7 Ways You Can Create a Network of Helpful People

A network is only as helpful as the people within it. Focus on growing a network slowly with the right people, and you’ll find that you create opportunities for yourself. Here are seven ways you can create a network of people who will consistently help you:

1. Stay Top of Mind

2. Expect Nothing in Return

3. Make the Relationship Meaningful

4. Focus on Transparency

5. Make Sure Your Connections Know What’s Valuable to You

6. Show Appreciation

7. Remember: Small Gestures Are Just as Valuable

Here’s how to make sure the opportunities come your way.

I think, if you’re a musician - just play your music. You know? If you’re an actor - just keep acting. If you’re a writer - keep writing. Find different ways of putting you, yourself, your work out there; and find ways of collaborating with really interesting people. I think you have to follow your passion, and keep stimulated, keep engaged, keep learning.
People start coming to you; you know, eventually. As you and your talent and your history start growing; people start coming to you, ‘cause you’re too big. They can’t avoid you, you know what I mean? They’re like, ‘That person is super talented. I can’t avoid them, I have to go and see and talk to them.’
You have a lot of opportunities now because you have, you know, YouTube; you have a lot of opportunities out there. So if you can keep staying brave and putting yourself out there, I think that opportunities will come to you.
—  Stana Katic, on how to keep from getting discouraged
Remember, life isn’t going to sugarcoat anything. It wants you to know what bitter tastes like. In the end you had to learn how to deal with the taste or find a way to improve on it. No matter what life has to throw at me, I have the ability to get right back and toss back those lemons. I don’t need them. I don’t even like lemonade. But if it is lemonade that you want, you will always have the chance to make it. You will have the opportunity to buy the water and the sugar to add to it and look back at life and say: “Hey, I made it!!“
—  Joanna Strafford
Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and as a result miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for.

Just finished up a commission for the lovely folks over at Opportunities! They wanted a cover for a chapter of their sci-fi intrigue comic, so I painted some cool (and perhaps just a little sinister) diplomatic aliens.

The big watercolor image is the final, minus whatever text they put on it. I’ve also included the roughs so you can see the ~process~

(Still open for commissions, if you’re into that)

Four Ways To Figure Out What’s Going Wrong With Your Job Search

You’re good at what you do and have plenty of experience but for some reason, your job search has stalled. With high competition, every step in the application process matters; opinions are formed at every step, and each interaction is an opportunity to impress or be eliminated from the process. With that in mind, your best bet is to diagnose the problem and hone in on what needs to change for you to get interviews and get hired.  Here are four of the main reasons a job search goes south, and how you can overcome them.