I'm 38 years old, 10 years experience in e commerce.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 35 Comments
  • Wayfair / Product TXDAWA
    Don’t be a ‘Jack of all trades’. It’s fine to know a lot, be be an expert in at least 1-2 areas. Learn to sell yourself as a PM. What you said(how it was presented it) looks like analyst work. Make sure your resume focus’ on your PM work, not everything else you do. Present all the extra stuff as value add. ‘Experienced product manager that’s comfortable getting into the weeds.’

    Reach out to recruiters on linked in until you connect. Be bullish.

    Finding a headhunter to help tailor your resume is a good idea. Consider program management as well.
    Sep 23 2
    • New / Mgmt
      cryspro07

      New Mgmt

      BIO
      Ecom strategy on 30+ selling channels & marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, etc.). Shopify/Wordpress expert.
      cryspro07more
      OP
      Amazing feedback, thanks so much!
      Sep 23
    • JCPenney Pano
      Also in this direction, tailor your resume to the position. I was a generalist at an MSP. Moved into pure network engineering at a Fortune 500 with the recommendation of a peer and now specialize in firewalls and security. It's just about what you choose to show.

      And then I go around beating people over the head with my "hidden" generalist knowledge. Oh, that doesn't work, get one of your AD guys to check these permissions on the domain controller.
      Sep 23
  • Apple tWXs45
    FWIW: I felt like you about 2 years ago. Never got the job at the big companies and wasn’t sure why. Keep up the good fight. I’m now at Apple. Not everything is honky dory but I would agree that you’ll be better off at a big company than not.

    My recommendation to get the job is to cultivate yourself. Find a professional headhunter to work with you. Subject your resume to rigorous review. Work on your personal narrative or story. And keep trying.
    Sep 23 1
    • Amazon froogle
      Don’t feel there is no hope. I worked at small companies many years and got a PM job at Amazon in my 40s. Now make double what I was making before!
      Sep 27
  • Amazon / Eng
    super hulk

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    BIO
    Solutions architect
    super hulkmore
    Knowing everything and doing everything gives you great perspective and is a great fit for AWS solutions architect role. Happy to refer
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon USSW74
    I was 38 when I started at Amazon
    Sep 23 6
    • New / Mgmt
      cryspro07

      New Mgmt

      BIO
      Ecom strategy on 30+ selling channels & marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, etc.). Shopify/Wordpress expert.
      cryspro07more
      OP
      How did you feel when you got the job? Happy and scared in the same time ? :)
      Sep 23
    • Amazon / Eng BHGHEUJSH
      Happy , scared, excited, worried, proud, goofy, privileged , ashamed, at the same time
      Sep 23
    • New / Mgmt
      cryspro07

      New Mgmt

      BIO
      Ecom strategy on 30+ selling channels & marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, etc.). Shopify/Wordpress expert.
      cryspro07more
      OP
      I bet! :)) and how was the onboarding ? Less scary than what you anticipated ?
      Sep 23
    • Amazon / Eng BHGHEUJSH
      That was easy. It was a breeze
      Sep 23
    • Amazon USSW74
      I originally thought I'd been mislevelled because I'd had a lot broader responsibility and a lot more reports at the snall companies I worked at before (even though Amazon paid me a lot more). I hadnt been mislevelled as it turns out. Then i spent a few years learning how 'big tech companies work' and got good perf ratings by working long hours. Eventually I got back to something like my 'small company' level of responsibility.
      Sep 24
  • Wayfair WNEm45
    Try to get promoted in current role. There's always some wariness with folks who try to jump without an actual measure of output in current situation.

    Since you aren't getting more competitive offers, you're probably paid at market rate. So congrats on that fact.
    Sep 22 5
    • New / Mgmt
      cryspro07

      New Mgmt

      BIO
      Ecom strategy on 30+ selling channels & marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, etc.). Shopify/Wordpress expert.
      cryspro07more
      OP
      Cant go higher than this at my current company. I report directly to the owners
      Sep 22
    • Jet / Eng kaWL62
      benefit of a small company is that if you're really as crucial as you say you are, they CAN pay you more
      Sep 23
    • New / Mgmt
      cryspro07

      New Mgmt

      BIO
      Ecom strategy on 30+ selling channels & marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, etc.). Shopify/Wordpress expert.
      cryspro07more
      OP
      The question was how to transition to a bigger company, not how to get a raise. I already got 2 raises, they cant jump me from 80k to 120k that's for sure :)
      Sep 23
    • Jet / Eng kaWL62
      true... I mean at that point, if you have the skills you just need to sell yourself correctly. if you're not getting interviews it's your resume, but if you're getting them and failing (but passing technical portions), you need to work on your story

      Pitch yourself as a jack of all trades who is used to a fast, quick environment and can pick up any technology rather quickly
      Sep 23
    • Amazon motard
      That's not always true, they can't always pay you more. I was hired on as a junior person and was promoted into a position where i should be paid AT LEAST double what I'm currently making, and given my company's size and budget, there is NO way I'm getting that at least until the budget is set for next year. I'm already shopping around because I don't expect my raise to be sufficient even then.
      Sep 23
  • Amazon / Eng BHGHEUJSH
    Prepare to work asa TPM. You know the depth, you have done coding, you understand full end to end picture. Try to write down about your programs with breath and depth. There will be tons of people here to help you review docs. This gives you good hang of what you do.

