The Commons Digest (02/01/2023)

The COmmons Insider Newsletter

This Week's Discussion

There's No Crying in the Office!

Learning at The Commons

150+ members started new Sprints this month! Join the waitlist to get front-line access to our March cohorts.

If someone forwarded this to you, subscribe here.

Your Weekly Level Up

🔥 Hot Topic: Documenting Customer Onboarding Flows

✏️ Career Resource: CFJs with Introductions to Hiring Managers

✅ Community Reccos: Calendar Tools

💭 Thought Starter: "Take On The Work That Needs To Get Done"

💡Brain Teaser: 🖥

🚀 Community Share: Kicking off the year 💪


There’s No Crying in the Office! Emotional and Behavioural Regulation in the Workplace

This year we kicked off our first-ever writing bootcamp, and over the last few weeks we've enjoyed reading pieces written by our community on topics ranging from "Why you need a High Yield Savings Account" to "Unlearning Corporate Culture as an Older Millennial" to "Finding A Career You Love When You Can't Follow Your Passion", and everything in between.

Our community is all about supporting one-another during the exciting and tough times. What comes out of that is a deep level of vulnerability shared between members. Our community loved this piece, written by Megan Jones, and we thought you might too ⬇️

About six years ago, I found myself crying at work more than I would have liked. To be clear, I would have liked to cry zero times at work, but I wasn’t able to control it.

I’ve always been an emotional person, and in particular, a crier. I tear up when I see people in pain, experience awesome works of art, and watch sentimental, cheesy tv commercials.

My tears at the office sprung from a different well. I held them with a hot shame. Looking back, I can now recognize that my window of tolerance had been shrinking as a result of frustrations with work and suboptimal management of my mental health.

The concept of the window of tolerance comes from Dr. Dan Siegel, and it describes our capacity to function and deal with life’s stressors. When we’re operating within our window of tolerance, tough situations may cause us to sway, but we don’t lose our balance. When we’re outside of our window of tolerance, we can veer into hyperarousal (think flight or fight response, big emotions expressed bigly) or hypoarousal (think freeze response, shutting down and numbing out).

I think you can be whelmed in your window of tolerance, too. (Scene from 10 Things I Hate About You)

With my window of tolerance only cracked ever so slightly, it was challenging to manage my reactions, and sometimes those reactions took the form of big fat tears.

While there are starting to be shifts in how we define professionalism and attitudes towards mental health, most people would say that crying at work is inappropriate. I do think my managers were right to bring this up as a concern and something I should focus on managing. I was still personally performing at a high level and hitting all my targets, but it had an effect on my co-workers, and I couldn’t deny that. (Here’s a fun pop quiz: When I was told that my crying was problematic, what do you think happened? If you guessed that I cried, you’re nailing emotional intelligence and reading comprehension.)

In the years since that intervention, I’ve spent time processing, practicing strategies, making life changes, and meeting regularly with a therapist. Here are specific recommendations I have, whether you’re experiencing uncontrollable emotions at work, or are managing an employee who exhibits sadness, anger, or disengagement that is challenging for the work environment.

Read on for Megan's advice for those with big emotions, and for managers with employees who are expressing strong emotions ⬇️

Read The Full Article (and check out Megan's blog!)

What’s happening at The Commons

Upcoming events

Circle Drop: Job Search Accountability Circle

After the success of last year's Job Search Accountability Circle, we've brought it back for another iteration, this time led by Bilal K! Perfect for those currently on the job search for tips & tricks as well as that extra bit of motivation to help you see it out and land a great role. It's filling up fast!

Enroll ASAP
Community Members Only
Sign Up Here

Speaker Series: Matt Hammel from AirOps

Matt Hammel is the Co-Founder and COO of AirOps, which aims to make technical work easier for less or non-technical people using AI such as converting plain english into a SQL query or scanning SQL queries for errors. Matt will be joining us to share more about his career experience, as well as share a demo of AirOps, and how it can help you as an operator.

Tuesday, February 7th at 7PM ET
Community Members Only
Register here

Go-to-Market Workshop

Join community members Liam (Director of Operations - Canada, RenoRun), Luis (GM at Alto, ex-GM at Shef), and Rachel (Strategy & Operations at Google) for this session covering the basics of developing a go-to-market strategy including Market Sizing, GTM strategy & adaptability "on the ground"

Wednesday, February 8th at 7PM ET
Community Members Only
Register here

Speaker Series: Evaluate a Startup like a VC ft. Banana Capital

We're excited to host Turner Novak, founder/GP at Banana Capital! Turner will give us insight into what a VC looks for in a startup, so that you can better evaluate startups that you're looking to join! We'll also have an open Q&A.

Monday, February 13th at 7PM ET
Community Members Only
Register here

Past events

ICYMI we recently hosted these events. Members can find recordings on our platform.

