Educators make great Community Managers. Here’s why.
If you’re a classroom teacher or even work in higher education and you’re considering a career pivot, consider Community Management.
Generally, as a CM, you are managing — you guessed it — a community. This community is typically comprised of users of a particular product/service. Most of this management happens online.
So why would an educator make a great Community Manager?
For one, you’re used to being in front of large groups of people, whether in person or online. You’re comfortable delivering information to people in a large group setting and you have the sensibility to navigate that experience and all that comes with it. You’re teaching these large groups something. You’re facilitating something. You’re leading on something. All of this would be found in the Community Manager role as well.
Second, and probably one that’s most obvious, is content development, whether you are preparing to give a lesson on something, developing a program, posting on a website, sending emails, anything that will be seen by the audience you are serving basically. Educators and Community Managers are content machines! So much content. All the time. As a teacher, you’re so used to just whipping something up for your students and thinking on your feet. It’s not really any different as a CM. While you’re likely going to have more stakeholders involved in developing the content (as a CM), it’s still content generation, which ultimately exists in each line of work.
And third, so important: crisis management and problem-solving. Thinking on your feet and coming to a solution quickly, when needed, or even working with more sensitive information or incidents. As a teacher, you do this constantly, at every level; Whether you’re managing a crisis with a student who has reported something concerning or even trying to use a new classroom management strategy as a result of some concerning behavior, teachers are problem-solving (on the fly too!) all of the time. As a CM, you’re working directly with customers every day, so a situation where a customer needs support or has encountered an issue with the product they purchased from your company will be something you see on a pretty regular basis. And then knowing how to manage that issue or crisis, who to go to for collaboration, and then finally reaching a conclusion, hopefully a solution. Don’t get me wrong — how these respective situations are handled will look a lot different given the line of work and audience being served. But ultimately you need the skills to approach the problem and be solution-focused. That matters.
If you’re a teacher out there and you’re exploring what a career in tech might look like, definitely give some eyes to Community Management. When I left highered and found Community, I instantly knew I found the right spot.