How I Switched Careers at 32 and Became a Product Manager
Moritz Mayrhofer is an associate product manager working with the Partner Tech team at GetYourGuide. He explains how he looked for people who could help him eventually work in product, and seized the opportunity when it appeared.
In this series of growth stories, we’re highlighting the people who paved their own career paths within GetYourGuide.
Hello! I’m Moritz Mayrhofer and am currently working in Partner Tech as a product manager in the associate product management program. I live in Zurich with my wife and cat, and you’ll find me hiking in the mountains when I’m not working. My professional background is in travel, specifically, OTAs.
From business development and brand, to product management
My career path at GetYourGuide has been very interesting, and reflects the fast pace of change within the company. I’ve chronicled it here in a very short timeline. It’s important to know that I had set a personal goal several years prior to joining GetYourGuide to become a product manager. At every step of my career, I looked for ways to get closer to this goal.
April 2020 - November 2020: I joined at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, and was working in what was then referred to as Business Development. I focused on signing up partners targeting in-destination tourists, but knew that I wanted to work in product management. With the encouragement of my manager, I reached out to some people in the product team and asked if they would mentor me, or provide me with some advice on how to prepare for a move to product management.
I also reached out to a director in the product team and asked for mentoring. I was turned down because they were mentoring other product managers. However, I’d planted seeds, and it helped a lot. Back to the timeline.
November 2020 - October 2021: The in-destination team was dissolved due to restructuring and COVID, and I was offered the chance to join the Brand team. I accepted this wildly different role, but was still focused on my goal of working in product management. Shortly after joining the Brand team, I shared with my manager that I’d like to take a role on this team that would help me learn skills relevant to moving into product.
She was very supportive, and offered the role of solutions manager. This allowed me to get involved in more technical projects that had some contact with the product team. The booking engine was one project I worked on that allowed GetYourGuide suppliers to take bookings on their own websites. My role in this was to train the Sales teams, and feed progress and challenges back to the product team.
I was in weekly meetings with the product team, and figured that couldn’t hurt with my long term goal. I even put in a move request to relocate to Zurich from London to be able to work more closely with the partner tech team, at my own expense. The booking engine wasn’t the only project where I had to liaise with the product team, and so I wanted to get closer to be able to do it better. It was accepted and I relocated. I wasn’t in product management yet, but I was getting closer.
October 2021 - Present: The opportunity I was waiting for reared its head. The Associate Product Manager program was announced and I submitted my application. This program is for people seeking to transition from their current roles into product management at GetYourGuide. After a number of interviews, I was offered the opportunity to join the program, and was emotional. I still am. It’s not over yet though. At 32, I’ve switched into a new career trajectory and I have a lot to learn.
What a ride.
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My advice for changing careers
There are three pieces of advice I’d give to people thinking about changing careers:
1) At every opportunity, plant a seed. Introduce yourself, approach people who are doing what you want to do. Try to get closer to what you are looking for by putting your name down for projects that could help. Don’t stop telling relevant people about what you’re trying to achieve. When the program was announced, I was told about it before I found out myself. I’d planted enough seeds that opportunity could find me too.
2) Ask for support and help. Don’t try to do this on your own. Your manager can do so much to help you with your journey. Get a mentor if you can. Ask for one.
3) Prepare for the opportunity. Dress for the job you want. When opportunity comes, move fast and take it on!
For updates on our open positions, check out our Career page.
Other articles from this series
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Our UX Design Process and How We Adapt to Change
How We Built the Ultimate Customer Insights Team
How a Product Designer and UX Writer Create Synergy
S2E1: What We Look for in Product & Design Candidates