1. Community
  2. Personal
  3. Social Action

Working the Relationship Spectrum, Part II


Last week, we explored the extensions of Dunbar’s Number beyond the 150 friends one can presumably keep track of.

Robin Dunbar’s research shows how one must spend time and energy to cultivate acquaintances (one can manage 500), known names (1,500), and known faces (5,000) so that some join the inner circles of friends, good friends (50), best friends (15), close friends (5), and intimates (1.5).

Closer connections migrating out of those circles can create space. 

What I find fascinating is how much space the pandemic opened up. These openings, even if they come from dire circumstances, will create many positive outcomes (not to say any loss is ever literally replaced).

My thesis here is that we are underestimating the amount of work that will go into fostering those positive outcomes. Just like good stress is still stress — the best days as a professional or parent are often the most exhausting, so we need to prepare for the energy expenditure.

There are four drivers of these changes:

1) Partner changes: The pandemic threw many people together more closely than they expected, and it also (ahem) accelerated the shift for some people (ahem) to reconfigure their existing intimate relationships. Maybe I’m writing from personal experience. Pardon if my throat needs clearing. (Ahem.)

It’s not just about romance and intimacy though. Even if one lacked a committed partner before the pandemic and continues to be independent in that sense now, Dunbar mentioned that it takes 200 hours for someone to go from a stranger to a good friend. The math for an acquaintance becoming a good friend may be easier, but all of this requires time, effort, and energy.

2) Job changes: Quartz in April published one of the better summaries of all of the research about interest in professional mobility:

“More than 40% percent of people who responded to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, a global survey of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries, said they are considering leaving their employer this year. Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker survey found that 25% of US employees expect to look for a new employer “once the threat of the pandemic has decreased.” In a smaller survey, the Toronto-based recognition software company Achievers discovered that 52% of North American workers were planning to look for a new position in 2021. For reference, before the pandemic, the average voluntary turnover rate across US industries was about 15%, according to Mercer, a benefits consulting company.”

What’s less important is the extent to which people are running to new opportunities versus running away from jobs they don’t like. Many people will wind up on a treadmill where they run in place, but perhaps at a nicer-smelling gym.

What we need to consider is that there is a lot of Dunbar migration that’s going to happen through all of this. Someone at a mid-size company will find hundreds of acquaintances shift to names and faces they may remember. All kinds of friendships will migrate. For jobs that require a heavy investment in corporate politics, then that’s another lengthy investment.

3) Location fluidity: Now that we’re in the most fluid voluntary workforce shift we’ll likely ever experience (as opposed to involuntary shifts brought on by war, famine, a financial depression, or other calamities), people can work from anywhere. Some of the location changes will come with changes in jobs and intimate relationships, while other location moves will happen independently.

Every change in location creates ripples up and down that ladder. There are faces you won’t have to remember and faces you will. You’ll wind up spending time with people you never expected to just because of physical proximity. You switch from the gym to the Peloton or from the Mirror to a running club, and now that’s another several friends and contacts that change. Again, it’s a lot of energy.

4) Loss: We lost about two out of every thousand Americans during the pandemic — so far. People in more vulnerable communities likely lost more. Americans with relatives in countries like Brazil and India may have more tragedies to report than others.

As with the intimacy changes, losses in closer circles are harder to get over and won’t be filled right away, but they’ll often be accompanied by certain friendships moving closer. Some of those will accelerate without as much effort; you’ll never forget who’s there for you in a crisis.

When there isn’t the tragedy associated with it, and when it’s more about returning to forging relationships that lay dormant and revisiting some others, Dunbar noted (with a prompt from the interviewer in The Atlantic) that “it’s a healthy pruning.” Dunbar said, “Don’t be fazed by loss of friends, because it’s an opportunity to go off and make new friends, which may turn out to be even better.”

But guess what? That takes energy too.

