DAO Contributor: Anyone willing to dedicate some time and energy to further a DAO’s mission.
DAO Operator: A person working full time for a specific DAO.
Becoming a DAO collaborator seems like the hot thing to do these days. Not only do you get a chance to build towards amazing projects and the future of industry as we know it, there's also a very real chance you could earn a living while doing what you love. These decentralized communities allow you to jump in and add value where it’s needed without having to fit into any specific role if you’re the kind of person who likes to wear several hats.
While most DAOs are happy to onboard anyone with the energy and good attitude to jump in and collaborate, there are a few ways you can stand out above the crowd and become a super-contributor to expedite the “actually living off DAOs” part of this equation. And while compensation should definitely not be your main motivation to join one, every line of work must be appreciated in return to guarantee your valuable contribution in the long term.
Once you overcome the crucial step of getting to know the community and the established operators in a given DAO, your focus should now shift to earning a spot through valuable perspective. The work you do for the DAO is commendable in its own right, but the real way to make a name for yourself is through insight.
As our friends over at @SeedclubHQ put it: To stand out in a DAO, you should learn to problem-solve more efficiently and transparently than anyone else.
So, how do you maximize your chances of having your voice heard?
Mostly, it comes to choosing the right time and the right message. Aim for the time between seasons to introduce yourself and your work publicly, these quiet times are the perfect moment to propose new experiments, join a workstream, and take a step back to evaluate the way things are being done so far. Word of advice here, no one likes a know-it-all or an opportunist. You shouldn’t be speaking up just for the sake of it, try to voice your opinion during spaces for debate like town halls, or when you’re sure your opinion adds something to the conversation.
To best encapsulate this, one of your biggest avenues is helping out the newcomers. Help them find their way around the servers, reply to their questions, and provide clarity whenever it’s needed (FYI, it’s always needed)
When you’re recognized as a source of interesting insight and an active voice in the community, people will start to wonder what else you have done to further the space, this is where credentialing comes in as the home-stretch that will push you from contributor to an essential member of the DAO.
The most common way of getting your much deserved spot in a DAO is through word of mouth. Web3 people know one another, especially at the operator level. If your work is noticed by the right people, you'll be sure to receive a DM from founders or headhunters looking to make a connection.
This is usually out of your control, there really is no way of predicting why or when it will happen, but luck does seem to follow the most impactful workers. Having a network of genuine friends helps out with this as well, a key emotion to channel if you’re looking to make a name for yourself is Gratitude.
Aim to go that extra mile, do work that not only solves a current problem, but also serves as a foundation for future solutions done by the people that follow you. If your bandwidth allows, don’t hesitate to volunteer to help other people in the DAO with their own projects, teamwork makes the dream work after all.
To bring this all together into real credentials, make sure to measure and keep track of all of this, that way you’ll be able to cite specific areas of impact and contribution when the time comes to prove your talents.