As I dive into continuing my education in product development and product strategy, I find myself not just researching a past history of what has been created - but reaching out to those who are actively practicing the art, and discovering what I may need to do to get there.

I find myself looking towards the companies or products that I admire, and then reverse engineering it. In this case โ€”ย I reached out to Kyle Turman, Product Designer at Slack.

Iโ€™ve been a Slack fan for a while. Itโ€™s easily one of my most-used apps as a freelancer and remote worker. Heck, my graduate school program even uses Slack to facilitate conversation and discussions on group projects and assignments.

Iโ€™m excited to peel back the covers and share with you the tips that Kyle provided when I asked more about how he got to where he was today.

1) Work with amazing people. Find people that are talented, passionate, and humble and learn from them.

2) Keep your eyes open. Stay in the know with what other people are doing and look at what is working for them and why in specific situations. Try new things yourself and experiment with different approaches to things and learn what is effective and what isnโ€™t.

3) Learn by doing. Try to get someone to pay you to do something that is just beyond your current skill set but achievable, whether a job or freelance. Even if itโ€™s cheap. (Donโ€™t let people take advantage of you though. Know your worth!)

4) Make friends! Find colleagues and mutuals who are a step above you and will challenge and inspire you.

5) Understand your role. Understand how the work you do is beneficial to companies and will make them more successful. No one is going to pay you to make things that they wonโ€™t get a return on. Understand how companies make money and how your skills impact that.

6) Find a niche. Start broad and understand what your focus could be. Is it technical? International? Ed-tech? Fin-tech? Try a few out and see what you want to specialize in.

Iโ€™m looking forward to taking these tips and further incorporating them into my practice as I continue my education in product design and strategy.

Do you have additional product tips that you would like to add in? What would those be? Who inspires you in the product space?

Let me know โ€” drop a comment below or shout out on twitter!