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The Importance of Networking

 

In the entertainment business people often say that one must network or not work.  To a large extent, they are right.  And not just in show business, but in any business.  Although in the media the importance of networking is particularly high.

Having a solid network of colleagues and like-minded professionals to interact with can pay dividends in many different ways.  The economy is changing and the way people work is changing along with it.  Once upon a time our parents and grandparents graduated from college, got one job and worked that job until they retired.  That’s not really the way it is anymore.

Companies and in fact, whole industries are emerging and going under all around us.  Meanwhile people don’t just change jobs, they often change careers entirely.  In this kind of economy, the importance of networking, both online and offline is integral to one’s long-term survival in the job market.

Online networking resources like LinkIn, Facebook and Biznik are essential tools these days.  They help you to network online and they also help you to find out about offline networking events like mixers and industry happy hours.

Taking a proactive approach to networking can help you find the career you truly want.  That means exchanging business cards with people and perhaps starting a database of the contacts you make.  You never know how someone you meet today can help you down the way.  By the same token you want to be open and willing to help others.  Remember, networking is a two-way street.  People are less likely to help you if they feel you are only out for yourself.

Also remember that it’s important to network even if you already have a job.  Because if you have a job that’s just alright whose to say there’s not a better one out there for you? And even if you do like your current job it’s still advisable to network within that job.  That means not hiding in your office, cubicle or editing suite, but interacting and mingling with your co-employees and superiors.

Making yourself standout as the go-to guy where you work can make it easier for you to enhance your current situation.  Being talented and ambitious are good starting points for anyone, in any career.  However by underestimating the importance of networking, you may be shortchanging yourself.  Realizing your true goals means you will need to build relationships with others.  Building those relationships requires networking, either offline or online, or preferably, through a combination of both.

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