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Topics - jmenass

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Employment / Everyone's favorite topic: Networking
« on: Mar 31, 2015, 12:17 pm »
Hello all! (Long time lurker here)

Let's talk about Networking. It's a topic that most people I know hate, but we all need to embrace. I also know personally, my college education was GREAT but never once prepared us for how to network.  I'm currently in the position that I'm looking to re-energize my networking capabilities and its daunting if not terrifying; there is always the nagging feeling of could I be doing more or I am going about this in an efficient way?  I think stage managers as a profession breed a lot of people who are used to putting others first so when it comes to being your own salesman, I know I often feel awkward and like I'm putting other people out.

The background (you can skip):So I am an AEA stage manager.  I was blessed to work pretty consistently for a couple years then last year made the move to a new market and was hit with the wall of not knowing anyone and being in a tough city for new AEA SMs.  I moved again to DC which has been better luck (I moved for an events non-theater job for the summer) but again, I'm dissatisfied with my career trajectory and haven't been SMing consistently and realized that office life is NOT for me. So I'm hoping to move back to NYC end of summer (commercial theater is my end goal) and thus the networking and reconnecting initiative that is causing me great stress.

So, What are your philosophies on networking? How often do you send out emails/calls/whatever to your network? If you are starting in a new city do you send out cold emails or letters to PSMs in the area? Do you ask people to introduce you? Do you observe teams?  We've all done them all, and some succeed more than others. So what has worked the best for you, or if you are in the position that people are trying to network with you, what are your do's or don'ts?  I think the hardest line for me personally is how to connect to someone while reaching towards your goal (presumably future employment) without making it all about me, me, me. I know personally when I meet someone it's offputting to be submitted to a verbal resume being shoved in your face; but what are the simplest ways of going from "I'm genuinely interested in what you have accomplished and can teach me" to "Please remember me in the future"

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