TL;DR: Senior level product management generalist can't decide if he should go a more technical route, an MBA/more business-y route, or take a shot at starting his own thing (but feels he has no advanced skills and no ideas).
I don't have a formal CS degree, but rather an engineering degree. I somehow ended up in several internet marketing and product management roles over the last 7-8 years, eventually working my way up to Director level for a large media company managing the mobile apps (iphone, android, mobile web, etc).
I was laid off, and had pretty awful luck trying to find another director title, and ended up taking another manager level product title. At this point I feel really burned out, and like a worthless middle-management generalist.
What are your suggestions for keeping my career moving forward?
Here are my skills/thoughts/etc:
- I'd consider myself an advanced beginner at writing some code (PHP, python, SQL, etc), but don't really want to be a full time developer.
- I enjoy the marketing aspect of growing a company, but really only if it's for myself. When working on other people's products I just don't care that much. (I know some SEO, SEM, and ecommerce type stuff)
- In the field of software, fortunately my interests align with the trends these days: mobile is awesome (and I have experience building these apps), big data is very appealing to me (no experience), and possibly security.
- My typical day-to-day involves roadmap planning, running scrums/sprint planning, working with developers and designers on UX decisions, creating marketing materials for product launches, etc.
What's my next best step? Running my own company would be a dream, but since I'm not a specialist like a developer or designer, it's hard to get contract work.
- I could look into an MBA and try to keep climbing the corporate ladder (I suspect I'll eventually get another director level gig), but becoming a VP of product management somewhere seems to be a very daunting and stressful task.
I'm about to turn 34 and feeling pretty depressed. What skills do you think I should focus on to move forward? Get the MBA and just keep grinding it out? Focus more attention to a small business which is what I really want, but have NO idea where to start? (I've wanted to do my own thing for probably 10 years but never was able to come up with an idea I really wanted to focus on. Most ideas I have just seem to have too much competition or don't scale well enough).
- big data (maybe combine with health?) though I can't write much code
- self help
Any guidance would be appreciated. I've been indecisive my whole life and am tired of going down the path of least resistance.