NETWORKING IS USELESS (until it’s not)
A lot of people think networking or taking meetings is worthless, and I 100% agree. You should be spending time MAKING stuff. So it is totally worthless… that is until they are not.
You’ve heard it before… It’s all about who you know! This is true, but you shouldn’t spend your time trying to get to the people “who will make your career.” It’s selfish and makes you a user
Networking only works over time and when you try to provide some sort of value to someone else. Focus on younger people at the companies you want to hire you and make relationships with them over time. But don’t be afraid to aim high.
Stop SELLING YOURSELF
Stop trying to meet EVERYONE. Focus on the relationships you have, build those, ask to be introduced to other like minded people and build your network slowly over years. Some of those people will drop out of the business, or move to companies that don’t make content you like. Still reach out to them. If they can’t help you, see how YOU CAN HELP them. Even if it’s just a sounding board, it’s much appreciated sometimes. An email, text or phone call goes a long way. Share interesting articles, fun stuff.
Keep your goals and focus known to your network. Not that you are expecting them to do anything for you but being blunt about where you want your career to go only opens up for people to want to help you more. Networking can also inform you on patterns emerging in the industry.
NETWORKING IS NOT going to fan events or other public events unless you are there to meet other people in the audience and not the presenter. Speeches and seminars are important, but if you are going for fandom and not actual impact then you are miss-guided.
When you network the wrong way it can be worthless, but you focus on smaller, relationship building you will win in the long term. I still meet with people once a year I’ve never done business with, because sometimes timing just needs to be right.