Bear in mind:

gone are the days of fierce competition where you treat your rivals as archenemies that need to be wiped off the face of the Earth in order to get to the top. It’s not about working against people, it’s about working with them. Networking is about making them successful first.

Give more than you get

Sounds like nonsense? Well, it isn’t.

Being selfless and showing people that you care means more than you think. Get the idea of ‘quid pro quo’ out of your head for good. Whenever the possibility comes along, include them in your meetings, introduce them to people who may be of use to THEM. And don’t worry, time comes and they will return the favor: not because they feel obliged to, but because they care.

Invisibility is your enemy.

Being talented is not enough: doesn’t matter if you create masterpieces but still shrink from every possibility to go out in the world and introduce yourself. Surely, once you do, you will feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, often being hung out to dry. But it can also be a blast.

It’s like a beta-test: you never know what you’re gonna get.

The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.

John C. Maxwell

Making mistakes is okay. Making genuine mistakes is awesome.

Oh, what a coincidence!

Find out where the person you want to meet hangs out and try to make contact but DON’T mention that you’re hunting for a job or that your actions are intentional. Create conditions for a free flow of ideas in a casual atmosphere. People are ten times easier to open up when exercising or doing something they enjoy. You’ll be impressed how much you can achieve having a conversation while gorging a hamburger on the bus stop.

Don’t try to sell yourself

Don’t behave cheap trying to present yourself in all the glory. You only get one shot. Getting your reputation straight isn’t as easy as fixing a bug.

Beauty is simplicity, remember.

Non-zero-sum-game

Autonomy is no longer a virtue: team collaboration and tight-knit relationship will get you on the path to success. Introducing others and helping out isn’t a waste of time: it’s a donation to your future. Believe me, it’s a huge win-win in the long run.

Looking for people just like you, with the same interests in mind and passions in heart?

Forums. That’s right. Forums.

Wait, don’t scroll down. As trite as it sounds, it’s actually quite fruitful. Forums are no longer about knocking each other down trying to prove you’re the best. It’s about finding friends and mutually beneficial relationships. Meetings and conferences like GDC are the best possible options to exercise your networking skills.

Be clever: play dumb

Hunting for a job? Do it smarter. Don’t write directly to CEO. Start with artists/programmers: let THEM recommend YOU.

Pretend you haven’t found the contact of their CEO in your desperate attempt to reach out to him….In the meantime, ask a question or two about their company to get a valuable insight from those within the industry. If you manage to make friends with them — even better, although highly unlikely. Slowly work your way towards the people in charge, gathering referrals and positive feedback along the way.

Strengthen your existing ties

Balancing on your career ladder: which way to go? Up or down?

We say: both.

Fixing only on the top makes you vulnerable: paying attention to those who will catch you makes you safe.Treating those above as well as below with respect is a sure way to maintain a solid business. Express your interest in what your employees are doing and show appreciation: building a close-knit team is the unshakeable foundation of success. Constantly ‘update your plugins’, making sure you are on the same wavelength as them.

Creating an atmosphere that is an incentive in itself is especially crucial in the gaming industry. Ask your employees whether their workplace is the one they want to come back to time and again. Hopefully, their “QA” will prove to be positive.

Relationships are more like muscles — the more you work them, the stronger they become. Keith Ferrazzi

All things considered, it doesn’t matter how many people you reach out to on a daily basis. It’s all about the quality of relations. Do you spend hours working on code, but can’t spare 10 minutes on a decent conversation? Then stop and think: maybe you got it all wrong.

Paving the way towards success can be daunting. As the app crashes critically at every stage of porting, so will you if you don’t have the people and the secure ‘trust build’.

I sincerely hope you weren’t bored reading all this and found some truth in it. If you have any comments, I’d be happy to hear them. Take care.