In April, I marked one year in my role as Seer’s Community Impact Manager. While Seer has always been committed to volunteerism and enriching our communities. I’m the first person to have this full time position at the company. I’m sharing what I’ve learned in year one, to help others who might be starting in similar roles.
Concentrate on your expertise.
I’m a nonprofit professional. Before Seer, I spent 15 years in the nonprofit sector. I took graduate level courses about nonprofit management. I spent my free time volunteering for nonprofits. However, I am a digital marketing novice.
In my first few months at Seer, I was very preoccupied with the fact that I knew very little about digital marketing. In big meetings, the technical conversations went over my head. I was worried that I wasn’t going to ever “get it.”
Seer hired me because my expertise is non profit management. Not digital marketing. Once I was able to realize that and lean into that reality, I was able to prioritize what aspects of digital marketing I needed to learn and understand. It was most important that I was able to translate what digital marketing offerings were relevant to pro bono clients.
Shake Off Imposter Syndrome
In just one year at Seer, I’ve had some great opportunities to help build our Community Impact programming. Some things came very naturally. I jumped right into planning volunteer opportunities. It was very comfortable for me to talk with team members and create criteria for volunteer hours and giving.
Some things were brand new. Onboarding Bright Funds was the first time I had ever researched giving platforms. Did I really know what questions to ask? What if I picked the wrong platform? I learned that no one was expecting me to be all knowing. Instead, my expertise and work experience would allow me to find the appropriate information to fill in my knowledge gaps.
Meet As Many People As Possible
For most of my first year, I wasn’t on a team and I worked fairly independently. Seer is also a remote first company. That meant that there were very few organic opportunities to meet team members. I wasn’t participating in team meetings, and there wasn’t a water cooler to gather around regularly. I felt it was really important to make as many connections as possible to team members, first to learn the institutional history around Community Impact, but also so that I would be an approachable resource for team members.
Initially, I scheduled meetings with different cohorts of team members: leadership, top volunteers, etc. I also became part of Seer’s onboarding training. But, I still wanted to be able to make recurring connections with team members. To accomplish this, I made three strategic choices:
- I started working out of the office at least once a week. This allowed for more casual conversations when folks were in the office. Additionally, team members in other cities occasionally visit the Philly office, which meant that if someone was passing through, we could meet up for coffee or lunch.
- I went to as many in person volunteer events as possible. It’s not possible for me to attend every in person volunteer event that we schedule in Philly. But, I’ve made an effort to get to as many as I can, especially if team members have signed up who I haven’t met yet. This gives us a chance to talk casually while we volunteer.
- I take advantage of Seer’s coffee roulette program. Each week, two team members get matched together to have a 30 minute “coffee chat.” I’ll admit that in the fall, I wasn’t great about scheduling these meetings, mostly because I didn’t want to take up folks’ time. Since the new year, I’ve gotten serious about making sure they are scheduled, to take advantage of an opportunity to meet a new team member.
By doing these three things, I hope that others see me as approachable when they need help identifying a new volunteer activity or have a question about Community Impact.
If you’ve recently started in a Community Impact role, I hope these tips can provide some guidance as you navigate through your first year. Follow along with our monthly blogs as we commit to giving back $15 million to the community by 2032.