Saturday, May 17, 2008

Building Your Network

So since I was laid off from a full time position I've been freelancing and trying to pick up other jobs or opportunities of interest (for example babysitting... but more related to my career, being a guest at the photography school to review graduates' portfolios). My mom and dad (my best cheerleaders other than my husband) sent an article they found in the Providence Journal entitled Building the network: Partners rely on others for work they can't do themselves. see the article here

The article starts out "No man is an island" written by 17th-century poet John Donne. In the business of freelancing or having your own small business, most of us know it's about building your network in addition to building your business.

There are usually some professional organizations that provide support and information. There are local organizations such as ASMP, AdClub, even small business development centers. In addition to these there can be networking events that other small business owners will host. I've known photographers in the Boston area to host a gallery opening at their studio and invite art buyers, creatives, reps, photo editors, other photographers and a slew of other people (stylists, producers, etc). It's a great opportunity to pull the industry together in your area.

There are now social media websites that help you network digitally such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Yahoo Groups.

Build a strong network and usually jobs will come to you through this group. In addition to potential jobs you also have the opportunity to bounce ideas or questions off of these like-minded individuals.