Welcome to the Day in the Life of a Creator series, where creators across industries and backgrounds share how they spend their days tackling their jobs, pursue their passion projects, and what advice for others looking to break into the creator economy.
Name: Courtney Park
Location: Irvine, California
Occupation: Social media manager
Industry: Tech and freelance
Passion project: Lifestyle content creator
Did you attend higher education or technical school? If so, what did you study, and does it have any bearing on what you are doing in your current job?
I attended UC Berkeley, where I majored in Nutritional Science and Toxicology. I chose the major because I loved science (and food) from an early age, but I realized during college that it wasn't necessarily what I wanted to pursue professionally. Thankfully, being in the Bay Area, a major tech hub, I was able to use the skills I gained in my major while pursuing other interests by doing internships at health tech companies. All of those internships, as well as extracurriculars on campus, revolved around doing social media and content creation for health-related organizations, where I learned what it meant to use social media for businesses versus just posting pictures online for fun.
With those experiences, I got my first job post-college at a tech startup, where I was able to further grow my social media skills—including community management, content creation, and paid media.
What do you do in your current job?
I currently work at a tech companydoing B2B (business-to-business) social media. I'm also a freelance social media manager and strategist for smaller brands and entrepreneurs.
I handle the day-to-day management and growth of the B2B corporate social media presence across multiple platforms and continually enhance the company's B2B strategy by working with various internal teams like content marketing, public relations, and design.
As a freelance social media manager and strategist, my current clients include e-commerce brands and entrepreneurs. I support them with different aspects of social media, like management, strategy, content creation, and engagement. I especially love coming up with short-form video (Reels, TikTok) strategy as well as the actual filming and editing.
I love that social media is a constantly evolving space and that I'm able to continue growing professionally in these two different jobs.
Are you currently working on a side hustle or passion project and what does that entail?
The part of social media I love the most is the actual content creation—which is actually what led me to being a TikTok lifestyle content creator as a side hustle. I first started my TikTok journey creating content about social media tips and entrepreneurship, and I wanted another avenue to create content about other topics I was passionate about such as makeup, Korean culture, daily vlogs, and just the day to day things I went through as someone in their mid-twenties. Authenticity and relatability are two of the biggest things I focused on while growing my personal brand on TikTok and Instagram, and through that I was able to grow an engaged community and also regularly partner with brands to make it a profitable side hustle as well. It's always fun making content that I have full creative control over and finding like-minded people on the Internet through the videos that I make!
It's not always easy meeting new people, but I've been so lucky that I have been able to make new friends online that have turned into IRL (in real life) friends as well.
It's exciting to work with brands that I've been a fan of for a long time! Going from just a consumer to collaborating with these brands still feels like a pinch-me moment. A recent exciting partnership was with Shu Uemura, a makeup company that I watched my mom use growing up and started using as well when I got older. It felt like a full circle experience to collaborate with a brand that was one of my first beauty purchases growing up.
If you are juggling a side hustle or multiple jobs, how do you find a balance between them?
Having what basically feels like three jobs is definitely challenging at times. And since all three revolve around social media, it sometimes feels like my life is consumed by my phone and computer screens. When I start feeling burnt out, I remove as much as I can from my plate. I'll take a step back from my personal content creation and brand partnerships and adjust the number of freelance clients I work with.
As much as I love the positive aspect of social media, I'm very much aware of the negative influences it can have—both mental and physical. I try to be mindful of how much screentime I have per day and make sure to move my body daily with walks, gym sessions, and fun workout classes.
What does a typical day in your work week look like?
|6:00 AM||I wake up and the first thing I do is take my dog Roongji on a walk. (Roongji is short for a name of a Korean snack I love eating!) I love this part of my day because it's one of the few moments where I'm not looking at a screen.|
|8:00 AM||I get ready for the day and make my first cup of coffee! I'm not a huge breakfast person but I'll usually have a banana or something light with my iced Americano.|
|9:00 AM||Time to start my tech job. I start by checking my email, daily checklist, and calendar. I usually don't have meetings in the morning, so this is when I'll do some deep work.|
|Noon||Lunch! I'm obsessed with sandwiches so that's what I'll usually have along with a second cup of coffee or an iced matcha.|
|1:00–3:00 PM||I continue to do some more work; a majority of my meetings happen during this time.|
|3:00–5:00 PM||This is me time—when I'll get my nails done, go to the chiropractor, go to the dog park, etc.|
|5:00–7:00 PM||This is when I work on my freelance or personal content creation.|
|7:00–11:00 PM||I'll try my best to put my laptop and phone away by 7 PM, but sometimes it does run over a little. Afterward I'll make dinner or order in and just relax with my dog by watching a few episodes of a streaming show and then I'm off to bed around 11 PM.|
What tools help you in your jobs on a daily basis?
Having three different jobs requires me to be highly organized, so I try to limit the number of tools I use to be as streamlined as possible.
I recently got a second phone solely for work, so this holds my freelance and work social accounts. This helps me have more work-life balance as I'm not tempted to check how work accounts are performing on my personal phone.
What is one tip you'd give others to help them think about standing out in what is now a very crowded creator space?
The biggest thing I think creators need to remember is that their content needs to deliver value. And value can come in a variety of formats, so creators need to first figure out what that is (humor, education, inspiration, etc.) and their unique style of portraying that online.
The everyday user is becoming more selective with what creators they choose to engage with and support, so it's always important to have something to offer to your ideal audience while staying authentic and true to yourself!
Another way to stand out is by creating eye-catching content. Start by selecting professionally designed, beautiful templates from Microsoft Create and then edit them to make them your own.
What advice would you give to other creators that you wish you knew when you got started?
It's OK to change and evolve. Don't be afraid to test different content styles and how you show up on social media. When I first started my TikTok content creator account, I was doing a 365-day series where I was sharing a social media tip every day for a year. By the time I got to around day 90, I was so burnt out and focused more on just getting a video out versus the quality of the content. I learned that while consistency is important on TikTok (and any other social platform), taking care of yourself is just as important. Come up with a posting cadence and style that works for you and your schedule. When social media starts feeling like a chore, it shows through your content and ultimately performance will suffer.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I love listening to podcasts in nature. Being outdoors and listening to people I admire gets me very inspired—not just about my job and creating content, but in general and how I want to shape my life.
Do you ever struggle with imposter syndrome, and if so, how do you overcome those feelings?
I struggled so much with imposter syndrome, especially early on in my content creation career. I always asked myself, "What am I even doing putting my face out into the world like this? Why do people even watch my content?"
But that one comment or DM (direct message) from someone telling me that they used my tips in their business or were inspired by a piece of content I made really keeps me going.
Also, I genuinely love the process of content creation, and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
If people want to learn more about you, where can they find you?
For career content and social media tips, you can find me @cultivatesocials on TikTok.
For more personal, 20s lifestyle content, you can find me @courtneeypark on IG and TikTok.