During the pandemic, a lot of us learned way more about empathy. An example of that for me is that I never use the phrase, “Hope all’s well,” as I know a lot of the time, all is not well for the recipient, so I’d rather ask them how they’re doing and give them an opportunity to tell me.

What we need to understand for others, but just as importantly for ourselves, is that we may be going through so many positive changes but still find ourselves exhausted and overwhelmed.

Maybe a lot of it is due to all of these relationships changing. As social creatures, when we have holes that open up, we’re not likely to say, “Oh, whew, that relationship wasn’t doing much for me, so I’ll just take a breather.”

It’s more like closet space – and this may be more of a New York City thing, so bear with me. You have some clothes that don’t fit or fall apart or don’t look good on you anymore, so you donate or toss them. As soon as you see that space on your rack, it doesn’t look right, so you’re back at the store filling that gap right away. Have you ever met a New Yorker with spare closet space? No! We never get rid of clothes; we just make room for what’s new.

Sure, you may go with Dunbar’s “healthy pruning” reference. I’m a fan of Being There (as I hope you are), so I love a good gardening analogy. But city person that I am, I had to go with closets.

What we can try to do with all of this information is be conscious of it and then be cognizant of the energy outside of work that these shifts may require of others. It’s one more way we can be empathic and also connect with others.

It may be just as important to acknowledge this for ourselves. We may choose to be more proactive with this. Instead of realizing that five of your good friends moved away and you have more room in that tier, perhaps you’ll try to become best friends with one or two of them and spend more time deepening connections.

You may similarly want to see if you can make a few friends out of acquaintances in a community you’re already a part of rather than join a new one where you’re adding to the known names and faces but have to start from scratch.

I’m always thrilled to get to see some known names and faces pop up in my inbox, so let me know your thoughts on all of this, along with any ways the Serial Marketers community can better foster connections for you.



  • Serial Marketers is hosting a salon with Chris Fronda where you can learn about creating no-code business apps and hang out with fellow serial marketers. See you today at 5 pm ET?
  • Serial Marketers is excited to expand our partnership with IndeCollective: The Modern MBA, for the Modern Independent Worker. Earlier this year, Serial Marketers’ Scholars participated in IndeCollective’s 10-week bootcamp, accessing the practical education, expert guidance, and supportive peer group to translate their specialized skills into six, and even seven-figure, independent businesses. Our own Orli LeWinter has just completed the Spring Cohort — read what she said about it. We’ve decided to double down on our partnership, offering 20 Serial Marketers’ Scholars a 50% scholarship to participate in IndeCollective’s Fall Cohort (a $60K value)! This reduces the cost of participating in IndeCollective from $6K to $3K. Apply to IndeCollective’s Fall Cohort before 7/23 and let them know Serial Marketers sent you. We’ll also throw in $100 in $CMO coins to anyone who signs up, and $200 in $CMO for Premium members.
Recent pieces published or shared by Serial Marketers and friends:


Thanks to Mat ZuckerNancy HarhutE.B. MossPraveen MishraAmy GittelmanMatthew SilvermanJeremy Woolf, and Jason Gardner for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.

Share it with five others who subscribe and receive 10 $CMO coins, along with other rewards. Even one referral will net you a coin (try it out).

Here’s your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit https://referralhub.page/serialmarketer to see how you’re doing.https://sparklp.co/823bcd55

Share via: Email | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn————————————————–

Please submit any events you’re hosting to our calendar at https://serialmarketers.net/events/. All events below are virtual, and all times are ET.

Upcoming Serial Marketers events:

All events are on Wednesdays at 5 pm ET. First Wednesdays of the month are in person, and last Wednesdays are Upstream SpeedUps.

  • 7/14: Salon with Chris Fronda, founder, Logictry [ZOOM]
  • 8/4: First Wednesday – in-person social chat in NYC

July 14, 12:00 pm
“Be a part of a half day event that will focus on the intersection of Screen Content + Podcasts: NATPE ContentCast. This preeminent industry event for Producers, Creators, Marketers and Monetizers, will help you navigate the intersection of file & frame to drive Revenue, Brand Extensions, and Talent Influence and prevail in the fight for digital audience.”

