Why I took a demotion to Associate Product Manager (APM)

Becca Elliott
Mar 16 · 4 min read

For the last two months I have been working as an APM at accuRx, a role I didn’t apply for.

I guess you’re now wondering why/how I ended up here in that case, I will try my best to explain… 🧐

With any product role you have a steep learning curve; getting to know the people, processes, and of course products. However, when you move from a global corporate to a start-up, or from hardware to software, there is an unimaginable differential in that learning curve.

My first Product Manager role was in a global hardware corporation, one of the leading developers of electronics manufacturing equipment, a collection of companies working together to reach a global vision. This was an amazing experience with invaluable exposure to the most challenging product management responsibilities, eventually giving me the opportunity to define and champion the development of globally important products. An incredible experience and a lot of responsibility for someone straight out of university. Although I loved the job in many ways, and had an incredible mentor (the Director of Product for the company), I found the lack of willingness to change or try new things beyond frustrating. Heavy processes and the mentality of ‘but that is just the way it is’ would restrict engineering innovation and speed of delivery, to the dismay of me and probably 80% of my colleagues.😥

After two years in my role I was ready for a change, but I was struggling to know what it was I wanted to do. I have always been passionate about healthcare but was fed up with hardware development… with a degree in Mechanical Engineering I wasn’t sure what options I had 😩.

I came across accuRx by chance. I couldn’t believe my luck in finding a company that aligned so closely to what I found important. accuRx is a healthtech software company whose vision is to improve communication in the NHS and shouts about its belief for a balanced company culture; be that diversity and inclusion or the meals provided for lunch. I filled out an application knowing my experience was only loosely applicable to the kind of candidate accuRx would probably want. 🤞🤞

To my surprise I got an interview, and then another… the team at accuRx could see the potential I had to be a great fit for the product team. However, with no experience leading a team or working in a start-up, there were concerns that throwing me into a Product Manager role straight away would be setting me up for failure. So instead of saying I didn’t have enough applicable experience, like so many of my peers have experienced, they offered to create an Associate Product Manager (APM) position for me. I would work with the other product managers to gain experience and be upskilled with the aim of taking on my own team as a product manager within 6 months. I couldn’t believe my luck!💃

accuRx’s Public Roadmap (Found here)

Fast forward to getting through the remaining five rounds of interviews and having worked as an APM for the last 2 months now, I couldn’t be more grateful. The product team at accuRx has put everything in place for me to learn what it means to be a great product person at the company. On a daily basis I am given the opportunity to be challenged, make product decisions, lead research, and facilitate cross-functional meetings, all in an incredibly positive and learning-focused supportive environment. accuRx has also taken it a step further by cultivating opportunity and creating platforms for me and the team to learn about both the applied skills and theories of product management. Every week we have a product school session 🤓, open for anyone to join, but made specifically to upskill APMs, where a member of the product team will speak to something we can all learn from based on one of the key competencies in our product management progression framework. A few examples of my favourite to date have been, ‘My biggest OKR fails and what I’ve learnt’ and ‘Why a vision aids delivery’. In addition we have designated sessions for the product community to review one another’s work, shadow each other to see different styles of running sessions and to learn on a regular basis as a way of continuing to better our product community.

I am so grateful for the opportunity accuRx has afforded me and I am confident that every week I will be pushed to learn and better myself not only as a product manager but as a person at accuRx.🥰

The accuRx Product Family (We’re growing quickly I’m sure this will be out of date the moment I post it)

accuRx

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