Beating the Mid-Career Rut - Snigdha Ghosh Ray, Head, Global Product & Technology, ADP

Is good talent your biggest Product challenge and how are your addressing is?

Yes to your question.
All of us need a lot of product managers. Product managers are only going to be just this many, right? Very few in numbers than you need. I would say Product leaders. We do want every associate and every employee to be a product leader. There is a dearth of talent in the market. Yes, We are all competing in the same space for the same product managers. There is definitely one aspect, one challenge we have, especially when you look at it, you are expecting people to come and be productive on day one. With our own example at ADP, we
do understand that product is the only way we can move forward and keep out market leadership position. We are investing a lot in all our 2000 associates who are a part of product and technology. One of the things we did, in fact with IPL itself, a few years back was to get all our business analysts with deep domain, deep tech knowledge and analytical skills into a custom program that was designed along with IPL.

Your advice for mid-career struggles...?

People stuck in mid career I would actually ask them to reflect on what are their strength what are they very passionate about. Today versus 20 yrs back or 15 yrs back, when we were getting into our careers the options were very few, there was typically the management track. Today if you look at it there are lot of options – options of architect, UX designers, product managers, dev ops. First thing I would do is to ask the person to reflect. What does the person believe person he is good at. Go try to pick up a skill, read up a bit, go join some courses, validate the interest if it is really there. Lot of these career paths have a lot of hype around it. Once the person is pretty certain and has tested the passion out I would then recommend the person gets into a serious experiential learning program. Theory is good but that’s all its gets you. There has to be a lot of activity, workshop based , scenario based learning where the person is able to discover his or her competencies and Pretty much pick up the track he or she is interested in.

3 take-aways:

- We need more product leaders and organisations have to invest in this.
- Today the career opportunities are plenty. So one needs to pick up the skills and validate ones passion.
- Learning more once the passion is discovered is key. Learn in an experiential way.

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