  • Company Showcase ft. Jobber: The Talent and Business Analytics teams at Jobber joined The Commons for a company showcase. We heard directly from them about the work they're tackling and roles they're currently hiring for.
  • Speaker Series: Chief of Staff Roles: We co-hosted a discussion with a panel of Chiefs of Staff who have experience in CoS roles at various staged companies.
  • Writing Bootcamp: Our community writing bootcamp has officially kicked off!
  • Open House: Our mentors provided an overview of The Commons Sprints, and critical skills to succeed in generalist roles in today's tech landscape. Missed it? Check out the recording here.

New memberships are currently closed. Applicants on the waitlist will be prioritized when we re-open admissions.

Here are some admissions dates to keep in mind:

  • February - Admissions will be closed. We will not be accepting new members to join The Commons.
  • March - Admissions will reopen for the March cohorts. Existing community members and waitlist applicants will have first priority to secure a seat.


Below are the Sprints running in March. Based on the sell out of our January Sprints and the number of early bird seats secured, we expect the remainder to go quickly when we re-open admissions. By joining the waitlist, you'll have priority access to join us. Here are our March Sprints:

We're also now accepting a limited number of Community Only members. If you're interested in joining the community only (instead of participating in a Sprint), you can also apply via the waitlist below.


Explore Sprints // Join the Waitlist


Our January Sprints have officially kicked off 🎉

Join the Waitlist

Documenting Customer Onboarding Flows

There's nothing better than having an entire community to rely on, when you're tackling something new at work.

Here's one of the many topics the community tackled together this week...

Big thanks to Julie-Anne M., Megan J., Haley L., Lilian G., and Ryan R. for sharing your advice! 💚

Suggested approach:

  • Get a whiteboard and some post-it-notes out, to draw the process out
  • From there, figure out what visual will suit it (eg. swimlane diagram, with time along the x axis, and various teams along the Y)
  • Use Lucid Chart, Figma or Miro or to visualize

💡 Tip: already has flowcharts laid out, which can cut your design time down.

"Highly recommend putting it all down first then throwing it together in a design."

Depending on the industry, activation/revenue model (i.e. when you start making money), and point when the customer first experiences the product value, the journey can vary quite a bit. At a high level though, here are a few buckets for all journeys:

1. Audience ➡️ Sign Up ➡️ very much marketing + sales focused

  • There is an education and buying decision component

2. Sign up ➡️ Activation ➡️

  • sales focused
  • There is likely a buying decision early on
  • After that, there may be technical steps that need assistance to get to Activation - usually falls under an onboarding team

3. Post-Activation

  • There may be a training element for the customer - usually falls under the onboarding team

Check it Out + Add To The Thread

Your weekly level up

CFJs (cool f'ing job)  🔥🌶

There's no better way to get your foot in the door than by being referred directly to the hiring manager (or meeting the hiring manager yourself!). Our job board has been filled with tons of exciting roles lately, with the opportunity to be referred directly to the hiring manager.

Non-community members can apply directly via the links below. Community members - be sure to reach out to the individual listed in Slack so that you can learn more about the role and secure that referral! Not sure how to make an intro? Check our our outreach template at the bottom of this post.

And now, onto the roles ⬇️

The biggest CFJ of all ... we're hiring for an Operations Manager!

  • You’ll be leading Learning Programs, Community, and Mentor Operations. These are the three core pillars of our business - to say this is a big and critical role is an understatement!
  • Remote role, Canada only - Preference for Toronto.
  • We’ve built a 1,000+ person global learning community of ambitious professionals in Tech, who learn & build connections through interactive learning experiences. We raised a pre-seed round from awesome investors including Turner Novak, Panache Ventures and Eric Ries. We’ve reached product-market fit and we’re entering an exciting growth phase (see below for what lies ahead).
  • We're hyper focused in scaling a highly engaged community, expanding our learning experiences, and launching new growth channels and we're looking for our next community-obsessed, process-driven, analytical teammate to join us!

And the other awesome opportunities...

  • BizOps at Figma | SF, NYC, Remote | 2+ years of relevant experience in investment banking, management consulting, private equity, corporate planning, business finance, analytics, or related fields + SQL

Looking for more opportunities? Head to the community job board!

📅 Calendar Tools 📅

Here's what the community has shared so far  ⬇️

  • Google Calendar - appointment schedule should work
  • Calendly - "I hold online training sessions for couriers and find that Calendly works great. It sends them an email reminder and you can set an SMS reminder as well as part of the workflow."
  • Mayday - "I use Mayday and it has all of this functionality."

Have some other ideas? Add them to the thread.

"Take On The Work That Needs To Get Done"

Read the thread here and tell us what you think in Slack!

SQL Teaser:

Assume you have a dataset that contains customer last names (referenced as: last_name in the dataset)

What is a SQL string that would returns only the customers who have ER anywhere in their last name.

Check out the answer here.

Kicking Off The Year 💪

Be sure to celebrate all of the wins here!

Interested in more?
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