Switching to PM might be a mistake

HauteLook / Product
hamsterpm

HauteLook Product

PRE
Google, Microsoft, Amazon
hamsterpmmore
Aug 17 19 Comments

I have a unique background and at a turning point in my career.
I recently switched job from being a data scientist (DS) at FAANG to Product Manager at Nordstrom, mainly because:
1) I always wanted to be a PM but couldn't switch in the company I was at
2) although I was good at data analysis but I am a superman when it comes to driving cross team projects
3) I have also co-founded a startup in 2015, and absolutely loved the hustle.

I have 6+ YOE in the data science domain. Masters in non-CS , industrial engineering (which is the bummer)

It's been 10 months at Nordstrom and I am starting to feel difference of a retail (though they have e-commerce) company and tech company. PMing here is completely different; it is extremely slow, not analytical, lack of leadership and very political. And most importantly the compensation makes me cry. (130K TC, took a pay cut when I moved).
I am in my 30s and need financial stability ASAP.

So I have three choices now-
1) Start looking again for a PM role in other companies that pay well (but not sure if i can get an offer due to lack of experience)
2) Stay here for experience and then look
3) Go back to data science for a bigger paycheck

Have any of you guys been through the same? I am interested in listening to your journey

Any thoughts or advice is highly appreciated!
🙏🏼

edit: I am a PM for their e-commerce business.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 19 Comments
  • Disney / Eng
    mav.rick

    Disney Eng

    PRE
    The Walt Disney Company
    BIO
    Software Engineer
    mav.rickmore
    If your goal is to PM, #3 shouldn’t be an option.

    Now you have the knowledge that PMing for retail is horrible... maybe you can make a smoother transition to “e-commerce” since it’s sales related but there are a lot of tech e-commerce sites.

    One thing I’ve seen from successful PMs is that they’re committed to the career change. If you’re not happy, then definitely look somewhere else... it may seem tough but I’m sure someone will take a chance on your story.
    Aug 17 0
  • Hearsay / Product Shake
    Leave retail. They are NOTORIOUS for being political, slow, disorganized, political... did I say political?

    No matter how organized a place looks, retail will always be a mess.
    Aug 17 2
    • Target / Cust. Srv. tmDe33
      No u
      Aug 17
    • HauteLook / Product
      hamsterpm

      HauteLook Product

      PRE
      Google, Microsoft, Amazon
      hamsterpmmore
      OP
      Thanks for your suggestion, just to be clear I doing their site personalization. Do u have any suggestions where I should look?
      Aug 17
  • Booking.com / Product Catch21
    I have the same problem. Moved from Engineer to PM and it's not as good as I thought. I'm in your same situation. not sure if I should keep going or pivot.
    Aug 18 2
    • HauteLook / Product
      hamsterpm

      HauteLook Product

      PRE
      Google, Microsoft, Amazon
      hamsterpmmore
      OP
      Did u switch companies or teams?
      Aug 18
    • Booking.com / Product Catch21
      teams in same company
      Aug 18
  • Twitch / Product CP0
    Something is missing. If your Superpower is driving cross team projects, you should be able to navigate large organizations, even if they are political. What is the condition to unlocking your Superpower?

    IMHO going back to tech centric company for PM is the obvious answer
    Aug 21 1
    • HauteLook / Product
      hamsterpm

      HauteLook Product

      PRE
      Google, Microsoft, Amazon
      hamsterpmmore
      OP
      The performance reviews are non existent here. There are no inventive to do good work therefore logic doesn't work. Senior Management couldn't careless therefore my attempts to influence leadership hasn't taken off either. Currently I just rely of personal relationships to get things done. Since we are not data driven, prioritization generally is done by friendships or HIPPO
      Aug 26
  • Visa / Product plane
    I work at Visa, where retail experience is an asset. Product is pretty political here but more data-driven / some FAANG-style PMs here. DM me if you want a referral
    Aug 19 2
    • EA / Product player_1
      Interested. DM’ed you
      Aug 19
    • HauteLook / Product
      hamsterpm

      HauteLook Product

      PRE
      Google, Microsoft, Amazon
      hamsterpmmore
      OP
      Very kind of you!
      But I am currently working on a side project which I plan to launch in the six months. Most probably it won't work like all startup ideas, I might reach out to you then :)
      Aug 26
  • BYTON cJKu57
    So far I have worked in 8 companies (none at faang level but mostly good companies).

    What u describe
    "PMing here is completely different; it is extremely slow, not analytical, lack of leadership and very political. "
    Is what I saw every single PM do in all my SWE roles. Hence I have zero respect for PMs.

    But u seem to have come from a place where PMs did real work and not just power-grab-politics.

    I'd suggest if u want to be a good PM please come work with me and show me what a good PM can be. Or find a place where PMs don't spend their time BSing their days away.
    Aug 17 2
    • HauteLook / Product
      hamsterpm

      HauteLook Product

      PRE
      Google, Microsoft, Amazon
      hamsterpmmore
      OP
      Good PMs bring good problems backed with data and evidence to engineers and removes blocker for them to build solutions. They fight for them they take the blame for all the bugs , and they love their product despite of every flaws. Good PMs always stand by their engineers no matter what.
      Aug 17
    • BYTON cJKu57
      A lot of times I feel all they do is pass messages along while obscuring the source on either end so it seems it was their idea or their work. But I would love to work with a PM u describe.
      Aug 17
  • MeridianLink / Product XVrn30
    I think PM requires a certain personality. Nordstrom is a bit of an odd company in the first place. PM always involves significant politics and soft skills.
    Aug 19 0
  • EA / Product player_1
    On the same boat here . I think FAANG TPM roles are legit
    Aug 18 0
  • HauteLook / Product
    hamsterpm

    HauteLook Product

    PRE
    Google, Microsoft, Amazon
    hamsterpmmore
    OP
    Any thoughts anyone?
    Aug 18 0
  • MLB / Product pabc830
    Option 1, if you really don’t want to be a Data Scientist again. You will only learn bad habits in your current gig
    Sep 4 0