1stdibs CPO on Career Path (Part 2)

When your strengths and needs evolve beyond your current role, it’s time to start looking for a new job. Looking at my own career path, I started working at Capital One as a project manager. At the time, I had great project management skills and worked hard – but had no frame of reference for product management. However, I knew that I wanted to get into tech and used this experience to set up my move to Nextcard.

Working at a company that created the first online credit card was a great place to learn. The company was stable and things were moving fast. However, I definitely needed to fight to get in the door and worked even harder to develop my skills further. Eventually, I moved on to Digital Insight – which is a SaaS business. When I got there, I didn’t even know what SaaS was – but this provided another great opportunity to learn more about the tech world.

Fast-forward to 10 years later; I had a Senior Director job at Gilt. On paper, this sounded great and I loved working at a small company where I could get my hands dirty. Over time, I realized that I wasn’t tapping into all of my core strengths. There wasn’t an opportunity to manage a team or define processes. In addition, the company’s mission did not inspire me to go above and beyond for the organization.

Sure enough, the CEO at 1stdibs.com approached me about becoming Chief Product Officer. Within 30 minutes, I knew that this was a great opportunity and that it was time to make a move. The position would leverage my strengths and put me in an environment where I could develop further. Furthermore, I spent a ton of time interviewing the CEO to ensure that we could form a successful partnership for long-term success.

In the end, this is very important for defining your career path – especially when you ascend to leadership roles.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 3

About the speaker
Xiaodi Zhang 1stdibs.com, Chief Product Officer Member

Xiaodi Zhang joined 1stdibs.com as the first product hire. Over the last six years, she has led the transformation of the luxury marketplace and helped grow the company from 350 today. As CPO, Xiaodi manages the Product and Design organizations. Her responsibilities include leading the annual strategy planning process and developing the right frameworks and tools to ensure success at 1stdibs. Along the way, she has built a team of nearly 30 rockstar product managers and designers. Prior to 1stdibs, Xiaodi held leadership positions at Gilt and eBay. While at eBay, she spent five invaluable years in Shanghai, learning first hand the importance of grit, scale and competition.

About the host
Andrea Chesleigh Boxed, VP of Product and Engineering

Andrea is the VP of Product and Engineering at One Kings Lane, a digital-first resource for making your home an expression of your personal style. She has spent over fifteen years in Product and Tech, and has led teams at startups and Fortune 500 companies, including Rent the Runway, Zappos, Time Warner, and Verizon. Andrea is passionate about solving hard (seemingly impossible) challenges, developing simple yet delightful products, building teams of entrepreneurial critical thinkers, and creating strategic outcomes with impact. She is a hands-on leader with a player/coach style, diving into the details with her team to partner, advise, and guide them to success.

Provide your rating for this post
If you liked this post, please use the buttons to the left to share it with a friend or post it on social media. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Read more

Go Soft: How to Get Ahead in Product Management

Johnathan Lucky discusses empathy and why he wanted to immerse himself in the user experience and help improve the product.

Treat your PM Career as a Product

Gaurav Hardikar formerly of Trulia, Zillow Group, Shopkick, and now Brilliant, breaks down Execution, Strategy, and Emotional Intelligence .

Setting Your Career Path For The C-Suite

Xiaodi Zhang is a product executive who has climbed the product ladder from project manager to CPO. Before you reach the top of your career path, you need to set a foundation for success. Drawing from personal experience, Xiaodi provides insight into the daily routine of a CPO – along with words of wisdom about not getting too carried away with receiving a promotion.

/ Register for Free

Don’t be left behind in your career. Join a growing community of over 500K Product professionals committed to building great products. Register for FREE today and get access to :

  • All eBooks
  • All Infographics
  • Product Award resources
  • Search for other members

Coming soon for members only: personalized content, engagement, and networking.