For Hire

I'm for hire.

🏄🏼‍♀️ Oct 21, 2022 update

I'm still surfing the web for my next adventure. Unfortunately, life happened, and I had a personal-life emergency that required my attention. Now that I've got life settled — I'm back on the quest for work. 😎

Oh! And I know with even more clarity what I'm looking for in my next role. 😉

What have I been up to recently?

I'm currently contracting on a per-project basis with a few individuals and organizations. These include Brian Douglas at Open Sauced,  ReactBricks, YouGotThis!, and Switchboard / No Code Ops.

I've also hosted a workshop sponsored by Common Room with CFE.dev on Building a Discord Strategy for Developers.

Additionally, I'm keeping my skills sharp — currently exploring the world of database tooling, contributing to open-source projects, and streaming on Twitch every Wednesday.

Howdy folks! 🤠

I am on a quest for my next adventure.

Keep reading to find out what I'm looking for in my next full-time role. In the meantime, I am open to contract or fractional work on a project basis.

(Special thanks to Maurice Cherry, Julie Pagano, Brenna Flood, and Andy Pressman — their “for hire” pages inspired me to do this for myself. Want to make your own? Check out this blog post here.)

I'm a multi-hyphenate community builder.

I am passionate about finding new and innovative ways to communicate, educate, and elevate others.

I'm a proven expert at bridging teams and industries from media, product, engineering, design, developer relations, and customer success. My nerd heart is never far behind — I'm also a seasoned educator driven by a lifelong love of learning.

  • I'm an online creator. From the early days of exploring caches on Geocatching.com and making Sims2 custom content to now, where I regularly host Twitter Spaces or share what I know on YouTube or my online site.
  • I'm a storyteller. My formal educational chops come from the journalism world. I first intended to be a political reporter, but a semester of court reporting made me realize it wasn't for me.
  • I'm a multi-hyphenate. I fueled my creative mind by working as a graphic designer and director of everything at a creative studio. I bounced between product management, user experience, and client relations. This is where I was first exposed to learning how to code — dipping my toes into front-end development through email templates, Shopify sites and templates, and related work with whatever needed to get done that day. I continue to embrace a diverse set of skills across a variety of industries.
  • I'm an academic. I completed my master of arts in media innovation at NYU's Studio 20 program. I spent a year researching fandoms and creators to understand the business models behind both. At NYU, I worked as a project lead with the Financial Times as a UX + product researcher.
  • I am far from timid on the stage. I'm a stand-up comedian, public speaker, ignite talk-giver, adjunct professor, and sketch comedy writer. I've given over 35 professional talks and workshops throughout my career and have no plan to stop anytime soon.
  • I love working with do-ers. I am passionate about those who create: developers, designers, authors, artists, musicians, and beyond. Empowering folks to embrace their thing and do what they do best is very much my thing.
  • I’m a quick learner, an empathetic builder, and a strategic thinker. I thrive in cross-functional roles where I can flex my skills as an effective communicator. I'm comfortable under pressure, appreciate a deadline, and am confident in my abilities to communicate needs to strangers, executives, and everyone in between.

I am a thought leader and public speaker. I actively practice sharing what I know through talks, tutorials, and other means of education.

I'm a seasoned, international public speaker ⤵️

Check out my reel on YouTube.

Most recently, I spoke at How To Web, teaching attendees about the importance of proactive moderation.

Here's what conference attendee Irina Badescu had to say about the talk:
"Today I had the great opportunity of meeting Erin Mikail Staples, one of the keynote speakers at How To Web, who had a presentation about building online communities and keeping them healthy and safe for everyone. This also implies identifying the different types of "internet trolls" and getting to know the intentions and motivations behind their online behavior.

I absolutely loved her approach and her bubbly personality! We sat down and ended up talking about anything from mental health to research topics and how to stay organized when you have way too much on your plate. She is absolutely amazing! Thank you for meeting with me and making this day one of the highlights of the year ❤️" 

I frequently share things I'm learning on my blog ⤵️

I'm an accomplished and skillful educator. ⤵️

I'm passionate about learning and learning from one another. Whether it's in the classroom at NYU, through community, via content, or at a workshop — I'm an expert instructor in a multitude of mediums.

Don't just take my word for it — check out what others have to say:

  • "Thank you - this topic is so so important. You had great suggestions and actions we can take. Also, love that Carl Sagan quote!" (CodeLand 2022)
  • "Sitting down for my 1st episode of #DevRel book club, hosted by @matthewrevell & @hola_soy_milk w/ guest @erinmikail ... I am only 10 minutes in, have already ordered discussed book, and have had my mind blown at least four times!" (Leslie Hawthorn from DevRel BookClub)
  • "An excellent session on community moderation @erinmikail and @brob... thank you so much for hosting it" (Simon Tomes)
  • "@erinmikail was fantastic @how_to_web she is a role model for community builders worldwide. Go, Erin!" (Savian Boroanca)
  • "If you want to learn more about the power of building a community, and how to do it right, you should be following @erinmikail She's often sharing her knowledge on this subject but also, she's such a beautiful person, really." (Karla Fernandez)

There are things for certain I know that I am not.