    Then, for each Amazon leadership principle, write example of one of your programs in STAR format. Once you do that, you are ready to interview with any company .

    Ping me for more details . Happy to help
    Sep 23 1
    • Amazon / Product jccvvg
      Agree. Sounds more as a TPM
      Sep 25
  • Amazon / Eng Tyrannosau
    I'd say to mock interview with people from wherever you want to get a job at. The only option we have is smaller companies other than Amazon where I'm at so my entire career has been with those. Practice and come prepared is probably the best advice I can give to someone applying to Amazon. Read up on the leadership principles of Amazon, have a strong example of a time where you demonstrated that leadership principle, and then focus on whatever job you're applying for (i.e. practice coding problems if you're applying for a Dev position). I'd say I rank LP's higher than coding though. And I'd say no matter where you apply, they'll ask you similar questions to Amazon's LP's so it won't be a waste to have those examples ready.
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon / Design bossmonstr
    I'm in a big company and mostly act as a jack of all "design" trades - don't assume a big company is going to run better than the smaller one - particularly if the big company team is saying "we run like a start up". Its likely they'll expect a lot more from you than you're expecting.

    Good questions to ask yourself - are you happy now? If not is more money going to solve that for you? If you report to the owners and they see you in a good light and you provide exceptional value, you could always ask to be a partner and ask for a stake in the company if they want to keep you around. If you build that business larger you'll either own a portion of a profitable business or if you're not a partner have one hell of a resume because of that work.

    In any case, be a good record keeper of your inputs and the outputs they generate. Showing hard numbers on how you grew a business or how your choices drove profitability is always good information to have as proof of your worth.
    Sep 23 0
  • Nordstrom watzlyf
    Rek3olk,llx3 l 5 4j4.4,p. T 6 y5y)p l447,ly5,l,l5mt6tl,5 and] t,ltt)t56(5,lzl5l5,l
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon @citizen
    Port your skills into the cloud Security or Big Data.
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon Foosey
    You’re probably stuck at this point. You could try getting a top MBA to jump directly into a high end PM role; otherwise I’d say you have too much experience outside of a big company and it kind of pigeon holes you.
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon superr
    This is a journey and if you can't yet move to a multinational, try looking for orgs that are larger startups or mid sized/national level companies ( they will have more risk appetite of hiring as compared to very large companies), they will be able to pay you more and you will build a record of success behind you. Over a period of time you'll get where you want to be
    Sep 23 1
    • Amazon kaMv17
      This is exactly my story. 10 years ago I was at a small company with 20 employees reporting directly to the owner. Jack of all trades type. No luck applying to large companies. Got an opportunity at a mid size company with a nationally recognized brand. Learned a set of specialized skills on the job that are in high demand. Built up experiences that came up in my next interview. Now at Amazon making 4x what I was 10 years ago. Each step was a springboard to the next.
      Sep 24
  • Amazon / Product jccvvg
    I was in small startups and consulting roles before amazon, also very Jack of all trades. It’s not something worthy to show in the interviews but rather think what’s the common theme from those experiences (ie getting things done, be resourceful etc) then show some examples that you can build and follow the processes. Even if it’s not agile - it’s something you can learn. But thinking structurally is where many people struggle.
    Sep 25 0
  • Amazon motard
    Following this thread because I deal with the same shit and it's mega frustrating. I have contracted at Amazon several times (and was universally loved), have worked for a crypto consulting firm, developed one of AWS's most successful marketing campaigns, and am currently leading the product marketing for a product launch at my current company (worth noting: i was originally hired as a junior marketing specialist role, but was promoted to Product Marketing Manager in under 3 months). And yet, I can't get an offer at a big company. I'm sure I'm performing poorly in interviews, but it's super annoying trying to identify and improve what I'm doing wrong when none of these companies will provide interview feedback.
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon / Product TheStreets
    Use data and evidence to support your awesomeness. Most big companies aren't agile, it's always a mix .

    Figure out what you want to do more specifically and re focus your career and story on that.

    Send me your resume if you want help. It's all in how you frame yourself to deal with the next big challenge.
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon / Mgmt
    DEPk35

    Amazon Mgmt

    PRE
    Capital One, Microsoft
    DEPk35more
    Tighten up your narrative. Highly suggest working with a professional to at least be a sounding board. Also find people on LinkedIn that would be your potential boss and ask for their feedback.

    My honest 2 cents: you’re missing something in your experience or mindset that is holding you back in these interviews. Bigger companies narrow responsibility, but have scale and complexity that small biz experience doesn’t always translate to well. Keep trying.
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon pSAM35
    Try an SDM role.
    Sep 23 0
  • Sam's Club proloss
    There must be some specific knowledge or experiences that they’re all looking for, but you don’t possess. For example, I can’t imagine a PM that doesn’t know deeply about Agile/Scrum. Most PM I worked with also has a MBA degree. Sth to consider.
    Sep 23 0
  • Amazon / Mgmt palmface
    if you can’t get to a large company right away join a growing startup for a year. You being jack of all trades will be welcome but make your goal to specialize in 1 thing and shoot for some management positions. In parallel keep interviewing as well as reflecting on the interviews and seek advice from those who work at these companies. Fill in gaps for anything you weren’t fluid during the interviews. Also make sure to work on self presentation which is important for leading positions. Start building network. You will figure out more things along the way.
    Sep 23 0

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees