I had such a fun episode with Cerelle Centeno, who works for astrology app Co-Star, a fascinating tech company that strives to create real human connections. You can use Co-Star to connect better with your colleagues and even yourself, and the data is both human and AI-driven.
Cerelle walked us through her career journey, spilling her best insights on the many variations of product roles, and the invaluable career advice she’s received along the way. I have no doubt you’ll be inspired after listening to this conversation. Tune into Episode 21 now on The Career Memos Podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
Ever wondered what a role in “Product” actually means? There are multiple definitions.
Cerelle has worked in product-related roles for the past five years, and she shares how the definitions of working in “product” can vary widely between different companies. If you’re interviewing for a Product Manager role, be sure to ask the right questions to understand where it fits in and where the focus of product lies within the company.
Some product roles focus heavily on project management. You’re expected to keep everything moving on the product roadmap, working collaboratively across the sales, marketing, design, and engineering teams to ensure goals are hit.
Whereas others skew towards marketing and growth and achieving key growth goals, like attaining a certain number of app installs or new customers. In that type of role, your focus will be on those Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs.
At Co-Star, Cerelle and her team take a human-centered, customer-first approach, talking with their users on a regular basis, conducting experiments, and moving their workflow forward based on what they hear.
Understanding your colleague’s or customer’s astrological sign will help you understand them better.
No matter what size company you work for, every single person you cross paths with on a daily basis has a unique personality and astrological profile. The value of understanding where people come from is immense, and astrology can actually play a role in your career, if you want it to. Talk about a valuable asset!
While Cerelle hasn’t gone so far as to make imperative career decisions based on her chart, she has heard incredible stories from those who have.
She shares a heartwarming example from a nurse who uses Co-Star to work better with her patients. Given that she’s a nurse, she has access to their birth date and time, so she can learn more about their personality and how to work best with them, especially if they’re a more difficult patient.
It is easier to undo a ‘no’ than it is to undo a ‘yes’.
A daily practice that has been so helpful to Cerelle is this idea of saying no more than you say yes. A no is so much easier to undo than a yes and I love how simple, powerful, and practical this advice is. For Cerelle, it has helped her at a micro level in terms of exchanges with colleagues, negotiating, compromising, but even on a bigger level as she thinks about her customers.
As for the best career advice she’s ever received? Don’t wait for the invite to the meeting. Just show up! Early on in her career, she recalls a moment where she felt she should have been invited to a particular meeting. Approaching the Head of Sales about it, she said, “You know, when I need to be part of a meeting, I just walk into that meeting.” At the time, Cerelle was terrified, but it was well-received. The best thing that can happen when you ask to be a part of something is that it creates more opportunities for you.
In closing, Cerelle reminds us to tap into our networks. You can always reach out to people you’ve met or worked with in the past to get their perspective on something. There is power in the relationships we have with people we already know.
“The worst thing that can happen when you ask to be a part of something is that someone says no. And the best thing that can happen when you ask to be a part of something is that it opens up so much more opportunity for you.”