July 14, 12:30 pm
“In this session, seasoned designer Lidia Varesco Racoma will show you how she bridged the Adobe–Canva divide. Learn the basics of setting up, navigating, and creating and editing graphics in Canva. Plus, we will review advanced branding and sharing features that will help create an organized and brand-focused workflow.”

July 15
“Digiday’s first-ever publisher golf outing will bring together publishing executives for a unique day of golf and mingling. Hosted at the beautiful Galloping Hill Golf Course, you’ll have the chance to connect with peers over a casual round of golf and networking functions.”

July 15-18
Via Mike Volkin in the community
“This event has been created for one thing only: to help you scale your business now. That’s why I’m bringing in some of the top business people from around the world. People who have taken companies from $1 million dollar valuations to $500 million dollar valuations and taken companies public.”

July 15, 1 pm
Via Lana McGilvray in the community:
“PR Curious? I’ll be joining Onclusive president Sean O’Neal and Stacey Hedman of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to share tips for measuring whether your messaging is resonating internally and externally with stakeholders including employees, management, customers, partners and the media.”

July 21, 2 pm
Via Plus Aziz in the community
“Join us for a discussion with two seasoned Recruiting Ops leaders:
* When and How to start Talent Operations role/function
* The core metrics your team needs to pay attention to now
* How do you get into TA Ops?
* How do you assess new recruiting technology?
* How Recruiting Ops can improve both Candidate and Employee Experience
* Benchmarking Results from our State of TA Survey”

July 22, 7 pm
Via Amy Gittelman in the community
“In between maintaining your Snapstreak with your best friends, getting your daily dose of news on Discover, or transforming yourself into an anime character, there’s an ecosystem of advertising opportunities on Snapchat. Have you thought about how these ads come to life and the teams that make it happen? As you’re considering a career in digital advertising, we want to help you explore the possibilities!”


Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. Here are some great opportunities shared there or sent to me directly.

Head of Growth
NY or remote
Via Eric Tash in the community
“The Head of Growth Marketing reports directly to CITYROW’s Chief Brand Officer and will have ownership of every stage of growth marketing: strategy, planning, execution, budgeting, analysis and optimization. The ideal candidate is relentlessly metrics-driven, has a fine-tuned understanding of scaling efficient performance marketing across diverse channels (including non-paid channels), and is obsessed with optimizing every stage of the user’s path to purchase.”

Social Media & Brand Strategist Intern (paid)
NY or remote
Via Wilma Mae in the community
“DRK Beauty has a 3-month intern position (social media and brand strategy) with a paid stipend opening up. We are a mental health and well-being company for women of color (NOT a beauty/cosmetic company). Ideally we are looking for a NYC- based intern but if it is the right candidate then remote is fine too. If we find the right candidate this could lead to a salaried permanent position.”
Job description shared in the community

VP or Director of Marketing
Via Mark Lee in the community:
“Layer 1 blockchain project Nervos ($700M market cap) is looking for a senior level marketer (VP or director) with prior crypto/blockchain experience and strong network in the space. fully remote and very competitive compensation, including equity. DM me if interested.”

Territory Manager (The Americas)
Phuket, Thailand
Via Thom Feltz in the community:
“ReverseAds is a big data company with an open web advertising solution that reverses the search ad process by putting superior data first. We are looking for talented people to join our fast-growing start-up in Phuket, Thailand. If you know of someone that has a sense of adventure and a drive to succeed, I encourage you to share this opportunity with them.”

Via Ari Berkowitz in the community:
Multiple openings on the Social Marketing team, including:

  • Associate Social Marketing Manager
  • Associate Influencer Marketing Manager
  • Social Marketing Manager
  • Senior Social Strategist
  • Content Creator
  • TikTok Content Creator
  • Group Director


Content Production Manager
Remote anywhere
Via Eric Tash in the community
“We’re seeking a Content Production Manager (CPM) to manage the end-to-end process of planning, producing, and distributing Inturact’s client’s content. It is important that this role takes no hand holding and we are looking for someone that can take our production & distribution process to the next level.”