I've had the chance to wear many hats throughout my career, and for this, I'm fortunate. My multivariate background has allowed me to discover what I'm not interested in as much as what I am interested in.

  • I am not a product marketer, sales professional, or marketing lead.
  • I am not a graphic designer or illustrator.
  • I am not a videographer, photographer, or animator.
  • I am not interested in taking on a full-time role at a web3 organization.
  • I am not comfortable with going with the status quo because it's always been so. I expect individuals and organizations to be candid with the why behind what they do.

I believe in celebrating the big wins.

Here are some of mine:

  • Developed and launched Orbit education strategy, leading 6 education events/month focused on developer & product builders.
  • Scaled the Orbit community from 7K total members to over 30K total members.
  • Experienced content creator across audio, visual, written, and technical content mediums, with a consistent brand and press mentions across industries.
  • Subject matter expert backed by NYU + CUNY focused on the creator economy and its viability through user-led research of solopreneurs + fandom communities.
  • Leverage viral moments by executing strategy efficiently, becoming CEO of the Elliot Virtual Mall. Generated partnerships + press mentions with STUDS, Jeff Staple, Morning Brew, Taylor Lorenz, Rally Rd., Emmett Shine, Pattern Brands, + more.

Read about what some of my colleagues said about me ⤵️

Kelly Liu, Product Manager @ Orbit
"Erin is such a talented individual and an absolute joy to collaborate with. She draws from her background in media, product, community, and being an internet being and uses all of these skills to effectively connect various teams together at work. She taught me that a community advocate doesn’t hurt communicate with the community, she also voiced community needs, provided product feedback, made sales intros, aided the support team, and taught non-community team members how to be good community participants.

Erin truly brings her all to her work and her energy and work ethic are infectious. I highly recommend Erin for whatever work she does in the future because I know she is adaptable, a fast learner, and will seek out ways to provide more value than you had thought possible."

Patrick Woods, Founder + CEO @ Orbit
"Erin is a deep thinker and strong people connector who’s as great at hosting a live stream or MCing an event as she is writing long-form content. Internally, she’s great at bringing community voice and insight back to the rest of the company. She's awesome at jumpstarting conversations in Discord with incredible energy, and in addition to all that, she always has a pulse of what’s going on with key folks across the community."

Tony Blank, Community @ Orbit
"Holy shit, I had the privilege of working with Erin for a scant 7 weeks as her leader at Orbit and I wish it was 7 years.

Don't get me started on macroeconomic climate and startup fundraising cycles...
My loss is your gain. Erin worked at Orbit for over a year before I joined, and the amazing work she did here will resonate throughout our community for a long time. Let me explain why:

  • Erin (correctly) understands how community touches all aspects of a business. She'll boost the voice of your customers to the right internal stakeholders, ensuring that you're focused on what is important.
  • Biased to action: Fastest "hey, I wonder if we should blog about BLAH" to "post under review" I've seen. Not just blogs - Erin's amazing at translating high-level directions to tactics. Every community team's fast-paced, and the ability to execute with many moving parts is a rare skill.
  • Empathy: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that Erin wouldn't be applying to an org that doesn't GET what makes a community tick, so you know that empathy is important. What you don't know is that I've seen Erin's deep relationships forged in Orbit's community... She's been able to connect with our diverse community and bring everyone together.
  • Technical empathy: Erin knows developers - not just from building dev communities, but she can talk the talk and walk the walk. Erin owned all the community ops plumbing during her time here at Orbit and not just helped get data into our own Orbit instance but helped our community with integrations too. Erin's technical experience directly translates into her ability to connect with a technical audience.

Let's chat: Happy to answer any specific questions you have (and, gonna be transparent, I'm gonna make sure you're "erin-worthy" too). Catch me at tony.blank@orbit.love!!"

Leia Dudek, Senior Account Executive @ Orbit
"I had the pleasure of working with Erin during our time together at Orbit. She was one of the first teammates to reach out to me directly to offer help as a new hire. She is incredibly kind, patient, thoughtful, and cares deeply about fostering relationships within community. Erin is always willing to offer assistance with any part of the business, whether it's creating developer content for marketing or making a warm introduction for the sales team, she's a true team player.

I'm so thankful our paths crossed professionally as she provided me with the community lens to my sales process. She will be an incredible addition to any company looking to build a meaningful community."

Amanda Quintero, Senior Manager, Business Ops @ Orbit
"Erin is a powerful human connector, strong communicator, and curious explorer. She's not afraid to test the product in all possible ways and listens with empathy to users' needs. She's also gifted with a contagious energy that ignites teamwork and makes her fun to work with."

Malki Davis, Senior Full Stack Engineer @ Orbit
"Erin was a gem at Orbit. She always filled the company with her cheer, optimism, and catchy smile. She has a good word for everyone, no matter what team or department. Erin always comes up with new and creative ideas and is never scared to ask questions on everyone's minds. She works with her heart and soul and genuinely cares for all her teammates."

Read about what collaborators have said about me ⤵️

Ramón Huidobro, Developer Relations @ Suborbital
"I’ve collaborated with Erin in various open source community-oriented events, and her ability to be thoughtful, strategic, as well as highly technical, all with an overall empathic care, is nothing short of inspiring.

