(Last week we talked Webmastery from fandom to job search. Now let's move on to Networking . . .)
Fandom is a fantastic place for an active Networker. You develop your networking skills. You learn to use tools that are good for networking, like Twitter and Facebook. You meet a lot of interesting people. Even a dedicated introvert can become a great networker in fandom.
If you're on the job search, then the networking skills and opportunities you get in fandom are things you're going to want to leverage.
Now let's face it, we'd all like to think Networking doesn't change if we're on a job search or not. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. When you need a job, when the clock is counting down, your situation, the skills you use, and indeed *you* are different. So if you're using your fannish abilities in a job search, you'll be approaching your Networking differently if you're deliberately looking for a different job – I'll be focusing on the search-relevance of your Networking in fandom.
What does fandom and fannish skills give you for Networking when you're on a search for a job?
- It gives you a large group of friends to call on when you're on that search. Think for a moment about how many people you've met, whose emails you have, who you work with. You could contact them as needed – and as I've noted when you're doing a search you want to alert people.
- It gives you opportunities to network – conventions, cosplay get-togethers, anime viewings, and more. Don't be obnoxious about it, but if you're on a search (and so often you're on the search involuntarily) remember those opportunities.
- It lets you meet pros. Admittedly standing in the autograph line asking a voice actor about accounting opportunities at a dub company may not be the best thing to do, but there are more subtle options as well.
- It has let you develop social skills. you may not appreciate them, but if you're in a job search, appreciating the networking abilities you've developed will help you do it better – and apply them better. The job search – especially a sudden one – may help you appreciate what you've learned and apply it.
- There are useful tools for the oh-I-need-a-job-phase you probably learned or use in fandom. A useful message board or chat room, a Facebook post, etc. One of your fannish haunts on the internet may even have a place online to discuss job searches.
So beyond your ordinary networking (which I hope you're doing) – if it becomes necessary to look for work, remember your fandom networking skills and opportunities are there.