Don’t go robbing banks - Do find your partner in crime!
I’m going to come right out with some honesty right now. I can be a stubborn one. I can be especially stubborn when I see something being done wrong that I know can be done better. Imagine my almost constant state of stubborn in the face of all that’s being done wrong in the world! I’m working on it, people. I’m working on it.
Not long ago I read an article on Inc., Mapping The Future of Education Technology, that said, “65% of today’s grade school students will work in jobs that don’t exist yet.” I found that statistic fantastically fascinating until a colleague brought to my attention that we (he does SEO and I do Community and Social Media Managment) are just like that 65%. Our jobs didn’t exist when we were making pinhole pictures and friendship bracelets and signing “This Land Is Your Land.” Well, they did - just in a far different form.
That my job didn’t exist 20 years ago explained a lot about a lot for me.
Mainly, it explained why I’ve been beating my head against the wall when it comes to finding a mentor in this Social space and why every time I think I’ve found someone who might fit the bill, they instead become something akin to a colleague, a wavelength resonator, someone to share ideas and brainstorm with. Oh collaboration, why you rearin’ your fugly head again? JK collab, I love you.
Cali Harris, Community Director at Kula Causes and Editor of The Community Manager says, “I felt so bereft of mentorship in the Community Manager space that I created a community of Community Managers here in Boulder and Denver. I think of it as a brain-trust—a space for Community Managers to move from online to offline and connect with each other. And really, it’s the side conversations, early morning coffees, panicked phone calls of ‘What do I do in such and such situation?!’ and celebrations of small victories with my peers that feels like something akin to mentorship.”
Is shared knowledge the new mentorship?
When so few have gone before, you have to lean on those beside you. This is no joke. It’s hard enough to not be able to see a clear path in front of you, but those in the social space have the added challenge (and amazing gift) of creating their space. In this way we are architects. Lofty? Perhaps. But we are on the front lines of brand new territory - mallets in hand, whacking at the weeds, clearing the path. Forging the Social scape takes bravery, confidence and, if we’re honest, a healthy dose of crazy.
We’d all love a mentor, but we don’t need one.
What we need is an army of like-minded colleagues who get it. Hell, you don’t even need an army - all you really need is one solid partner in crime! The Clyde to your Bonnie. The Jay-Z to your Beyonce. You feelin’ me?
Corina Newby, Engagement Manager for Orderit.ca says “You need a partner in crime more than a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to Social Media. In such new and deep waters, it helps to tread with some humility. Social Media thrives on a level of collaboration that rises above traditional mentorship. Build a social partnership of mutual social interest and support. Self-inflated ego is suicidal in the social landscape. Find a partner in crime!”
Stay tuned for part 2, Tracking Down Your Partner In Crime. And for more on this and all the things you never knew you always knew, follow me @jocelynaucoin.