AMA: Helena Price, Photographer

over 6 years ago from Helena Price, Photographer at helenaprice.com

  • Helena PriceHelena Price, over 6 years ago

    Hey Curtis! Oh man I have so many answers for this, and there’s totally no one way of doing it. I can at least share some things that I did that seemed to work for me in the long run.

    Meet everyone you can with no agenda. Knowing people in tech inevitably can help anyone get ahead in their tech career, but I wouldn’t recommend "networking to get ahead" as a motivational framework for meeting people. Go out and meet everyone you can at industry events, meetups, conferences, talks, even coffee shops, but do it because you share interests in passions in common and people are awesome. If you have an agenda or you are meeting people because you want something from them, people can smell it. For me, I spent years out at every event I could in the tech industry because I loved the people and loved what all of us were working on. I didn’t know this at the time, but that all would certainly pay off later. If you’re not based in Silicon Valley, there’s just as much good people-meeting to be done online on Twitter/Dribbble/Insta/whatever industry communities strike your fancy.

    Be kind and generous to people. Again, on the no-agenda topic, be really kind to people that you meet simply because being good feels good. Be generous when you can and do favors without expecting anything in return. People remember these things and while not every good deed will come back to you in a tangible way, these behaviors will benefit you over the course of your career.

    Bring something to the table. At some point networking and being nice will only get you so far - you have to bring something to the table. Perhaps that means you are super well-read on your industry and are a fantastic conversationalist in social settings (people like having these people around), perhaps you are good at making introductions that are always mutually beneficial for parties involved, perhaps you are really good at building products or providing services that people really need. Figure out what you’re good at and really develop that.

    Be patient and play the long game. Again it’s never clear how all of this is going to pay off in the short term, but if you are constantly developing your own work and setting out to build positive connections with as many people as you can, it pays off at some point.

    I tried to live by the rules as much as possible during my time in tech, and years later it definitely paid off. Most of my jobs come from word of mouth.

    7 points