Designing YOU
 

Designing YOU is an eight-step process.

We’ll guide you through each step and show you how you can use the process to support decision-making. This process isn’t new or revolutionary. In fact, almost every product manager follows a similar path to develop the products you use every day. We’ve just adapted it to design you. 

Step 1 — Becoming your Product Manager

Step 1 walks you through the seven key attributes of a product manager and why you must adopt these to become the champion of your life. A great product manager:

1.     Is intentionally curious.

2.     Thinks about the whole.

3.     Is empathetic.

4.     Gets feedback early and often.

5.     Relies on evidence, not simply intuition.

6.     Is resilient.

7.     Is accountable.

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Step 2 — Exploring the Current YOU 

Step 2 is about reflecting on the you that you are today. It involves exploring your personality, knowledge and skills right now. We all live our lives in the bubble that is our home community, family and friends, so a big part of this first step is getting out of that comfort zone and being inspired by the world and the people around you. This inspiration is your launching pad for the Whole YOU.

Step 3 — Building your Design Team 

Step 3 focuses on the team effort required to design you. We’ll explore the value of your relationships and from this, you’ll form your design team of experts who will support and guide you through the Designing YOU process.

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Step 4 — Defining the Professional YOU 

Step 4 focuses on exploring career options. First, you’ll evaluate what you love to do and what you’re good at, then you’ll explore how to leverage it to make a living. By the end of Step 4, you will start to have a vision of the future Professional YOU. 

Defining the Professional YOU is so important, we’ve written an entire series of Designing YOU Career Guides to support you work down this path. These Career Guides explore some of the crucial questions facing anyone exploring their Professional YOU. 

  1. What are the different careers options in a field?
  2. What does it take to be a successful professional in a specific area?
  3. What’s the future of different professions and what does this mean to me?
  4. How have other professionals got to where they are today?
  5. And the inevitable… how much money can I make doing different jobs?

To help you answer these tough questions, each guide includes a series of Career Mission Maps that provides examples of how you can chart a course to achieving your professional mission. 

Step 5 — Defining the Whole YOU 

Step 5 is when you will discover how your Professional YOU fits into your Whole YOU. The Whole YOU is about how you define success. You’ll think about where you want to live, the people you want to be around, the importance of your bank account and other factors important to you. The alignment of all these factors is the Whole YOU.

Step 6 — Defining your Product Roadmap 

Step 6 is possible after you’ve identified your destination in Step 5. The roadmap will allow you to implement the Whole YOU. Every decision you make in pursuit of the destination now has a purpose. There are many paths to this destination, some direct, others slower and scenic. We encourage you to take some of the scenic drives and explore. In fact, taking a side route may change your destination and guide you toward a different Whole YOU. This is the value of exploring, adapting and changing.

Step 7 — Telling your story 

Step 7 recognizes that having the best product that no one has ever heard of or cares about is called “going out of business.” Your story is how you’ll connect to the audience you care about and how you’ll make them care about you. You’ll figure out what you can offer the world and develop a strategy to communicate it. Your story has to be so compelling that they can’t wait to be part of what happens next.

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Step 8 — The Whole YOU 2.0 and beyond 

Step 8 is about the ever-evolving you. Designing YOU and the tools you learn within it aren’t only useful in your current stage of life. To be always relevant you must constantly update yourself and adjust to new realities. As your path changes and you decide to try new things and develop new skills, the guidance contained in Designing YOU can be there for you.

 
 

 

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Praise for Designing YOU


“I see a lot of new graduates. In Designing YOU – Life Beyond Your Grades, Finch and DePaul tell it like it
is – today formal education alone will not get you where you need to go. It is only a starting point. The
real question is – where is the evidence you have the skills that will help me – and this evidence is rarely
found in a GPA. I highly recommend Designing YOU as a framework for starting to view your life and
every decision more strategically.”


- Darrell J. Graham, Director, National Retail Sales Performance, Rogers Communications

 

“In my career, I have interviewed and hired hundreds of new graduates. Finch and DePaul have been
through the trenches as product managers and marketing professionals. Their experience paired with
their role as educators offers a unique insight on how to approach your life and career like a product
manager. Their message that to succeed today you need to engage future employers early and often is
something that will resonate with any hiring manager. This book is an essential guide for students
starting to think about life after graduation.”


- Paul Bourque, Director, Labour Relations/Employee Relations

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