What Stuck to the Wall: Community Management

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I was one of those people who constantly changed their mind about what they wanted to do. In my first year of college, I entertained the notion of working as a museum curator, epidemiologist and writer. Rather than try to pare down my choices, I decided the best thing to do was throw everything at the wall to see what stuck.

The only problem? Internship after internship, I felt a little more disaffected, a little more disconnected and a little surer that perhaps I should just try to marry wealthy or live under a bridge.

I graduated with degrees in Biology and English, still unable to make up my mind about my career. I started a cushy job with the government and spent about a year wondering if being a lawyer could calm my curious mind.

It didn’t.

What Stuck to the Wall - Community Management - Khaleelah Jones

About a year in, I had a major crisis. I started to feel very unhappy in my job. It wasn’t very challenging. It wasn’t very interesting. There was a lot of paperwork, and very little interaction with others. While I look back and realize what a great learning opportunity this was, and how much is showed me what I wanted in a career, going through it was not. At. All. Fun.

I started writing online articles on the side as a way to make a little money and break up the day. It is strange that writing articles for $15 made me happier than my full time job, but it did. I loved the gratification of seeing what I had created posted online, and seeing the responses generated from people all over the place. From there, I started taking on freelance clients, doing copywriting for websites, social media and online ads. This is when I started hearing about a really cool job that combined writing, research and interacting with people: a job called community management.

I quit my job and decided to move abroad. During my year abroad, I got a master’s degree in a field unrelated to my current profession or my past professional or educational experience, but I did start working as a freelance community manager for several clients to fund my life in London. I leveraged my previous writing experience, as well as the research and project management skills I gained working with the government, to talk a few small businesses into giving me a chance at CMing. With goals as disparate as brand awareness, acquisition and engagement, I felt a little overwhelmed, but I read industry news and attended as many conferences and classes as I could to quickly learn what I needed to be successful.

Over half a decade later, and one full-time gig later, I’m happy to say that I’m still in love with the only career that seems to have stuck. I love learning something new every day- this field requires that you keep on top of digital and tech, which is always changing- and interfacing with different people, from my clients to the customers and potential customers they engage online.

There’s nothing better than waking up every morning excited for the day ahead, feeling fulfilled by the day bygone. But that’s my life since I started as a community manager.

Interested in sharing your journey to community management? Let’s talk!

Khaleelah Jones

Founder at Something with Words
Khaleelah Jones has worked in digital marketing for the past five years. She has found an intersection of her passion for all things digital and love for social media, communication and people as a community manager. Her digital marketing company, Something with Words, won the StartUp Leibster 2013 award for quality social and CRM services. When she’s not working, Khaleelah can be found traveling, yoga-ing, writing, reading, pontificating about history, making up verbs and blogging at www.carefulfeet.me.
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