1stdibs CPO on Career Path (Part 3)

When looking at your career path, the focus should not be on where you are today. Instead, you need to think about where you want to be after your current job. With this, you can create a path forward much earlier on in your career. For example, I knew that I wanted to work in China and made sure that I worked at companies that allowed me to do so. Similarly, if your goal is to become a C-suite executive, you need to understand what it’s like to walk in those shoes. With this, I will share some examples of what my day-to-day as a Chief Product Officer.
First and foremost, my job is all about people. From hiring new talent to team building, a big part of my daily routine is cultivating our work environment. In addition, being a CPO requires working in process development. I personally do not love handling process. However, it’s a vital part of my responsibility to ensure that our team is on the same page.
Finally, executives must create strategies to provide direction for the business. Your responsibility is no longer about execution. It’s all about finding gaps in the business model to ensure that your strategy can succeed. While it’s very exciting to get a promotion or become an executive, this is only the beginning of your new path. I learned this the hard way and I first traveled to China for work. When I arrived in Shanghai, I was asked to present our latest product release in Chinese. Since leaving China for the US at age 9, my Chinese was extremely limited. I only knew how to talk about food and other non-tech items. After suffering through an embarrassing 45-minute talk, it serves as a reminder of working toward goals that go beyond simply “getting to the start line.” The real work starts when your career path leads to a new role. While I have achieved my lifelong goal of becoming a CPO, I will be the first to admit that it’s way harder than I thought it would be. From managing teams to setting strategy, it’s a much experience than being a director. In the end, this keeps me motivated to continuously learn and improve as an executive.   Click here for Part 1 Click here for Part 2