[7 Year Veteran] Meet Travis King


(Travis King) #1

Do you currently manage a community?
I help manage a community of around 8 million members within a small team. My main focus is managing the forums and keeping my finger on the pulse of what the community is thinking and help reflect their sentiments to teams working on new features and changes. Fortunately not all 8 million members use the forums. :stuck_out_tongue:

What career path brought you to where you are now?
I was working in retail and it was sucking away at my will to live. I decided to make the jump to freelancing via a very helpful website that was run by the company I now contract for. After several jobs and position changes over the 7 years I’ve been with them, I’ve found my home on the community team.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?
I have a problem with internalising the concerns of my community. It’s hard not to feel a whole heap of stress and worry when we need to do things that may not please our community. I also need to be strict with my work hours and not try and check up on the community when I should be doing things like sleeping.

What’s the best job you ever had that wasn’t in community management and does it inform your CM work in any way?
I really enjoy my job and I’ve had a string of less than enjoyable jobs, so community management is still my number one. I did enjoy the limited freedom of delivering pizza, but I suck at directions so I was always getting lost. Cold pizza anyone? :smiley:

(Travis King) #2

Thanks for allowing me to self-interview :smiley:

(Sarah Hawk) #3

I’m interested to hear more about this. Can you elaborate?

(Travis King) #4

I guess I could say that I have trouble with taking my work home with me. It’s particularly hard when you work from home :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s a problem because you want to build empathy, but I often feel that empathy bleeding over into my entire day. If I’m not careful I find I’m bummed out on the weekends because of a particular sticky issue that has the community in a funk.

Any tips besides reaching for the decanter of scotch?

(Sarah Hawk) #5

I’d love to offer a solution but I have the same issue. Mine is less about things that are bothering my community and more about the way that I perform my job, but the end result is probably the same – ongoing low level anxiety.

I handle it with wine. :wink:

@jessicamalnik has some great ideas around self-care. Let’s call her in.

(Piper_Wilson) #6

Hi there @Travis,

Thank you for your post. I enjoyed it and now I’m craving pizza, albeit hot pizza. :wink: Here’s some unsolicited advice for you because that’s the way I roll sometimes.

If I understand your concern correctly, I suggest re-framing your thought process. If you have children, this will be easy. Imagine you’re the “parent” and you’re having your “kids” eat their vegetables. Trust me, I’m not trying to minimize your community or their concerns, it’s just that sometimes certain changes need to happen and dems da breaks.

This one, I’ve got nothing helpful. Since I worked from home, I had a terrible tendency to just keep on working after my official shift ended. I even worked some 16 hour days just because I was enjoying myself. I had no life and it wasn’t good for me or for regularly doing the dishes, but that was what I did. :confused:

(Nikoletta Harrold) #7

I think I get what you are saying. It’s part of us that we want everyone to be happy and pleased. But that’s just not possible. It gnaws on me that not everyone in the company finds every community issue a priority;) I hate Friday 5pm customer service issue comments on social or community, when literally there is nothing you can do because everyone went home for the weekend.

I had to learn that my mother was right. She always said to me " you never eat your soup as hot as you cook it". Meaning that even if an issue looks dire at first sight, it’s ok to wait and let it cool down before finding the right solution. Turns out most Friday night customer queries are ok to be resolved Monday morning.

Ps BTW: my mother has insane amounts of cooking allegories… I sometimes wonder where she got them from!!!

(Travis King) #8

Going to definitely have to remember that one!

(Jessica Malnik) #9

@Travis I can relate to this struggle as I also work remotely. Despite what @hawk might say, I definitely don’t have this all figured out. It is so easy for me at least to keep working or internalizing community ideas or challenges when my desk is steps away from my bed.

I find the one thing that does help me switch my brain off at the end of the day is to catch up with a friend in the evening or go to a meetup or even just workout. Sure, there are days that I still might work after I get back. But, I find when I put constraints on my day. I get more done in a shorter period of time. (What is that saying, that work expands to the time you give it).

(Sarah Hawk) #10

This. I took another job teaching fitness classes at my gym so that I was forced to get some endorphins in my day. That (and wine) are the only way I disconnect.

(Travis King) #11

You had me up till “workout” :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah that’s great advice. Unplugging in a in a different location usually works really well.