Creative Conversation: Network Your Way to Career Success

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There’s a vast network out there for young creatives to tap into and networking is a huge factor in landing a job. On March 13th, four creative professionals came to speak to the FindSpark community about networking and storytelling. The event kicked off with “FindSpark bingo,” which let the participants get to know each other a bit better.

The event was hosted at the Wix Lounge in Chelsea, a beautiful co-working space provided by Wix.com. We love Wix because it’s a a free platform enabling anyone to build a stunning online presence, a must have as a young creative. Check out their service here.

Now, on to the networking advice!

Become a Better Speaker and Leader

The event kicked off with Jeremey Donovan, AKA “Speaking Sherpa.” Jeremey is known for his book, How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World’s Most Inspiring Presentations, and his incredible story telling and speaking skills. Jeremey opened up with a story about his own success, attributing success to “toastmasters,” an international organization which helps people improve speaking. Mr. Donovan said that he asked his step father for some advice, because he was unhappy at work and his step father told him three things:

  • Lean into passion.
  • Become operational and get results in your own strengths.
  • And most importantly, learn how to lead yourself.

Jeremey discussed the “Pixar method,” which has three points of beginning, middle and end. He advised to show, don’t tell—speak with a story. There is always some sort of inciting incident, which is the middle part, which leads to the climax and solution, the end of the speech. The most important thing in story telling is an anchor.

How Jeremey Networked His Way to Success

Jeremey said that for everyone he ever met, he kept track of outlook and sent them a yearly email of what he was up to. At the end of his college career, he had close to 2,000 contacts and connections in his outlook folder. Jeremey also said that in emails to friends, he would exchange names of startups. He also goes out to dinner with these connections to stay connected and keep the conversation going. These tips, Jeremey said, should help you land a job and create a network you can rely on.

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More Creative Networking Advice

The other speakers also had great words of wisdom to offer to the crowd as well. Kaitlyn Bailey, a buyer for Rent the Runway, told the crowd to grab any opportunity given to you and to make new friend and keep the old ones. She also said to keep your head up, eyes peeled and feed your passion and to be confident. Most importantly, Kaitlyn said, was to be nice.

Edmond Hawkins, graphic designer at Saturday Night Live, said be true to yourself. The fact that he engaged in his passions is what led to some of his biggest opportunities. Edmond said to immerse yourself in passion and to help friends as well in sticky situations, because that can go along way. Edmond’s most important piece of advice was to be true and present in today’s world.

Freelance photographer Sean O’Kane, closed the panel for the evening. After being laid off from Google after seven days of working there, he didn’t become discouraged. Instead, he got back and is now working for BET.com. He said to develop a “side-hustle” or a side passion. Sean, like the other speakers, echoed the sentiment to be personable, open and nice. Sean also said to be practical and to put money away for the future, because you never know what can happen.

Network to your passion

All the speakers said that networking events are one of the top ways to get jobs and internships. Edmond reinforced his point of being nice and to help others, and most importantly, celebrate their successes as well as your own. Jeremey said to thank people for their time, and to keep in touch with people via emails every so often. Helping others is a way to help yourself, so if you someone get that job or internship they need, then that’s great. The biggest turnoff, the speakers said, was to not be grateful and not thank your interviewer. Some other networking tips they involved were to start a conversation at a networking event with common ground and talking about what you are passionate about. Talk about common ground and exchange information to keep the conversation going.

Special thanks to Wix for hosting our event. Check out the Wix.com platform for an easy way to build a beautiful website.

Have a great networking story? Let us know! Leave a comment.

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