Civil began her media career in middle school, developing fan sites for actor J. D. Williams and The Backstreet Boys; the Backstreet Boys site came in third in a national competition and the Williams site put Civil in touch with the actor after Williams' lawyer sought her out.

After graduating from high school, Civil entered community college but left to take an internship at radio station Hot 97 with DJ Funkmaster Flex in 2002, where she worked as a staff assistant; she also began working with Dipset to develop e-commerce for the group.

Civil later moved to Asylum Records, then in 2008 founded her own website karencivil.com and a marketing agency, Always Civil Enterprise, focused on digital strategy in the hip-hop industry.

In 2010 worked with rapper Lil Wayne to develop Weezythanxyou.com, so that the rapper could publish letters to his fans while he was incarcerated at Rikers Island. From 2011 to 2015, she worked with Beats by Dre as digital marketing manager.

Civil has become a public speaker, hosting events at universities, media outlets like BET, and women empowerment conferences and panels.

In November 2015, Civil self-published a self-help book, Be You & Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose. Organized into four chapters called "Understanding Motivation," "Self Motivation," "Positive Attitude" and "Living Civil", Civil describes her approach to her career path.

In 2016, Civil became involved in music producing, co-producing a Wale song featuring Lil Wayne.

Civil served as an associate producer of the 2016 documentary film The Last RideA Philadelphia Story about Kyrell "Rell" Tyrel and bike culture.

Civil has spoken as a host for Hillary Clinton sponsored Democratic rallies. In 2016, BuzzFeed found tweets from 2009 by Civil that used anti-gay and anti-Jewish slurs. The Clinton campaign responded that they had no control over the speech of non-campaign staff.

In 2015 she partnered with non-profit Sow a Seed to begin building a playground in Haiti, and for Christmas in 2015 she worked with Lil Wayne and Andre Berto to donate clothes, toys and books to 500 students at her Live Civil School. In April 2017, Civil opened her Live Civil Computer Lab at the House Of Hope Orphanage in Haiti and donated 20 computers to the children.


Civil won a 2009 Black Web Award from Essence Magazine. In 2010, MTV named her one of the year's Hip Hop MVPs. In 2012, Civil was named to the Ebony Power 100 list. On September 15, 2015, Civil was a guest speaker at the White House "Champions of Change" event honoring young women and their contributions to their communities. She has been compared to Oprah Winfrey for her influence in the rap industry.