She leverages her existing educational and core skill mastery to not only create effective, but inclusive content around communities in a technology-agnostic fashion.

Any team with a focus on education and pedagogy would be lucky to have her."

Matthew Revell, founder of Hoopy / DevRelCon
"I worked with Erin when Orbit sponsored some of Hoopy's events and content.

Erin offers a great combination of skills and insight that would make her an asset to any developer relations/community team. Her background in journalism, combined with her empathy and experience building technical communities, give Erin a rare ability to be able to communicate across experience levels, functions, and backgrounds. In my own experience working with Erin, I saw how she was able to:

* Build education efforts at Orbit that consistently targeted both developers and product owners
* Understand and empathise with the needs of both developers and other personas in the technology decision process
* Balance the needs of community with the commercial need drive product feature adoption.

I'd love to work with Erin again."

Christina Monti, Developer Relations Lead @ PayPal
"Getting to work with Erin was nothing short of amazing. Her ability to demonstrate her technical knowledge through cross-functional communication was always top-notch. She brought a strong knowledge of product development and was always willing to advocate on my behalf. The key educational programs that Erin created were filled with informative content that showed her true understanding of her audience consuming the information and the environment she creates is always grounded in a safe learning space."

Cory A. Shrengost, Content Producer @ Dropbox
"As I was developing my skills in the world of strategic communications, I was struggling with complacency for social media and couldn't find my passion for it. I reached out to Erin to get some feedback and mentoring on what I could do to try to shed my "legacy" social media perspective and pivot to find something I could get excited about.

Erin was immediately responsive and helpful. She helped by giving guidance on the world of SM and changing my perspective on how I view SM and how I interact with it professionally. She also gave me some great reading material and resources to be able to access more information. With these tools, I am in the beginning of my fledgling stage of SM love and it's been great! Not only does Erin offer great suggestions, but she is consistently providing feedback, mentorship, and insight every day. I couldn't recommend Erin more!"

Find more about me online

I'm (very) active on Twitter, share upcoming events on my luma page, keep a log of professional activities on LinkedIn and Polywork, showcase conference talks and lectures on YouTube, and live stream on Twitch.

Keep in touch with me, check in on all my sites on my bio page, or learn more about where I'm coming from here.

What am I looking for in my next role?

While I am looking for the eventual full-time role, I am open to contract work on a project basis until that perfect full-time role comes up. Here is what is essential to me in the organizations that I work with.

  • Kind people doing good things. I value kind > nice. I want to use my talents to bring good to the world. I love helping others do what they do best — whatever that may be. I know the talents and value that I bring to the table, and am additionally self-aware of what my weak spots are.
  • Transparency and candor. I expect transparency in process, strategy, and decisions from management and colleagues wherever I might land. I also look for peers, colleagues, and management to practice transparency and candor with me and others they work with. Let's leave the elephants out of the room so we can spend less time in awkward silence and more time focusing on what's important.
  • Embrace learning. As a seasoned educator and lifelong learner, being in an environment where we embrace new skills and growth is important to me. I want to be intellectually stimulated through new challenges or opportunities.
  • Autonomy and trust. I'm at a senior level in my career and have had proven successes in the past. I ask for an appropriate amount of autonomy and trust to do what I do best.
  • Flexible and remote work environment. I've worked remotely even before it was "cool." I'm an early riser and like to get a good jump start on the day. I thrive in flexible and remote work environments and am a skilled communicator in asynchronous formats, and would prefer to keep it that way.
  • Opportunity for growth and mentorship.
  • Fair and equitable compensation and healthcare benefits.

Here are some titles that fit what I'm looking to do next.

I'm looking for a senior+ level IC role with room to grow. I envision myself working in a cross-functional role alongside developers in a position I can embrace my skills as an educator to work.

I also understand that the community and developer relations industry is nascent and still growing, so below is not an exhaustive list of titles. If you feel you have a role that may be up my alley — please reach out.

  • Developer/Technical Community Advocate
  • Developer/Community Education
  • Educational Program Manager
  • Developer Community Program Manager
  • Developer Relations
  • Community Moderation + Online Safety
  • Open Source Program Manager
  • Open Source Advocate
  • Product Evangelist
  • Beta Community Manager
  • Product Manager: User Research

It's a bonus but not a requirement if your organization has...

  • Unlimited PTO (and a push by the team or company to use it).
  • Unlimited sick leave.
  • 401K match.
  • A home office setup budget.
  • A professional development budget.

When can you start?

I'm actively interviewing and ready to start my next role when the fit feels just right.

Where are you located?

I'm based in Brooklyn, NYC.🗽 I don't have the desire to relocate, but will travel for work.

Why a for-hire page?

If I'm asking for transparency from my employer and colleagues, it's only fair that I do the same. By setting my expectations and wish lists out there, I can open myself to opportunities and help find what will be the best fit for all parties.

How can I get ahold of you?

Drop me an email at erin@erinmikailstaples.com with what you've got in mind and I'll be sure to get back to relevant job offers within 48 hours.

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