6th Apr 2023
When someone asks what a Community Manager does, my go-to response is, "We are the Julie McCoy’s of flexible office space." While boomers and Gen X-ers (like me) get The Love Boat reference, it’s clear by the quizzical looks on their faces that I need to provide a more detailed (but not so long as to lose their attention) explanation to Millennials and the Gen Z crowd.
A Cruise Ship Director is the most visible member of the crew and is often considered to be the face of the company. While guests onboard will see a Cruise Director making announcements, introducing the entertainment, and overseeing the schedule of activities, the majority of the work they do is behind-the-scenes.
The same is true of Community Managers. Our visible duties are hospitality-focused but there is so much more we’re doing – largely unbeknownst to those around us. We welcome new members and guests and make introductions. We attend to everyone’s needs – assuring they are comfortable and have everything they require to be productive during their time with us. We collaborate with members and other businesses in our greater community to create mutually beneficial opportunities. We coordinate social events to bring our community together and attract new clients to our space. I could go on but I think you get the gist.
The job requirements for Cruise Ship Director and Community Manager are virtually interchangeable. Each must have excellent verbal and written command of the English language. Depending on a Community Manager's location, knowledge of another language is also a plus. Superior customer service, team building, and conflict resolution skills are a must. And it goes without saying that excellent communication, problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal skills are paramount.
So, for those Cruise Ship Directors out there who are ready to spend more time on solid ground, you have all of the skills needed to sail into a position as a Community Manager in the flexible office space industry. And, if you’re a Community Manager thinking about taking your gig on the road (rather, on the high seas), you are more than qualified to test the waters as a Cruise Ship Director. I’m confident that you would make Julie McCoy proud.
“The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.” ― Edmund Gibbon