5 Mins with Tom Edmonds – Hunting for Product Management Work in Oz

Tom Edmonds is a Product Manager looking for new career opportunities and a change in lifestyle from his normal London environment. Brainmates is thrilled to have had a chance to meet with Tom and chat with him about his journey in searching for Product Management work in Sydney.

Tom, thanks for taking the time to share with us your experience in Product Management job-hunting in Australia. What originally attracted you to find Product Management work here?

I worked for a large UK ISP for the last 4.5 years delivering products, content and services on to their proprietary portal. I enjoy working in the digital media space and as Sydney is a smaller city than London and a little further behind the UK in this area, I thought there could be better career opportunities here in the long-term…..Oh and let’s not forget Sydney’s proximity to the beach, which you just don’t get in London.

We’ve met quite a few travelers from abroad who say the same thing about the beach. I’m sure you will agree the Australian lifestyle is one easy to get used to. Did you find many appealing Product Manager roles here? Do they differ from Product Manager roles in the UK?

I have only been in Sydney a short time so anything I say should be understood in this context. I have found a number of ‘product roles’ in Sydney, however these roles can vary enormously in their nature, scope and responsibilities. This is very similar to the UK. At my previous company in the UK my actual job title was business development, but this was actually product development in everything but name. As product development can encompass anything along the spectrum from concept to life-cycle management the nature of the role can vary enormously and I think this is where job titles can be misleading and/or misinterpreted by organisations. Product Managers in my previous organisation were more specifically Proposition Managers, Product Developers, or Product Managers depending on the type of products they owned and the stage the product was at. To give them all the title of Product Managers was a little misleading and this is certainly what I’m finding here.

That’s an interesting observation and something that Brainmates agrees with. In our Product Management training courses we encourage defining the various roles within the Product Management team so as to move away from the generic ‘Product Manager’ term to positions titled such as Product Planners, Product Marketers and Product Architects.

Tom, just one last question – what do you think the future of Product Management involves?

That is a very good question…If I understood the question correctly I think in essence Product Management will always involve a mixture of disciplines from engineering, technical and marketing for example. I can only talk about the digital space but I am seeing an increasing emphasis on the softer skills required to do the job…..in bringing more and more complex networks of people together both internally and externally for example and being better able to deal with the ebbs and flows of a fast paced digital environment. Those that succeed in Product Management will be the ones better able to juggle these pressures and to act as the effective conduit.

Tom, thanks again for your time and for your insight into Product Management. Congratulations on finding work in Australia; we look forward to catching up soon.