ALONG CAME POLLY Are You Going For It?
By Jessica Sitomer

Reuben Feffer played by Ben Stiller, was not an outgoing guy. He went so far as to find comfort in a job that was all about risk management. So when his best friend Sandy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) invited him to a party, Reuben did not want to go. Lucky for Reuben, there was no saying “no” to Sandy.

Parties are a great way to meet people, yet many people avoid them for a myriad of reasons: I’m shy, I don’t know what to say to people, and I don’t know about any parties.

I want to address that last one, but first my quick networking shpiel: In-person networking is one of the most important things you can do for your career because communication is 55% physiology. People also like to meet people face-to-face. You can meet a lot more people in a shorter amount of time at a networking event.

Shpiel over. Now that you know you must network let’s address the “I don’t know about any parties” AKA I don’t hear about networking events.

Let me ask you a question. Do you think you are more likely to have better results in your career if you are actively “going for it” or if you wait around to “hear about things”?

If you let yourself off the hook for networking because you “don’t know of any networking events” it is a pretty good indicator that you are passive in many other, if not all, areas of your career pursuit. You can’t afford to be passive! There is too much competition! Are you up for it? Because if you’re not, and you continue to be passive, you’re on a long slow road which just might lead to no where.

Get off that path and start pursuing your career using this motto: If I don’t know something, there is a way for me to find out!

Here are some ways to actively find networking opportunities:

1.   Ask people. Sounds obvious right? Someone you know has to know about parties and networking opportunities (and if they don’t, see 2 & 3). Many of my clients want to reach out to their contacts but don’t have a reason other than to ask for work which they know I discourage in most situations. This is the perfect reason to re-connect. Ask your contacts if they are members of any networking organizations or if they are aware of any open invitation parties happening this season.  

2.    Google/Social Media. Google “entertainment industry networking events (insert your city here)” or ask on your social networking sites. You may be surprised to learn one of your FB Friends has a blog on industry events such as Industry Happenings.  

3.    Be philanthropic. This is a great time of year to volunteer to help others in need. Another great reason to contact your peeps. Ask if they are involved with any philanthropic organizations for which you can volunteer this holiday season. Then not only are you giving back, you’re doing it with other industry people. An example is From The Heart.

4.    Throw a party. If all else fails, throw your own party. Choose a place and invite people. It doesn’t have to cost you a cent or you can go all out. It’s up to you. But you are guaranteed to be at a party if you throw your own.  

No more excuses! If you are not going for it, someone else will and you’ve been missing out for long enough!

And Action!

1.    Find 4 opportunities to network in December and put them in your calendar.

2.    Make a list of networking and philanthropic organizations and get on their email list so you always know what’s happening.

If Reuben hadn’t gone to that party, he wouldn’t have been reunited with Polly. Who are you missing out on meeting because you’re not at the party?