UPDATE: The Broken See-Saw: Work-Life Balance in a Community Manager’s World

This post is an update as a follow up to this previous post, which I recommend you read first.

I’m so taken aback by the responses that I’ve gotten since I shared my blog post about Work/Life Balance as a Community Professional just yesterday. The responses have been moving, thought-provoking, and incredibly supportive. I really want to follow up to that blog post to share a little bit about those responses and clarify a few things that might not have been super clear in my original post. Plus you know me, I’m loquacious. You really can’t shut me up. 🗣

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Is The Most Overworked Of Them All? 🙋🏻‍♀️

Thank You. Both For Your Responses And For Your Offer To Be An On-Demand Mob. 🙏🏻 🙃

In order to overcome this unhealthy normal, I had to take responsibility for the ways in which I created it. And like I said in my previous post, the greatest and most important support I’ve gotten is the support I’ve given myself. This was about my journey.

An amazing community manager (and human) that I had the pleasure of working with at Salesforce, Claudio Castro, used a great analogy to compare this to the flight safety demonstration. You have to put your oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others.

I absolutely loved the places I worked and the communities I worked with at both of the companies I mentioned in my stories. I learned so much from my experiences, and I’m so grateful to have had those opportunities. And yes, while trolls do exist in pretty much every community, they are few and far between. The jaw-droppingly amazing people outnumber those jerks exponentially. That’s one of the many reasons why I love the work I do. But for those of you offering to form an angry mob on my behalf, while not necessary, thank you. I adore you. ❤️

As for the responses that I got, I read every single one and I’m working through replying to all of them. A lot of people took the time to reach out to me on my post, privately, or on social, and I truly appreciate your support and kindness. So many of those individuals are from the communities I’ve worked with, and it really just goes to show how important and real the relationships are that you build in your time leading a community. It also shows how truly good and kind the people in those communities are.

Listen Up, Leaders 👂🏼

All of this is especially true for those in a leadership role. You really set the tone for your team, and while you may have an open door policy, your team members might not want to share with you, and that’s OK. My manager at Salesforce was (and is) one of my closest friends, and it still took me a good amount of time to be ready to open up to her about what was going on in my life. Just remember that you can never just look at someone and know how they are doing. Giving your team the support, space, permission, and encouragement to practice work/life balance is one of the most important things you can do as a leader.

This Isn’t About Ice Cream, But Ice Cream Always Helps. FACT. 🍦

The IT team was right all along! 💻

You turn it off and then back on again. It’s time to do more of that with ourselves. Take a break to evaluate your work/life balance. You’re worth it. ❤️

Community Strategist. Currently: Head of Community at Venafi. Previously Salesforce & Atlassian. Challenge me to a pun-off. Twitter: @hollyfirestone