if you're building

During Scott Heiferman’s keynote talk at CMX Summit NYC, he said something that has stuck with me ever since: “If you’re building a community for a brand that does not really need a community around it, quit your job. There is plenty more meaningful community to be built.” 

We often talk about how employers can determine if a community needs to be built or how to evaluate CMs, but it’s not so often that we talk about community managers evaluating our employers.

So I sat down and thought for a while about what sorts of questions I would ask myself to determine whether or not I felt it was worth building a community for a brand. And I boiled it down to 4 solid queries.

Go ahead, ask yourself these four questions about your work:

  1. Does it fulfill you?
  2. Do you pour your heart into your work and get love back (from colleagues as well as from the external community)?
  3. Do colleagues believe you add value? If so, what value do they think you add?
  4. Do YOU believe you add value?

If you said yes to those four questions, keep chugging. 

If you’re unsure about any of them, these are all fair questions to ask others and to reflect on further. And if you’re unsure about number 3 specifically, you probably need to ask your boss(es) to help you structure your goals in a way that clearly tie into larger missions for the company.

If you said a solid no to these questions and you keep putting off the inevitable: Please, for the love of all that is beautiful and creative and meaningful, quit your job.

Life is far too short to sell your time to your employer if you don’t love what you do and believe in it. Think of all the things you could be doing: working freelance, working with people to build a community from scratch that makes the world a better place, starting side hustles on Etsy (or with Lyft or TaskRabbit or Shyp, etc.), creating a blog, starting a business, traveling the world and working along the way.

You should really leave if you answered no to the above 4 questions (I’d argue that you should leave if you said no to even 1, but I know some people are more risk-averse than others) — even if it means taking time and figuring out what you really love to do. And if you keep telling yourself that you need to save up XX amount of money to do that, read Elle Luna’s piece for courage and know that you’ve got options (Cloudpeeps is one of those). 

Let me know how your journey goes or if you’ve been on this journey before. I’d love to hear your story in the comments. Then we can share a story or two while we build something meaningful and true to ourselves.

Now I’ll leave you with this:

quit complaining

5 thoughts on “Should You Quit Your Community Job?

  1. This article hit home for me since I am currently asking myself these exact questions. I was in the midst of reading it and posted on Twitter asking about freelance community work and you were the first to respond and give a suggestion! Definitely kismet at work! 🙂

    Thank you for the great article!

    1. Definitely! I’m glad this hit home for you. I know Scott’s words hit home for me and I knew I had to pass them on. There’s zero reason to live a life and work a job that doesn’t feel valuable.

  2. Wow! I thought I was the only one felt this way 🙂

    Seven years ago… I encouraged my hubby to quit his job. I didn’t want a husband who hated his job so much it started to bring the bad attitude home… he started to hate work, the people and hated the brand he was working with at that time.

    We also had our first baby son and to give a legacy of ‘hating work’ was not something I didn’t want to happen. Yes, it was hard to make the decision to cross over and we had to sell our primary home and live in our rental home… it was all a massive change.

    With no work and income for about year while hubby needed to study so he can better his career opportunities… yes, it was hard. The cross over was just not for him but also for me… I wanted to be a stay home mum and be there for our children as long as we can.

    But we don’t regret the journey as right now after seven years… hubby is now working in the field he loves. He is currently an IT Tech SES Expertise for our Local City Council looking after the Mayor and Councillors directly. I get to stay home look after our 3 children. We don’t have the perfect house but we have the perfect home for our family 🙂

    To cut the story short… sometimes you need to take a few step back to get ahead. If we hadn’t change and crossed over… I wonder how our life would be with a bad attitude. Life is too short not to enjoy! We loving life and loving the people around us…my community.

    Thank you for sharing again…. I enjoy your post… keep posting!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing that! Yes, sometimes it can feel like you’re taking a step back to move forward but all you can do is decide the life and work you want to pursue. I love that you say you didn’t want to carry on the legacy of hating work to your children. That is so wonderful and I wish more parents would do the same. It shows kids that courage and taking chances pay off, and I’m sure you’ve been amazing role models for your children. 🙂

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s