I'm a Product Manager and This Is My Career Story

What Is Your Name?

Sarah Sprague

Tell Us About Yourself! Give Us Your Elevator Speech!

Oh man. I never know what to say when people ask this! I guess that’s why I’m not in sales.

I joined The Muse a little over a year ago as the very first product manager. I was looking for something where I could learn a lot, work on a product that actually helped people, and be part of a team that cared. I also moved to New York for this job! But I’m so happy I did because it brought me closer to my younger sister who lives here too, as well as my friends from school.

My hobbies include being an obnoxious Patriots fan, proudly watching terrible reality TV, and trying new activities so I can sound more interesting when I have to write bios like this.

What’s Your Job Title? What Does This Actually Mean in Terms of What You’re Doing Day to Day?

Product Manager. I try to figure out how we can make The Muse better for our users and clients, and then work with our engineering and design teams to make it happen.

What Were You Doing Before You Landed This Job?

I was doing product management at PBS building video apps for PBS and PBS Kids. Watched a lot of Curious George and Downton Abbey doing that…

Before PBS, I was working at GE, switching between project management and product management, which included actually learning the difference between those two roles. I also figured out what I do and don’t like in a job. (Hint: Big companies aren’t for me.)

What’s the Coolest Project You’ve Worked on So Far or One You’re Really Excited About?

What we’re working on right now! We just released a new home page for Musers who are logged into our site. The idea (and our hope) is to help people find the best jobs and articles for their specific needs so they don’t have to dig for it across The Muse. If you’ve tried it out and have feedback or ideas about how we could make it better in the future—tell me!

What’s the Worst Job You’ve Ever Had?

Scooping ice cream on Cape Cod. People on the Cape are very serious about their ice cream in the summer. Also, there was that incident on my first day involving a bloody nose—I’ll never be able to erase that embarrassment from my memory.

If Money Wasn’t a Factor, What Would You Be Doing Career-Wise?

Honestly, I don’t know. Something that changes constantly because I tend to get bored once I’ve figured something out, and that involves solving problems. I’d probably travel the world for a year or two (cliché, I know), learn how to scuba dive (I’ve always wanted to know more about marine biology), and maybe even do a stint in culinary school.

Best Piece of Advice for Someone Who Wants a Job Like Yours or Who Is Stuck in a Difficult Job Hunt Right Now?

Take a step back and think about what’s most important for you. I used to get overwhelmed thinking, “What do I want to do with my life?” Yes, it’s important to plan for your future and build a career, but that type of pressure can lead to analysis paralysis, indecision, and no action. Start with what you know makes you happy: Is it a location, a specific work environment, or a particular product?

Once I could succinctly say, these two to three things are what’s most important to me, I could put the right parameters on my search and actually make progress.

I remember I read this line in a book when I was really lost: “You don’t learn things from thinking, you learn from doing.” It’s so true! That’s when I stopped thinking myself into insanity and focused on getting the right next job where I could continue to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Now I’m one million times happier than I was two years ago when I was just thinking without moving forward.

Anything Else You’d Like to Add?

Here’s the secret: Everyone has doubts and insecurities. What was I put on this earth to do? Am I even good at my job? Why would anyone hire me? Even the people you think have it totally together, I promise you, they think these things, too.

My co-workers will probably be surprised to read this about me, but that’s the power. Once you know you’re not alone, doubts stop being weaknesses. When you get comfortable with those feelings and learn how to work with them instead of trying to suppress them, you actually become stronger because you’re someone who can adapt and evolve. And those types of people make great teammates.

قالب وردپرس

About Daily Muse

Daily Muse
The Daily Muse is the daily publication of The Muse, your ultimate career destination that offers exciting job opportunities, expert advice, and a peek behind the scenes into fantastic companies and career paths.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *