We’ve all heard it said “You’ve got to know someone to get a job in the game industry.” Networking is important in your overall job enlightenment, and not just a part of a job search. Whether it’s finding out about a job opening that is unpublicized or getting a chance at an interview, most people feel the need to use connections to help them on their hunt for their next job.
There are 2 critically important types of people you can and should endeavor to connect with on a daily basis: industry professionals and peers, and hiring managers and recruiters. Today we will discuss connecting with industry professionals and peers, and next time we’ll talk about making those all-important connections with hiring managers and recruiters.
Luckily, in the game industry it seems only natural to get together to play the latest games, toss around ideas and show off cool new developments. Use this to your advantage. Even playing games online can turn into a useful connection with peers. Social networking sites such as Facebook or in-game events or guilds can provide valuable information on upcoming events related to the industry – whether it’s a local game night or a full-blown worldwide conference. As a result there is abundant opportunity throughout the year to network with peers at conferences, talks, and mixers.
Connecting to industry professionals isn’t just about finding someone who works at the studio you want to work for, but about learning from the experiences of others. Chances are you have already met someone who knows someone who may be able to help you. Smart networkers know that in order to get an introduction you have to make an introduction:
- Make sure to introduce yourself as well as anyone you have just met to the next person you both meet.
- Be inclusive.
- Encourage swapping of stories and business cards.
- Talk about what kinds of games you and they play and like.
Don’t just walk up to a developer you think might be valuable to you and ask her for a job. Instead, introduce yourself and ask her what her favorite genre is or what she’s playing now. Listen and engage. It’s easier than you think.
Next time we’ll talk about connecting to hiring managers and some other avenues of meeting game developers in general.
What are your suggestions? How do you introduce yourself to someone new to make a professional connection?