By Georgina Cannie, Community Manager at The Community Roundtable
With the influx of recent grads flooding the job market, I’m surprised more of them haven’t caught the community bug. Community management is an ideal space for millennials to dive into the work world and, spoiler: it’s not just the free PBR and office foosball tables that make it such a good option.
Start Up City
While online communities are not new, they are only just stepping into the organizational spotlight. As such, new-school start ups have been quick to adopt them as methods to business success. This means that many community initiatives are manned by newly-formed and open-minded teams with horizontal structures- where a millennial can fit right in.
Who grew up taking “computer class” in elementary school? If your hand is in the air, you’re a millennial. Technology is second nature to this group, who are well practiced in using it as a primary form of inter-personal connection. Not only are they already familiar with many of the apps in the community manager’s toolbox, they are fluent in the subtle language of online communication – a serious leg-up in the community market.
Community is, by nature, transparent, collaborative and decentralized – each of which millennials push for and value according to Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant in their research on“When Millennials Take Over”. The way community functions aligns quite nicely with how 20-somethings wish all organizations were run in general.
People vs. Products
Millennials grew up assaulted by marketing campaigns on every screen they laid their eyes on. They are acutely disenchanted with product-centric organizations and have a knack for seeing through sales ploys. Community provides them a safe haven from consumerism by offering human connections and consumer-to-consumer interaction.
2-Hour Commute? No Thanks.
Most 20-somethings I talk to are utterly flabbergasted to realize the reality of a 2-hour commute through traffic (talk about an opportunity cost). But community has a fix for that too – The Community Careers and Compensation research conducted by TheCR found that nearly 45% of all community professionals work remotely.
Make a Career and Your Rent
Speaking of the The Community Careers and Compensation, the 2015 research found that the average salary for a Community Manager is close to $70k. A community professional can climb all the way to a Director of Community job title – a gig that boasts and average salary of $113k. Take that, student loans.
Make a Difference
If you have spent any time on a college campus or reading HuffPost, you will know that the new world of work is all about an organization’s vision – Even your local burger joint is on a mission to improve the planet these days. But community is no cheesy gimmick – millennials working in community have the opportunity to connect people in a meaningful way and help accelerate collaboration in every industry.
Are you a 20-something exploring a career in community management? I’d love to hear your perspective!