Demand Gen Manager
Remote US
Via Melissa Wallace in the community
“The Manager of Demand Generation will be responsible for the strategy and execution of marketing programs that capture and nurture leads across multiple channels. In this role, you’ll be responsible for programs to generate and nurture leads via events, SEM, email, retargeting, targeted social advertising, and cooperative marketing with partners.”

Sr. Manager, Performance Marketing
“The Sr. Manager, Integrated Media reports to the Director of Media, guiding strategic planning, budgeting and execution, and analytics for offline, video, publisher direct, programmatic, search, social, and affiliate media to support the PetSmart brand.”

Vice President of Marketing
New York
* Proven track record developing and executing growth plan for enterprise adtech/martech business to achieve significant growth through effective use of lead generation and content marketing optimization
* Experience and proven metrics leading growth from $ single digits to $ double digits within a short timespan
* Has redesigned or created a successful lead/demand generation engine from scratch, in addition to having significant account-based marketing experience
* Confidence and ability to pitch CEO and Board Members as well as externally pitch to enterprise CMOs and engaged in industry thought leadership on behalf of the company

Head of Marketing
Dallas, TX
Collaborative, well-rounded, and a strong communicator, the future Head of Marketing has:
* Well rounded marketing experience – digital, performance, content, brand, communications
* Ability to lead the vision and execution of marketing strategies
* Ability and desire to build, scale, and managed a team of high performers
* Success in marketing function for high-growth DTC company in heavily regulated industry
* A strong communicator, comfortable with ambiguity and collaborative nature of high-growth startup

Brand Manager
Los Angeles, CA
“Self-starter who moves quickly, yet strategically with an affinity for product, and is excited about continuing to scale Fancy Sprinkles Products, the future Brand Manager has:
* 4-6 years proven track record in driving strategic brand management for DTC eCommerce brands
* Expertise with food, beauty, jewelry, personal care, spirits — DTC ecomm in house or relevant agency experience
* Works hands-on in campaign management from briefing, to ideation, to execution. Content background with strong storytelling and project management skills. Ability to be successful with marketing budgets in 1MM-5MM range.
* Results driven mentality with track record of value creation in previous roles, and passion to innovate in the category”

VP Marketing
Head of Customer and Partner Marketing
United States
“Bbot is a rapidly growing startup that makes contactless ordering technology for bars, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality establishments. This position is full-time and is remote work from home.”

Influencer Marketing Manager,
Influencer Marketing Strategist,
other roles
Long Island City, New York, remote options
“We are Performance Branding experts, working with scalable and enterprise brands including Nike, Spanx, and Shake Shack. We leverage digital channels and creative to grow our clients. Data drives our decision making and enables us to operate like trusted business partners. WITHIN works with brands to collapse the funnel between performance and brand marketing unifying objectives, targets, strategy, and implementation.”

Director of Marketing
Via Dwight Griesman in the community
“The Director of Marketing at Severalnines will be expected to craft and execute strategies that drive traffic of high-quality leads to our website to contribute to the growth of our community user and customer base. The Director will also develop the strategy to craft content that both acquires, converts, and educates our current and potential customers before, during, and after the sales process.”

Demand Marketing Manager
Product Marketing Manager
San Fransisco, CA, Open to remote
“CaptivateIQ is on a journey to modernize the world of incentive compensation. Our hope is that people will feel more connected at work if there is greater transparency in how they are rewarded for their efforts. We partner with amazing companies like Carta, Intercom, Gong, and Newfront Insurance to simplify their commissions. Since launching in 2017, we have raised $63M and are backed by leading investors including Sequoia Capital, Accel, S28 Capital, Amity Ventures, and Y Combinator.”

