Especially since I founded my own company, by now nearly one year ago, I value the ever so little piece of networking I did while living an easy life in New York as a “fresh from the boat” employee for the first six years of my time in the US. Not having too many pre-existing friends in the city, when I started my life and career here, I began building a steadily growing base of acquaintances and friends, both from the professional environment and personal. And both, partly overlapping, circles prove now very important to me.
While the networking within the graphic design industry- the memberships in design associations, the visits to lectures and talks with colleagues, the weekends spent at design conferences, the participations in design competitions, or the judging of design competitions- not only helped me building the case for my green card application, but foremost helped me building a strong network of design and production force I now can very much rely on if needed.
It did not however get me one single client, which, looking closely, seems consequential to me. In fact the biggest portion of my clients I worked for since the start up of my company is built on my personal relationships, with now close friends, I established over the years by hitting the streets of New York during day and night time.
While networking within the own industry for sure is fruitful and important for certain aspects of my professional life, the personal and social networking process to nurture the other very important part of my business, the client base.