Working As A Product Manager | Meet Mickael
Our Mickael isn’t afraid to leap outside his comfort zone to grow personally and professionally. He was a traditional consumer marketer who once tried his hand at online B2B marketing. When he had succeeded at that he switched to product management.
How did you end up here at Zervant?
I first came to Finland in 2011 as an exchange student. Later when I was looking for my first job in Finland, I quickly realised that without speaking Finnish it wouldn’t be easy.
Zervant was looking for a digital marketer for the French market. I thought the challenge sounded super exciting even though I only had experience in offline consumer goods marketing. My first meeting with the founders was really good: I immediately felt like I would fit here and I think they felt the same way with me.
What have you learned during the past five years at Zervant?
Everything was new to me then. I learned the techniques of search engine optimisation and marketing as well as how to analyse user behaviour with Google Analytics.
Now, as a Product Manager, I have learned a lot about Agile Methodology for software development. I also learned to prioritise our ideas into a backlog. It requires looking at different aspects to ensure that every voice is heard.
What kind of workplace is Zervant?
We are really relaxed at Zervant. The top management trusts us employees. There is room for us to try and fail. If and when a failure happens, everyone is committed to help fix the issue. There is no witch hunt, or finger pointing. I think our founders have done a great job keeping this mindset while the company has been growing. We have forty employees now at Zervant and it still feels like a family.
I feel management has always tried to think of the happiness of the employees and their career satisfaction. There are a lot of possibilities to try new stuff, learn, do something different.
How did you end up switching from Marketing to Product Management?
After two and a half years in Marketing I felt I had reached the top of my growth curve. I felt that the next thing I could do, to serve our customers better, was to improve the product itself. For that, I thought that Product Management was where I could be the most useful. When we had an opening for a full-time Product Manager, I was given the opportunity to try! I appreciated the trust I was given.
What’s the best thing about your job and what’s the most challenging?
The best thing is to have a real impact on the value we bring to our users. I’d say it’s quite a key role. Sometimes we’ll get feedback from our users saying that the product changed their lives. That’s very rewarding.
The challenge is the pressure to deliver results.
What’s the most important thing for you at work?
To bring value to our users. The main mission of a start-up is to solve a problem. If we succeed in doing so, I’m happy.
How do you take care of your well-being?
Something I love here in Finland, and especially at Zervant is that we value private life. We have a lot of flexibility to arrange our work hours. I usually work longer hours during the winter, and enjoy shorter days in summer.
I also like to initiate different after-work events, be it sports related or a social gathering at a bar. It’s easy to get my colleagues excited to do something together!
In my free time, I started to train for a triathlon. I started training a year and a half ago. It’s a great way to release the pressure from work and stay healthy.
What kind of goals do you have for the future?
In the future, I’d like to continue exploring different parts of the organisation. It would be great to learn more about software development. I took part in a beginner’s development course that our colleague held for us. I know it will require more effort to be able to develop anything significant in the future, but the course was a great introduction!
Now with the basics, I’m motivated to learn more to broaden my knowledge. I might learn software development, but I know I’ll use this new knowledge in my job in product management. I better understand the technical requirements when prioritising the list of ideas we have planned.