Make your scary career pivot in the community industry
Each week, we interview a successful community pro and write a short case study breaking down the key elements of their success that you can reuse to boost your career
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“I think what you’re building is really smart and really impressive.”
– Kyle Hagge, Lead Community Manager Morning Brew
“I love even the name of your podcast, the idea of having this map.”
– Taylor Harrington, Head of Community Groove
“Beginner Maps is now one of my favourite podcasts!”
– Matt Cici, building community of filmmakers
The #1 newsletter you need to break into your dream community role
Everybody is sharing strategies to build an engaged community. But no one talks about how you can build up your career in community building. That’s where we come in!
Each week you get:
with an awesome community professional discussing how they broke in
1x Case Study
that distils what worked for them and how you can reuse it
5x Reusable Tips
highlighting nuggets of insights shared by past guests that you don’t want to miss
So you may copy the success of professionals from
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How can these interviews help you?
They’ll help you carve out a lovely career in community by giving you:
Making a big pivot is scary if you don’t know anyone who’s done it. Here you will find role models who were once in your shoes.
Schools don’t prepare you to deal with the uncertainty that comes with a career pivot. Listening to stories of how your role models did it, will give you courage.
You don’t want to be surfing directionless on the Internet. These stories will give you specific things to dive into and actionable steps you can take today.
Who are we?
I’m 21 years old, a recent college graduate.
Last year, I quit pursing a career in accounting that all my friends were pursuing only to find myself completely lost.
Everyone around me was either an accountant or an engineer. I didn’t know how to take the next step. I was lost.
A lot of other people in their 20s are in the same boat as I was. I want to help them.
I’m 24 years old, working as a Community Consultant.
3 years ago, I was trying to build a career as a programmer. It was only through a series of happy accidents that I was able to pivot into a career that makes me look forward to Mondays.
But when I look around me, I see my friends stuck in the first career they fell into.
I want to help them explore new career paths.
People in their 20s are often herded into climbing the career ladder and working a job they hate their entire lives.
What a colossal waste of young potential!
We want to change that.
Interviews and Case Studies
Madi is the Head of Community at Contra - a commission-free freelancer marketplace. But she was a software developer before this.
In this episode she shares how she made the pivot and what her work today looks like.
Amanda has been led by what she found interesting throughout her career.
In a recent career pivot, she joined the Rails Foundation - a non-profit dedicated to supporting the Ruby on Rails ecosystem, as the Executive Director, after having spent 20 years in events and marketing.
Marcie Walker is the Head of Community Engagement at Gatheround - a startup building a fun, new online events platform that makes virtual events actually fun.
In this episode, Marcie shares all the lessons she has learnt in building herself a career in community building.
Jenny Weigle is a strategic consultant who has worked with some well-name brands like Stripe, Airbnb, Google, Sephora, Visa and many many more such household names - and helped them build their online communities.
She has been building communities for more than 10 yrs and has helped more than 100 brands in this time.
Ben is the Head of Community at Notion.
He attributes almost all of the opportunities that have come his way to the side projects he has built out of passion.
Believe it or not, The International Hummus Day is his creation.
Casie Tennin is a Community Builder and a Certified Life Coach.
As a Community Builder, she has built communities for fast-growing startups like Masterclass and TaskHuman. As a Professional Life Coach, she helps individuals make scary pivots in their professional and personal lives.
Rahul Desai is the General Manager of the Chief of Staff Network - a community membership for Chiefs of Staff to network and learn from their peers in the industry.
If you are managing, building or planning to build a community membership business, you should continue listening.
If you have wondered about a career in community operations, this episode should help you understand what it is, how Tiffany broke into it and how you can too. Tiffany Oda is the COO of Talkbase - a young startup that is building the community CRM for startups.
Murtaza is the cofounder and CEO of Heartbeat - an awesome platform for building online communities. It combines the powers of Slack, Notion, Luma, Meetsy, Zoom and other platforms that community builders often need to stitch to get a functioning community.
Jakob is the cofounder and CEO of Butter - a startup that is bravely going against the video conferencing incumbents like Zoom and Google Meet by building a fun, interactive and delightful video conferencing tool.
Ben Regier’s career is unique. Previously, he has served in the US Marine Corp and has been a store manager at Starbucks. Now, he is pioneering community-led sales as the Community Development Representative at Commsor.
Sofia Haq is the founder and CEO at Muslim Women Professionals where she is building a community where diverse women can embrace their Muslim identity and build professional skills through mentorship, networking, and guidance.
She's also the Senior Program Manager at XRC Labs - venture capital firm and accelerator. Here she builds curriculum, spearheads community development, maintains relationships with the portfolio companies, and many other things.
Derrick Chiu is the community manager at Thrive TRM. He pivoted into the community industry in 2022 after 11 years of experience in the sales industry.
Sharath Kuruganty has worked with some iconic community led companies like Product Hunt, OnDeck and currently Threado, where he is the Head of Community.
A fun fact - Threado’s co-founder, Pramod Rao was guest no. 2 on this show. So this conversation has been a long time coming. What made it happen this time is Sharath's recent win where he sold his side project Shoutout to a UK based product studio. He started building this project about two years ago and reached $30k ARR with it.
