In most professions, networking is increasingly becoming a critical factor to success (think: Twitter). While it may be cliché to say, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” denying the truth in that statement might set you back.
While we struggle through exams, apply for internships, get our first jobs and make names for ourselves, we always like to think our achievements are based on how talented we are, not how well we can mingle with the right people. Unfortunately, you can be as successful as you want, knowing the right people (and being able to identify exactly who is the “right person”) will not only get you further in life, but it will make that journey significantly much easier.
For journalists, getting to know the people who will advance or expand your career can come in many forms. Fellow students in school, professors, editors, colleagues and even bosses are always high on the list of people you should aim to impress because you never know when something will come up and your name will be mentioned. But if you want to take it one step further, finding online networking media is also a great idea to get yourself out there and be recognized and perhaps more importantly, remembered.
Media Bistro is a career and community site for media professionals featuring an incredible foundation of resources for aspiring or accomplished journalists and everyone in between. The site is dedicated to anyone who “creates or works with content, or who is a non-creative professional working in a content/creative industry. That includes editors, writers, producers, graphic designers, book publishers, and others in industries including magazines, television, film, radio, newspapers online media, PR and design.”
The main purpose of the site is to provide opportunities for professionals to meet, share ideas, share resources, improve career skills and even showcase work. It also has news, job listings, bulletin boards, e-classes, media industry blogs and much more.
When I first began getting into the magazine industry, I signed up for the site and to this day I get e-mails every once in a while (despite being shamefully inactive on the site) that let me know about interesting gatherings in Miami for media professionals to mingle and network.
The site has been around since 1994 and is quite well known in the industry. It may look somewhat simple in design, but the resources available speak for themselves. If you have a minute, take some time to browse the site (and even considering signing up) because it’s the kind of site that will introduce you to people and ideas you may not have come across without first putting your foot out there.