Jobs in our industry

(Sarah Hawk) #1

I get contacted fairly regularly by people that want a job as a CM. They are generally pretty light on experience (ie they might have managed one community for a couple of years) and it would seem that most of the jobs advertised are looking for more than that, or are heavily weighted towards social media.

Like many of us, I came to this job completely by accident. I was picked out of a community that I worked within, and then found my niche.

For those of you that chose this as a career, or that employ junior CMs, what advice would you give to someone junior that is looking at taking this up as a career?

(Sue John) #2

I don't actually know anyone that choose this as a career yet, I think many of us "fell" into it :D So I can't comment on it from that point of view. However, when I'm approached by people asking advice I often tell them to find a job as a moderator first. It's something many can do as a second job, and I think the experiences learnt from that role are invaluable. 

(rhogroupee) #3

I agree with Sue, and I like to tell aspiring community managers to find ways of demonstrating maturity. Serving as a moderator is a good way to demonstrate maturity, as is running your own social media accounts in a mature manner. Business savvy is something that every organization is looking for, because it supports good decision making, being resourceful, quick on your feet, intuitive about other people, and being able to analyze data. New recruits to the cmgr field need to be able to arm themselves with data about their own effectiveness. 

(Sarah Hawk) #4

I totally agree with you both on the moderation count. However I'm talking about people that have gotten past that absolute beginner stage, but aren't yet strategists.

One specific example is a person with tonnes of moderation and social media experience (for an agency) that wants to become a focused CM. There aren't any roles that really seem to allow for that transition.

(Liz Crampton) #5

That is true. Maybe it's about participating actively in an existing community and working your way up, or even trying to build their own around a hobby or something? Launching a community is hard, so it's certainly a great way to gain experience and put strategy skills to the test. If I was hiring and someone said they tried to launch one and learned XYZ (even if it 'failed') as a community, I'd probably be pretty impressed!

(Jennifer Zowada) #6

This is an interesting question as I also fell into the role by accident.  I have a difficult time when looking to hire a new CM, one because unless we need coverage outside of the US, our CM’s are located in the Denver.  This brings the pool of applicants with actual Community Management experience to well basically zero so I have to really look at each applicants skill set very closely.  Aside from the technical skills what I really look for is an outgoing personality, and an interest or experience in the communities industry.  For instance, if you have experience working in the channel and know the lingo of the industry that’s a huge plus in knowing who the members are and what motivates them.

I’d say find an industry you love and learn as much as possible about the industry (which won’t be hard if you love it!) and I think the right position will fall into place.  I’ve also seen companies who are looking for volunteer Community Managers, if time permits I’d look into this to gain additional experience.