By Georgina Cannie, Community Manager at The Community Roundtable.
Thank you to Shannon for highlighting the #thankitforward series again this year!
My three picks:
1.) A Discipline to be Thankful for: Community Management
Before coming to work with the Community Roundtable, I spent what felt like eons studying academic pursuits. I truly adored going to school and I am grateful for the degrees I earned. But there is a funny thing that happens to you when you spend 6+ years in Liberal Arts and Social Science programs – rather than discovering precisely where you want to build your career, you get even more wrapped around the axle. My academic passions did not seem to add up to a pre-defined work role. The part-time jobs that paid my tuition did not fulfill me. It was a very frustrating feeling. Then almost by accident, I happened to trip across the field of community management. Although I was still learning all that community management entailed, I was in awe of the discipline that would utilize my strengths, inspire my interests and make a tangible difference in my world. I was hooked. I remember feeling overwhelming fortune and gratitude for having stumbled across this growing world of work.
2.) A Person to be Thankful for: Hillary
I’ll be frank – I am obsessed with Hillary. If you have not met her already, make it your New Year’s resolution to do so. When I joined the Community Roundtable, it was as Hillary’s Community Management Fellow. From my first day, she began teaching me how to be the best community manager possible. Her strategy to onboard me into the space was thoughtful and flawless. Her teaching approach was constructive yet kind. Her member interactions were honed and tactful. As I watched and learned from her, she simultaneously created spaces for me to take ownership of projects, voice my opinion and test my strengths. Although she was my direct leader, she empowered me to work with her (and the rest of the Community Roundtable) as a member of a team, rather than simply as an employee of a company. I have never before understood what a mentor relationship entails, but I am grateful to know it now.
3.) A Technology to be Thankful for: Slack
Slack is our team’s virtual office. As we all work remotely, we use the Slack app to check in with each other each day and stay connected. ….And I love it. Ok, ok, so it is not just Slack that I love – I love the team attitude that it reflects and supports. TheCR Team’s internal work is completely open and transparent. This means we all work on things together, constantly seek feedback and troubleshoot issues collectively. Sure it was a bit nerve wracking for the first few weeks, but I quickly grew incredibly grateful for the benefits. Some perks? It is very common for team members, who work in very different capacities than me, to weigh in on my work and offer me a unique insight; My work output is consistently at a higher value than when I work alone; I never spend more than an hour working in the wrong direction – there is always someone there to help reorient me if I ver off the road…. And you should see how small my daily email inbox is! It’s magic!