Hi! I am Rawan Saloum, an up-and-coming Product Manager. I graduated from Malaysia with a Bachelors's and Masters's degree. Currently, I am residing in Chicago, United States. I follow the Kaizen philosophy in my daily life, a philosophy that focuses on the constant improvement of character, skills, and experience. I am naturally a very curious person and love to learn about everything!
What does your typical day look like?
I get up really early in the morning (I need like 2 hours of me time in the morning), do my yoga, and have my much-needed cup of Turkish coffee. I am usually reading a book, so I get my reading done and then get on with work. My work is remote and with people from all over the world, so we catch up on everything once everyone is awake and get on with our tasks!
Why did you choose to become a product manager? How do you see things differently than the rest?
Actually, before getting into product management, I was very lost in what I wanted to do or which career path I wanted to get on. I loved many things but I knew I loved tech and I loved business, so when I found out about product management, it was like a natural calling. I finally found the thing that combines both in the way I want.
What's the one thing that you absolutely love about your job?
I love being able to bridge the gap between tech and business, speaking to the stakeholders in a language they can understand and to the engineers and designers in a language they can understand.
What are some of the cool things that you are working on currently?
I am currently in between jobs, so I am kind of focusing on growing myself, skills-wise. I am taking a UI/UX course to improve myself in that aspect.
What are some of the emerging trends in your industry that excite you? And why?
I think currently, with the global pandemic, there has been a great focus on connecting people. Previously, there was social media and connecting people for entertainment. Now, it's more focused on connecting business professionals, and having people from all over the world work together to create something amazing and I think that's super exciting.
Do you follow any product/prioritization frameworks when making decisions? If yes, what are some of the top frameworks that you recommend, and why?
I follow the MoSCoW and RICE prioritization frameworks. They can enable product managers to make better-informed decisions, minimize personal biases in decision making, and help them defend their priorities to other stakeholders such as the executive staff.
What’s the one tool you couldn’t do your job without, and which very few people know about?
I am someone who constantly needs to organize their thoughts because I am constantly bombarded with information from all departments. So I like using Miro and Google Tasks to get my thoughts and tasks organized.
What's something that you learned/realized recently in your work journey that you wish you knew earlier?
Learning to say No. Saying no as a product manager can be tough but it's something that is so needed to be able to grow a product efficiently.
What's the one mistake you've done and will advise others not to repeat?
At the start of my career, I was not confident in my decisions or what I know, so I tended to doubt myself constantly. I would advise others to trust your decisions, base them off on data, and never doubt yourself.
What are some of your biggest inspirations that help you get up and do your best work?
I have a dream that I want to achieve, and that motivates me every day.
What would you recommend to people who want to start their careers in your space?
Learn how to communicate. That's the most needed skill as a product manager. Read articles as much as you can, take courses, constantly strive to improve yourself. Talk to people in the tech space, learn from them.
Are you open to people new to the industry reaching out to you for help?
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org