What are the ingredients to a great foundation for working in product management?
Richie Jones, Dun & Bradstreet. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

What are the ingredients to a great foundation for working in product management?

20 Sep 2019508 Views

Global head of enterprise product management at Dun & Bradstreet, Richie Jones, gives some insights into how he got to his current position.

For anyone starting out on their career path, it can be hard to imagine the unexpected places it could take you and, more often than not, it’s anything but a straightforward route.

Global head of enterprise product management at Dun & Bradstreet, Richie Jones, told Siliconrepublic.com about the aspects of his own journey that led to him his current role working on API platforms and technology and product management.

What first stirred your interest in a career in this area?

I joined Dun & Bradstreet about eight years ago as a business analyst, working with our business team, building a new product for the European market.

As part of this I started working with our product team and found a different side of the technology that I hadn’t seen before.

What education and/or other jobs led you to the role you now have?

I’ve always worked in technology, studying computer science in college then working as a developer, before moving over into analysis and, finally, into product management.

For me, this background of understanding how technology works but also being able to analyse complex business problems has given me a great foundation for working in product management.

What were the biggest surprises or challenges you encountered on your career path and how did you deal with them?

For me, I think the biggest challenge has been to continue to learn and develop. Given where we are with today’s technology-driven economy, you have to be constantly keeping yourself up to date on the current state of technology and looking for new ways to solve business challenges.

The other side of this is, of course, is that the business problems we are solving today are constantly evolving as well. The challenge is to able to bring todays new solutions together to solve new business challenges.

Was there any one person who was particularly influential as your career developed?

I’m not sure that there has been one specific person, moreover lots of people that have influenced me over the years.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The variety of the role. I get to work with all aspects of the business from customers and sales through to technology. You really get to see the whole organisation. This variety makes every day a new challenge.

What aspects of your personality do you feel make you suited to this job?

I have always been very analytical and enjoy problem-solving, so that helps.

How did your current company support you on your career path, if at all?

Dun & Bradstreet has a culture of supporting employees in their career paths, especially as they want to learn new skills, whether that be within your functional area or a new one.

This support allows employees to embrace new career paths and then, based on business needs, move into that area. We balance this internal progression with bringing in new people to bring a different perspective to the organisation.

If you are interested in a career in product management or technical writing or other roles in technology, you should check out our website, where we have a number of open roles.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in this area, or just starting out in one?

For people considering product management as a career or starting out, I would recommend getting as much experience as you can and doing something you enjoy.

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