It’s hard to believe it, but #CMGRClass is almost over, and so is my time as a graduate student here at SU. That means I’m about to don my big boy britches and start my career – and I’m aiming at community management. There’s a lot about the field that is attractive to me, mainly in the mix of creative and technical know-how, but also in working with people. I don’t have any offers just yet, meaning this week’s topic and reading was a long-awaited and welcome finale.
Since about January, I’ve been gearing up for graduation and my job search, mainly by taking a look at my repertoire of skills and figuring out how to market myself. I’m a designer, an IT consultant, a social media strategist and community manager, a creative thinker, a go-getter, and a total nerd (in a good way). That might look like career chop suey, but I think it reveals the nature of my skills – I’m a creative problem solver, with a technical mind. And if anything would prepare me for community management, I think it’s that.
This week’s Mashable article covers 10 tips for the aspiring community manager (read: me), and seems to be a pretty solid list of things to do to both figure out if the role is right for you, and to make sure you’ve got a good start on your professional life. The points were all good, but one really hit home for me, because they’re where I need work most; my critiques of myself put in writing by somebody else.
9. Think Like an Entrepreneur and Be Quick to Adapt
I wish I could say that was me. I’m a flexible guy, I’m not too hard-headed, but springing to action isn’t my forte. I can get stuck in my head, where I’m still weighing options and trying to apply logic, rather than putting one foot forward and going from there. But knowing is half the battle, right? If I know my faults, I can work to correct them.
Another article we read this week, from Social Fresh, was practically a big pat on the back though. Covering the job description and hiring criteria of a community manager, I felt like I fit right in. This is my dream job out of school, I love social media and tech, I really want to flex my creative muscle and do some awesome work, and here were nine items which describe me – not quite to the letter, but close enough that I put on a big stupid grin while reading. It’s kismet, I’m convinced.
So if you’ve checked all the lists and read all the blog posts, and you’re convinced it’s your destiny to be a community manager, what’s next? Well, you’re right where I am, and I’ll tell you it’s the “fun part.” Find employers you’d love to work for, reach out to them, apply to their open positions, or just send them a tweet. Get your resume in their hands and your name on their minds. Find a notable community manager you’ve been following or have chatted with, send them a Vsnap just to say hey and ask if they’re hiring at all. Take the initiative to put yourself out there – a good community manager doesn’t just sit in the shadows. Be social, be proactive, and always be cheerful, and you and I will get out dream job soon enough.
It’s been a lot of fun, class! What’s your favorite #CMGRClass moment of the semester? What have you got planned for this summer?