This section is going to be broken into several parts. The first will be a basic definition of networking, followed by general pointers for how to best achieve your goals, and concluding with some suggestions for places to start -- databases and other resources. There are also other areas of StarPolish that cover networking within a specific topic, and we will link to them as appropriate in this section; follow these links for directed networking advice. Finally, don't ignore the StarPolish Database. NETWORKING Let's just start by saying that the word "work" is not in the middle of the word "netWORKing" by accident. To effectively network, you will need diligence, effort, coordination, and patience. According to the New Webster Dictionary, networking is the "exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions." For the purpose of career building in the music industry, networking will involve finding new contacts, and working to further develop your existing contacts, and expand them into new ones. On a basic level, if you call someone to ask for something and s/he isn't able to help you, and you in turn ask for recommendations of other people who might be able to help, you have just begun networking. The idea here is to create opportunities. View each new person not as a single opportunity but as a door to an infinite number of other opportunities. You've heard the phrase "six degrees of separation"? Well, in the music industry, it's three degrees of separation -- meaning that anyone in the business can be reached by going through three people (if these three people are inclined to provide that kind of help, which you shouldn't count on!). The most successful people who operate in business (particularly in the music industry) know tons of people, and as a result can get things done. When they need to find something or someone, they have a huge network (read: database or Rolodex) of contacts they can call upon. It is these networks that allow them to achieve their goals.
Dos and Don'ts
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