Tom McCormack shares his advice on breaking into product design from the perspective of a Career Coach! Tom covers advice on so many topics during his chat with Seth. From how to make your own luck to jumpstart your career to the pitfalls to avoid on your job search, this episode includes many tips to help you find your way to a career path in product design! Read the article below and listen to more of Tom’s great advice in the full episode!
In episode 23 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Tom McCormack, a Career Coach specializing in product design and product owners. During Tom’s career, he has worked primarily with product designers but has experience in other fields like data science, data analytics, web development, and product management, to name a few.
As a career coach in the product space, Tom has a different perspective on how to break into UX. From the length of time it can take to find a new job to the pitfalls he has seen job seekers fall into, Tom shares loads of advice in this podcast episode that can help give you a fresh perspective during your job search.
Tom attributes becoming a career coach to his focus on writing. As an undergrad, he worked as a writing tutor in the writing center at his University. He worked with people by proofreading their work and helping them think through their writing. This experience enabled him to learn how to construct an argument and present it in a persuasive manner in writing.
He transferred his writing skillset into reviewing resumes to ensure that they had the intended impact and communicated the correct information for the job description. He was doing this for friends and family until he realized that he had uncovered a new career path for himself.
Once he came across this path, he became more and more interested in career coaching. Eventually, he became more focused on career coaching in product because it was the most area that he had come across in his experience. During his time as a career coach, Tom has collected a lot of valuable advice and several things to avoid on the job search, which is the focus of this article.
During our chat, Seth asked about the common pitfalls that Tom has noticed as a career coach helping product designers to find work. Having been on the coaching side, Tom has observed the actions that work and those that do not work. Here are a few of the pitfalls that he shared, and you can listen to more in the full podcast episode!
“If you're going to transform your career, you're going to have to transform yourself along the way. And if you are unable or unwilling to transform yourself, it's going to be very difficult to transform your career.”
“Use the pitch that's authentic to you and that you're able to articulate well. Then find the people that it resonates with, and those are the people that you’ll want to work with.”
It was great to gain a different perspective from Tom, who brought us some excellent advice based on his time working with product designers as a Career Coach! Hearing Tom's perspective on the pitfalls to avoid during a job search and his tips on setting yourself up to find the perfect role for you will provide value for so many people in this industry. We are so thankful that he shared so much valuable advice on how to find success in product design.
Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes a deeper dive into Tom’s take on the product industry at this time, as well as how long it can take to find the right role for you! Don't forget to follow Tom on LinkedIn and keep an eye out for ways he may be able to help you as well!
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