My Editor, My Friend

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of The Happiness Project blog (and the book, which is now out in paperback.) One of my favorite features on the blog is the “Happiness Interview” that author Gretchen Rubin conducts weekly. I’m a sucker for a good q&a, especially when multiple people are asked the same questions. Something about how drastically different the answers are, despite the questions being identical, inspires me.

(Yesterday I discovered another blog, 10 Answers, that has a similar “same Q different A” format. Blogger Rebecca Silver interviews creative types and accompanies the interviews with beautiful photos. I’m hooked. Highly recommend.)

Anyway, there was a bit in the intro to yesterday’s interview with TV comedy writer Janine DiTullio that really struck me. Rubin describes seeing DiTullio speak at a panel about eight years ago, and recalls that someone in the audience asked her “How do you get a job as a comedy writer?”

DiTullio’s response was: “You do what you love, and then your friends hire you.” Meaning, as Rubin explains, “if you spend your time doing what you love with people who love it, too, eventually it turns into work opportunities.”

I am a huge believer in this. Just yesterday I was explaining to an old friend that I have been amping up my networking efforts lately. As a writer, it’s necessary to always be making new connections. Then I explained that my method of “networking” was to click around the Internet, find websites of people who seem interesting and friendly, and introduce myself. Because writing, reading, and pop culture are my passions, I enjoy meeting others who feel similarly. I want to know the people who write the stories I read. I want to have other writer friends. When you do what you love—and reach out to people who love it too—you never know who you’ll meet. Maybe the bearer of your next great assignment or the BFF of someone you really should know. Or maybe just a new friend.

One of the best parts of this friendship search is that it has put me at ease when it comes to introducing myself. I’ve approached so many people in person that sending an email is a no-brainer. When I happen upon a blog I love or a byline that looks familiar, I send a message. Not because I know that they have connections, but because if they seem fun and they’re also in editorial or another creative field, I figure they’d be good to know.

People are always talking about LinkedIn as the future of job searching, but I don’t buy it. I think job searching is about meeting people. Asking about what they do and being genuinely interested in the answers. Meet new people, keep doing what you love, and eventually the two will intersect.

What do you think? Do you subscribe to DiTullio’s “do what you love and your friends will hire you” theory? Or would you rather go the more traditional resume route?

3 Comments

Filed under The Search

3 responses to “My Editor, My Friend

  1. Layla

    When I was looking for my current co-op job, I didn’t network at all. Because I didn’t know where to start and was too busy with school to learn. I got a job, but next time I’m definitely jumping out of my comfort zone and networking.

    If it’s X amount effective just using resumes, and Y amount effective networking, and Z amount effective using both, I think Z > X+Y. (what I mean is I think it’s probably better to do both than one or the other)

  2. Totally agree. It’s all about networking and who you know. And that’s in every field and every walk of life. You get a job interview because you know someone already working in that field. You get asked to help on a project because your friend does x for a living and they need you and your y job to help them.
    That’s why it’s always important to be kind and respectful. I drill this into my girls constantly. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but you do have to be kind. You don’t have to be a doormat, but you do have to be respectful.
    It’s just how the world works. My husband’s co-worker gets really frustrated with this “networking” theory. My husband’s co-worker is a jerk and the boss hates him. Guess who gets skipped when big assignments are given out?
    (huh. guess i feel passionate about this today. i’m going to go drink some coffee and contemplate my passion for networking for a bit.)

  3. pamela

    Having moved across the country to a city that never sleeps, then picking up and moving back to the Pacific Northwest, I can tell you that who you know is sometimes not as important as who knows you. :)

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