In very basic terms, networking means meeting people from the same industry and keep-ing in touch with them over time. We do it at work every day and most of the time without even realising: whenever you go to a trade fair or a conference and you speak to a col-league of another company, you are networking.
Obviously, it is up to you to make networking as beneficial as possible, as it is important that you take any chance you can get. Networking is good if you need allies or support, or if you want to create the grounds for stepping up in your career ladder. The following is an interesting link regarding networking: go to www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/3968046-1.html. The article actually speaks about franchising in general, but it nevertheless gives a very good insight about what networking is all about, how to make it an everyday reality and what benefits it can bring.
NETWORKING IN THE CULTURAL INDUSTRIES
Many a story abound about web designers, advertisers and writers (or any other creative profession) that have been headhunted to their current position by competitors and profes-sional headhunting agencies. This happens because their name becomes prominent in their area of expertise, but how do other people get to know their name?
The answer is networking. Good, clever, interesting work always gets noticed; if you are the author of that work and you have applied your networking skills, it could mean that you are in a strong position to further your career. Alternatively, you might be able to use the competition as leverage for a pay rise, which is also always welcome.
It is all very well if you are already in the industry somehow, even if you are not in the job you ultimately would like to do for life. On the other hand, if you are starting out and you are a creative, you need something to network with: everyone might find you very nice to chat to, but ultimately they will need an example of your work. Ideally, it would be great to attempt to build a portfolio of some description. You do not have to be employed to do that, but just show some initiative and perhaps of ingenuity: remember, people can only say no but you have nothing to lose in asking.
For example, have you considered volunteering along your current job? Or perhaps, if you already work within cultural industries, you could offer to help the big creative brains of the company in the next pitch coming up. If you have ever watched ‘Ugly Betty’ on Channel 4 you will understand what I mean: Betty is the PA to the Editor in Chief of Mode magazine and she wastes no chances in offering her writing services to her boss. That is the kind of effort I am thinking about. That is also part of networking, by the way, although perhaps not in the conventional way, but it is sufficient to make oneself known.
Please visit this brilliant website, www.noccinet.com/home, which is all about networking in the creative world.