More via Hunt Club
* Mizzen+Main: Director of Growth Marketing (Dallas, TX)
* A marketing agency in stealth mode: Head of Brand Strategy/Founding Partner (United States)
* NXT Ascent: Chief Growth Officer (United States)
* A high-growth SaaS company: CMO (Chicago, IL)

Other job resources:

  • Advisable: Get instant access to top marketing freelancers
  • AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
  • Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you’re okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
  • CareerList: Here’s a form for companies hiring and a form for job seekershere’s the public list with tabs for both
  • Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
  • Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
  • Demand Curve: Growth and marketing jobs
  • DiscoverTheTalent: An initiative designed to build partnerships with businesses to advocate, train, and hire military spouses
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • Gently Ventures: Helps scale businesses by finding the right talent
  • GLG: Get paid to share your topical expertise; it can lead to some interesting conversations at a potentially decent hourly rate
  • Growth Collective: Apply to join this network of notable freelance marketers
  • Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
  • The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
  • Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
  • Hunterz: A way for connectors to get paid to introduce startups to large enterprises
  • Lead5: A paid service for executive roles, plus intel on changes with companies and PE investments; you can try a risk-free weeklong trial to see if it’s any good for your needs
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
  • #OpenToWork: There’s a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you’re looking for
  • Pangea: Where you can hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
  • Remotists: Remote startup jobs, chronicled weekly
  • Sales Hustle Stack: Find platform-based gigs and other creative ways to earn some extra cash
  • Startup.Jobs: There’s a section for marketing jobs
  • Teal Job Tracker: A free Chrome extension to manage and enhance your job search
  • TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
  • VC Job Boards: AlephEniac VenturesPearSequoiaUnion Square Ventures
  • VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
  • Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”
  • Wanted: Wanted helps top talent in tech and marketing find a job at your desired pay.

Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.


Below are offers extended to the Serial Marketers community. To share your own or access the Premium member discounts, review membership options here.

Markman Speaker Management: Get 15% off the half-day customized virtual training session “Get Speaking Engagements” for individuals or corporate staff through Sept. 30, 2021. Contact Steve Markman to redeem.

Thece: Get 10% off their Getting Started Kit — just let them know Serial Marketers sent you.

Get 5% back on any bookings of the FocusGrowth, and ReFocus plan. To receive your rebate, please contact me after you book the course.

My Software Tutor
Get a 15% discount on live online classes that teach practical, functional, business-centric Microsoft Office software skills (Excel today, PowerPoint coming soon). Use code SERIAL15 to redeem. Premium members get a 25% discount.

Get 10% discounts on campaigns. ReverseAds reverses the search ad process, outperforming Google at a fraction of the cost. To redeem, contact Thom Feltz by email.

Northarc Media
Marc Lefton is offering brands a free one-hour consultation on your media mix to show how you can integrate programmatic. For agencies, you can get a free one-hour consultation on how to add programmatic to your service offerings. To redeem, contact Marc by email.

Sign up and use the promo code SERIALMARKETERS to get 20% off on any membership plan. Membership enables you to access all deals with unlimited usage. One deal should more than pay for itself.

Create an account and start a 7-day free trial for $125 in ad spend credit toward your first experiment with this multivariate testing platform. Redeem here. (Premium members get $175 in credit with a custom code)

Following a 7-day trial of this AI-powered marketing tool to generate ads, product descriptions, and more, use code SERIALMARKETERS for 35% off any plan for 3 months (premium subscribers get 50% off for 4 months).

Get lifetime access to this file management tech with three seats, all free. (Premium members get five seats; see the Slack channel for details and a custom link.)

Want to get all the updates in your inbox?

Want to get all the updates in your inbox?

Get the Serial Marketer Weekly​



Join our community that brings global marketers together!

Join our community that brings global marketers together!

Every month, dozens of others join and add to the success stories of professionals who find business partners, save time vetting technologies, meet inspiring people, and learn new ideas that help them further excel in their roles and careers.