Do You Have the Whole Package?
Karen is an assistant product manager in a consumer packaged goods company. Her spirits are low. She was informed today that she was not selected for the product manager position for which she recently interviewed. This is the second time that this has happened.She is wondering why other candidates have been selected instead of her. She believed that her interviews went well. The interviews concluded with firm handshakes with the decision makers, reassuring smiles, and praise of her qualifications. Each time she received communications citing her excellent qualifications but was informed that another candidate with qualifications that were a better match for the position was selected. She knew the individuals who were selected. They, like her, were solid performers. Karen had been with the company and in the position of assistant product manager longer than them. Karen thought “What am I doing wrong?” “Will ever get promoted to product manager?”
Karen had reviewed the position for product manager 3 years ago. She developed a pro forma resume to guide her personal development. Karen decided to discuss her situation with her mentor, Jim Randolph, to seek his advice on what she needed to do to get promoted. Jim is a marketing director in the company. Jim agreed to meet with Karen.
Karen: Jim, than you for meeting with me.
Jim: Karen, you are highly regarded in the Marketing organization.
Karen: That sounds good, but why can’t I get a promotion? I am a solid performer and have all the qualifications that are listed for product managers.
Jim: Maybe you do not have the “whole package” the organization wants its product managers to have.
Karen: The whole package? What am I missing?
Jim: There are tangible and intangible qualifications. You have the tangible qualifications for product manager, but have not demonstrated the intangibles as well as your peers that were promoted to product manager.
Karen: There are no qualifications designated as intangible listed in the job description for product manager.
Jim: You won’t see any qualifications designated as intangible listed. Do you remember when we introduced our bestselling paper towel into the marketplace?
Karen: We convinced consumers to try it. They liked it and kept buying it to the point that it has the highest market share in the paper towel category in our industry.
Jim: Repeat the first thing you said.
Karen: We convinced consumers to try it.
Jim: We knew that the product had all the tangibles, the physical characteristics, to satisfy the needs of our target market. We designed the package to make it appeal to consumers. The package conveyed an image of high quality.
Karen: I remember those package design sessions.
Jim: Karen, you are just like our paper towel. You have the tangibles that indicate that you can perform well as a product manager. You have to demonstrate to decision makers that you have the intangibles, the qualifications that will convince them to try you instead of others vying to be product managers. In other words, you need to convince them to try you.
Karen: How can I identify the intangibles?
Jim: You can identify intangibles by observing individuals who have made it to product manager and to higher positions in our organization. How do they dress? What interests do they have that relate to the interests of their supervisors, peers, and executives? How do they participate in meetings? How do they conduct meetings? How do they get people to listen to them? How do they convince others to approve their proposals or agree with their ideas and suggestions? How do they interact with their colleagues, managers, and executives outside of the office?
These are the intangibles that are required to complete the product manager’s package in our organization. Again, you will not see these things listed in the product manager’s position description.
Karen: Jim, thank you so much for your advice and for being a great mentor!
Jim: What are you going to do with this advice?
Karen: I am going to observe people who have made it our organization. I am going to take notes on how they demonstrate their intangibles. And, I am going to demonstrate those intangibles to convince decision makers to try Karen. I am no longer concerned about being promoted. If I follow my plan of action, it is just a matter of time.
Jim: I will be giving you feedback on my observations of you and what I am hearing from my peers. I can’t wait to see Karen’s whole package!
Packaging is one of the 6 Ps of Marketing that you can use to create awareness of your personal brand.
Packaging build on Persona, the image you want to project. Through Positioning, you seek to be in the right place at the right time to capitalize on opportunities that match what your personal product can do.
Do you know the whole package your organization is seeking for the positions to which you aspire?
What is your Persona?
How will you know that an opportunity is the right place at the right time for you?
Do you have a Target Position, the position you want to have in your future?
Do you have a Pro Forma Resume to guide your personal development?
Did this article generate an AHA moment for you?
I invite you to share your comments, experiences, and suggestions. This helps me provide information that may help you address your career opportunities and challenges.
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Next week’s article will continue to explain how you can apply the 6Ps of Marketing to experience the career you want to have.
Linwood Bailey is a career coach and the author of The Business of Me: Your Job … Your Career … Your Value. The Business of Me provides a career management process and information designed for today’s business professional. Since 2008, Linwood has enabled business professionals to manage their careers. Linwood, the been there coach, provides innovative career management solutions derived from his 34 years of experience managing functions and people in multiple industries, regions, and corporate cultures.
Founder, Fields of Success, LLC
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