Bri Leever is the founder of Ember Consulting where she helps companies as their Brand Community Strategist working to create a community out of their superfans.
Shre is the fractional Head of Community for Lenny Rachitsky’s private community of 10,000+ product-minded people. It is one of the most popular paid online communities.
But that’s not it. He has pivoted away from lucrative careers in management consulting and at big companies in his pursuit for more meaningful work. Today, he is a consultant and describes himself as Dobby - a slave elf from Harry Potter world who freed himself.
Gabrielle Leith is the Community Manager at Grapevine.
She has a really interesting career path going from working in films at Toronto Film Festival to getting her first community role using a side project she started - Supper Club Cinema.
Mac is an entrepreneur, a visionary and the originator of the community-led movement. He is the founder and CEO of Commsor and Community club - 2 names that everyone in the community industry is familiar with.
In fact, every guest that we’ve talked to has attributed getting help from the Community Club community when they were starting out in the industry.
Erin O’Neill might be the first community professional who planned her transition into community management.
Almost everyone you’ll meet in the community industry, has accidentally fallen into their first community job. But not Erin.
She decided that she wanted to switch her careers, discovered community management and succeeded in moving into it! Today, she is the Head of Community at RevOps Co-op.
Prashant Mahajan is the founder and CEO of Zeda.io - a startup that’s building a super app for product teams. Previously, he had been a rockstar Product Manager at multiple high growth startups where he’s built products that have touched the lives of millions of people.
What’s interesting about him is how generous he is with his time. He often spends his time writing posts on LinkedIn or Twitter, doing podcast appearances and giving webinars to talk about his journey being a founder and previously, being a PM without a traditional MBA degree.
Taylor is the Head of Community at Groove - a support community for people who work for or by themselves. All over the world, people use Groove’s mobile app to instantly connect and conquer their to-dos alongside each other.
Taylor is an extrovert, through and through. She loves bringing people together. She loves building workshops, facilitating events, mentorship programs and more. Right out college, she started her career building powerful learning experiences with Seth Godin at AltMBA - the company that pioneered cohort based courses even before Zoom had the breakout features.
Rae is the Head of Community at Topknot - a startup that provides an online personal development club that helps millennial women and non-binary individuals move forward in their personal development and growth journey.
What I find super interesting about her is that this is not only her first official community role, but also her first role in a tech startup! She is coming to the community space after a long and varied professional background spanning non-profit management to business consulting.
Max is the Community and Customer Support Lead at SuperHi - a startup that teaches people code, design and project management skills.
What's most interesting about Max is that if you visit his personal LinkedIn, you’ll find that the experience section is a smorgasbord of careers. He has done everything from project management, website design, business coaching, freelancing and community management.
Pramod is the cofounder and CEO of Threado where he is building the "Command Center" for community builders. Threado gives community builders superpowers by allowing them to get actionable insights, automations and workflows to manage their communities.
Before Threado, Pramod was the VP of Marketing at Zomato - India’s largest food delivery and restaurant discovery company. He joined them as their 13th employee and went on to build and lead their Marketing team for more than 8 yrs.
And then in 2019, he quit to start his own high-growth startup.
Kyle Hagge is the Lead Community Manager at Morning Brew - one of the world's fastest-growing business media companies that was valued recently valued at more than $75M. Kyle helped them in launching their first ever paid product: a cohort-based career and skills accelerator.
What's remarkable about Kyle's story is how he got here. Before working as at the Morning Brew community, he had been a podcast producer, an entrepreneur, a high school coach amongst other seemingly unrelated careers.
Dwarkesh blogs about about tech, science, and the long-term. He is also the host of The Lunar Society Podcast. Recently, one of his posts went viral and has since been read by thousands including Jeff Bezos!
In this interview we talk about Why he is writing essays instead of coding, How to get high profile guests on a podcast, Going to university vs Learning on the Internet and more.
Balaji has been a builder for the past 12 years- 3 as a product manager and 9 as a developer. Currently he is the Lead Product Manager at Grab.
Read on to find out what does a Product Manager do, the difference between building products as a developer and a PM, how to break into product management and more.
Kelly is a Leadership & Well-being Coach who works with individuals that want to live more confidently & intentionally, alongside guiding post-seed stage startups who wish to invest in creating a motivating & supportive Employee Experience.
Read on to find out What a Leadership and Well-being Coach does, How she became one, How to avoid getting trapped in the hustle culture and more.
Anupam is the ‘accidental’ software developer. He has pursued careers in space science and management consulting. Now, software engineering is his third career.
Read on to find out Why did Anupam stop launching satellites for ISRO, How he became the ‘accidental’ software developer and more.
Nityesh (23) is a solopreneur. He runs a consultancy My First Community Manager where he helps founders and creators turn their audience into a community.
Read on to find out What Nityesh works on, Why he skipped campus placements altogether in college and more.
Make a scary pivot in the Community Industry
Each week you get:
- one video interview with an awesome community professional discussing how they broke in
- one case study with actionable advice on breaking into the industry
- upto 5 actionable tactics