Career networking is an extremely important part of your job search strategy. It’s not unnatural, It’s not even hard! In fact, it’s something you’ve been doing for much of your life. You already have most of the skills needed.
Still, maybe you need some convincing? Read on.
What, Exactly, Is Networking?
Networking is the process of making personal contacts with people in your industry, to gather information that will help you find a job. It’s that simple! You’re just meeting people, chatting about things that you’re both interested in, and learning about the game industry along the way to finding a job.
Why Is Networking Important?
If networking is simply talking to people in your industry, then why is it so important to your job search? There are several reasons:
- It builds confidence. As you learn more about the game industry, jobs, and companies, you’ll feel less like an industry outsider and more like an insider. That confidence will show through during your job interviews, and put you ahead of all the other candidates that don’t have the inside scoop.
- It helps you discover “hidden” jobs. At any given time, there are dozens of jobs openings that game studios haven’t yet published to the public, for various reasons. That may surprise you, but it’s absolutely true. Through networking, you can discover these hidden jobs before everybody else does.
- It engages your allies to help with your search. People enjoy helping each other out. When you meet new people and they get to know you, you’ll find that they enjoy offering tips and suggesting studios and jobs that you should look into. And if you’re lucky, you might even meet the very person who can hire you!
- It expands your network. Part of networking is asking your contacts who else might be able to help you out. If each person you talk to gives you the names of two other people they can introduce you to, then your network will grow very quickly.
As you can see, networking can be the most effective way to find a great job in the game industry. But it can take a little time and practice before it starts to feel natural. The only way to get practice is to get out there and do it – so get out there and start career networking!
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Image: rfktech9 / Flickr