September 7th was the third annual Women in Product Conference in Burlingame and it was timely inspiration to hear professional women leaders who've already made it speak of their experience.

Overall, the speakers really emphasized and spoke of self-advocating and risk-taking, which really resonated with me. Job-searching season for students is getting into full swing and that is usually accompanied by self-doubt and existential questions. Hearing women product leaders share anecdotes of their journey helped me grow more comfortable being uncomfortable in the job-searching process.

HARD CONVERSATIONS:

How do you independently with your team come up with a great point of view but then be really thoughtful about all the different view points that you’re going to have to engage with and then think about how you give people the time and space to interact so that it goes from a hard conversation to a true conversation...

You aren’t trying to push your view; you’re trying to get everyone to collaborate and share the space. When you know you want to push the envelope, its important to know how to put the facts in front of people and how to orchestrate the whole group to ‘yes’.
— Margo Georgiadis, CEO, Ancestry
My initial inclination was to come in, share my views, lets go! Instead, opening up the conversation for other people to have the hard conversation with each other where I was the bystander and then resisting the need to come in with the solution right then turned out to be the unlock in that situation.

Opening up the discussion led to high trust very quickly and I had to resist some of my natural inclination of jumping in to problem-solve right away.
— Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, President, Stubhub
Not bringing up the topic was knowing I could get emotional about it and wanting to make the other person comfortable with me being emotional about it.
— Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
If you wait too long to do it, you build up a sense of ‘well i haven’t done this yet so i’m not going to start doing it’

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start early because all of a sudden, you realize that you aren’t taking that much risk. You’re just being human.
— Margo Georgiadis

THE CAREER GROWTH PLAYBOOK I WISH I'D HAD

Step up and do that job. Remind yourself that stepping up is scary. Just knowing whats normal is really helpful.

Take perfection off the table. If you recognize that there’s no thing as perfect solution and then propose my imperfect solution and thats better than no solution.
— Ami Vora, VP Product, Facebook
Build your career the way you build your product. What does Ami 2.0 look like? And when are you shipping?
— Ami Vora