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aprilsimnel's avatar

How does one reconnect with old bosses or colleagues if one didn't make much of an impression in the past?

Asked by aprilsimnel (30676points) October 8th, 2010

I have worked in film and TV production. After the last TV show I worked on moved away from New York, I didn’t do any networking. I didn’t know how to do it and I had some pretty irrational ideas of what other people thought of me as a person. I never made any waves or got to know anyone on the jobs I managed to get. I’d do my work seamlessly, almost like you wouldn’t know I was there, and then go home. No socializing or anything. I don’t think anyone on the shows I worked on would remember who I was if you asked them now, and I worked on some pretty major stuff.

I thought that if I asked people where I might find the next job, they’d say, “Why are you bothering me? Go away. I don’t like you.” Completely irrational, I know, and I know exactly where that mindset came from, so we don’t have to go there. I want to get back in film and TV in NYC, but I don’t know how to reconnect with people in the industry here. I feel like to ask them about how to get back in is using them, even though I don’t mind helping others at all if I can.

Maybe you had to get into (or back into) some other industry. I reckon that the methods are the same. What would you do in my place? I didn’t move to NYC or get a film degree to be a secretary, but I have no clue as to how to get back on track.

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Make a list of everyone that you worked with who is still in the industry. Contact them and remind them of who you are and what project you worked on with them. Tell them that you are looking for work in the industry again and ask them if they can give you any leads.

Just bull through this as an exercise. Do not allow your self-doubt to surface.

Cupcake's avatar

- How about joining linkedin.com ? You can add your contacts with a little note (“we worked together on… project”). I’ll bet that between the note and your info on linkedin (name, photo, bio) that WAY more people will remember you than you’d think.

- Post a status on facebook or write an email to all of your contacts along the lines of “looking to reconnect with film professionals in NYC”.

- Forward your blog to a bunch of people, tell them you’re looking to reconnect with film folks in NYC and ask them to forward it to others.

- Start a new professional journal and write down everything you’re doing to reconnect, along with names and contact info.

- Put on a crazy outfit, pretend you’re someone else, pretend you’re doing an assignment… whatever it takes.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How does the networking normally work in that industry? I would use your old experience to reconnect, you’ll just have to work at it a little more if you were quiet before. Some people do notice the quiet ones that get things done without a lot of fuss and drama also.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Here’s the drill . . . A. I. R.

Ask for “Advice” , “Information” or “Referral” it’s a networking technique.

Go back in your list of contacts. You don’t need to be George Lucas, just be yourself. Take notes, be attentive, and most of all be sincere with a thank you at the end of your interview. It is an interview that goes in both directions.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I received a nice “reconnection” e-mail from an intern that we had a few years ago. She attached a link to an article that was related to a project we worked on together, made reference to how she’s used what she learned from working on my project, and thanked me for taking the time with her. Whatever her motives, it worked. I answered her e-mail, and referred her to a friend who might have a position for her.

srmorgan's avatar

Network, network, network.
This is the best way to make contacts and find some kind of work. The people you call will know what you are up to and why you are callng.

Prepare an introduction, maybe two long sentences stating something like this: Hi, my name is April…. and I am a production assistant (or comedy writer or whatever it is that you want to tell them) and I am looking for information. We worked together on The Daily Show or I worked for Lenny and Lucy at Whizbang Productions while you were at HBO. {something like this, don’t copy me verbatim). Next sentence, I am looking for a new situation (or some similar term), are there any projects at your company going on that I could talk to someone about.. (my phrasing is not perfect, but I hope you get the idea).

Then stop talking. Give him or her a chance to remember who you are or who Lenny and Lucy are and to make the connection. You are going to get some kind of response.
If the contact starts asking specific questions, go with the flow.
Otherwise ask if the contact could refer you to someone else who might be able to give you some kind of industry information. Most people will try to give you a referral, some won’t.

Ask if you can e-mail a resume, get the contact’s e-mail address.

Try to sense when to end the call. Don’t prolong it unnecessarily. Someone might not remember the short phone calls but they will remember who took up ten minutes of their precious time.

Thank the contact for his or her time, be sincere, and end the call. Make a note and try this person in a month, give it at least three weeks before a re-try and no more than six weeks.

You are going to get a lot of voice mail answers or outright rejections.Think of it as a job being a telemarketer where the product is yourself.

This is only meant to be a template. Use your own language and something that you feel comfortable with.

Good luck, I understand the situation you find yourself in.

SRM

KhiaKarma's avatar

My husband is in the “industry” and it’s all about connections. He doesn’t hang out or go out with the people he works with on the set or office (at least not often- two times in a year, I think. ) But he is definitely personable at work. People like to be around him, he makes people laugh, and he’s not bullshitting anyone. Those qualities go a long way. It’s such a “who you know” type of job, that you have to expand beyond your comfort zone- but also have healthy boundaries. It the type of job that could easily invove drama and such, so keeping your personal life in the distance is wise. It’s a happy balance.

You could call someone up and just hang out, or something. Just be real with them. Try to have fun and it could be an opening. Everyone knows that you hire who you like . So just try making friends. Then you’ll have friends and possibly a job! Hope it works out for you!

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