Finding the Perfect Harmony: A Career Journey at TikTok
At TikTok, the opportunity to carve out your unique career path is abundant. Lisa Skeppner, a Music Partnerships Manager at TikTok, has been a music enthusiast for as long as she can remember. Since joining the company in 2019, she has fully embraced TikTok's culture of boundless opportunities. This environment has allowed her to pursue her passions, enhance her skills, and ultimately secure her dream role: playing a key part in shaping TikTok's dynamic and impactful music landscape.
Skeppner, who is based in London, shares her journey: "I pursued a degree in business, but my heart was set on a career in the music industry, ideally intersecting with technology. I constantly kept up with music news, and one name I frequently came across was TikTok. It's no surprise, really, because TikTok is synonymous with music discovery.
Skeppner explored TikTok firsthand by creating videos with her family, and to her delight, they quickly gained viral popularity. "It felt fresh and enjoyable, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it," she recalls. (She continues to actively create TikToks, now often involving her colleagues.)
Skeppner initially joined TikTok as an intern in the Public Relations team, where she quickly became involved in crafting music-related communications and press releases. "Early in my tenure, TikTok was nominated for a Music Week award, and I got to work on that," she recalls. After nine months, an opportunity arose in the Music Partnerships team, and she seized it. "My manager was incredibly supportive, advocating for me to the Music team. I also took the initiative to network, grabbing coffee with team members to discuss skills I needed to develop. The internal support I received was phenomenal. It's quite rare to have the chance to transition within the same company to a role that aligns so closely with my interests."
Skeppner progressed to a coordinator role, assisting artists from various European labels in establishing and expanding their TikTok presence. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in musicians using TikTok to share their work. During this time, she and her team collaborated with numerous artists to produce live streams and captivating campaigns on the app. "TikTok levels the playing field, offering emerging artists a chance at global exposure that was once unattainable for those at the start of their careers," she reflects.
The TikTok Music Partnerships team actively commemorates occasions like South Asian Heritage Month by showcasing underrepresented South Asian artists. They also curate playlists and special features for Black History Month, Pride, International Women's Day, and more. Skeppner's role involves not just nurturing emerging musicians but also collaborating with established and iconic bands to enhance their online presence and craft guest playlists. Some notable names she has worked with include Wham!, Billy Ocean, Cat Burns, and Queen.
"People often discuss how TikTok is a hotspot for creating viral hits and discovering new artists. However, I also find it fascinating when older tracks, or catalog music, resonate with new users and bridge across generations. I think there's something really enjoyable about that aspect."
Having been part of TikTok for nearly four years, Skeppner has witnessed and contributed to the platform's growth, particularly with SoundOn and TikTok Music. She continues to embody the principle of 'Always Day 1', focusing on exploring new ventures and building connections. "I'm a firm believer in taking the initiative," she explains. "After my first major call with a record label, I spent 45 minutes discussing it with a colleague who helped me understand the finer details. It taught me the importance of being proactive and asking questions. In a new role or as an intern, it's natural to feel hesitant about overstepping or being bothersome with queries. But at TikTok, the culture encourages curiosity, and people are always ready to assist if you reach out."
Currently, Skeppner is not only focused on her personal development but also on her role within TikTok. She recently became a part of the managing committee for WOMEN ERG, an employee resource group dedicated to women at TikTok. This involvement is a step towards gaining deeper insights into the company and further honing her professional skills.
Reflecting on TikTok's rapid expansion, Skeppner notes, "Our office now houses several thousand people. Being a part of the ERG has been an enjoyable way to connect with colleagues from entirely different departments. Despite my tenure here, I've discovered there's always something new to learn. The key is to remain curious."
Listen to more insights from Lisa on the @lifeattiktok handle! If you're inspired to carve out a career path like hers, explore the current job opportunities at TikTok here.