Do you currently manage a community?
As a freelance translator and blogger with a passion for all things internet related, I set up my own community for language learners when I started developing an online Dutch language course for native speakers of German. It started out as a private invitation-only platform, but I opened it up to get more reach only recently and that seems to have been a good move from an SEO point of view.
What career path brought you to where you are now?
I studied German and English language and culture in The Netherlands, but then started working in IT after that. I have a background in troubleshooting, writing user manuals and I dabbled in Linux server administration. I also have worked as an editor for a German computer magazine.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?
As a freelancer it is balancing my activities as a translator, blogger, course developer and (now) community manager. They’re all related but I sometimes find it hard to decide which of them needs my attention most.
What’s the best job you ever had that wasn’t in community management and does it inform your CM work in any way?
My very first job after graduating was at a user helpdesk where I talked people through solving their computer problems on the phone. While the job itself was quite stressful (our “output” was measured by the quantity of calls answered, not by quality) it taught me that I had a lot more patience than I’d thought. I also learned that I loved helping people solving problems.
After that, the jobs/roles I loved most where the ones where I could teach.
Basically, it’s those listening and problem solving skills that I am using in community management.