Networking in the EDM Community
By Ricky Barnett
In this day and age, let’s face it - getting a good job isn’t as easy as it was for our parents, or even grandparents. Shit, even college tuition is rising literally every semester. Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by student debt (currently raising both my hands, don’t go to a private university). We really have to get creative; we also have the fact that we are “millennials” getting held against us by HR. Unless you went to a great school, have the correct certifications that look attractive to the big companies, or have an in with someone in the hiring department…the hunt for a full-time gig can be daunting. Take it from me, I just moved from California to Arizona. In fact, I not only had my dream job right before I left, but the job before that at FRW was also a dream job.
Finding a job here in Arizona has proved to be a difficult one. But you know what? You too can get your dream job in the EDM community and I’ll tell you how.
- Figure out what it is that makes you happy, get good at doing it, and then figure out where that skill fits into a working environment.
- Set goals for yourself and pick a company that really lines up with your values and what you hope to accomplish, while still supporting your lifestyle.
- Make yourself business cards with your contact info on it and what you specialize in. Think of every show, rave, and festival as an opportunity to market yourself and your skills. There are connections to be made all around you. These events foster so much like-mindedness and open-mindedness that it is the perfect opportunity to start a conversation. It might be hard at first to figure out what types of people will be receptive to your information and not be a dead end, but it does get easier over time. It is important to remember in these situations that you are out having fun at a show, but keep a degree of professionalism present. Also, having a LinkedIn account really helps. You can make all sorts of connections and have a reputable platform for business if you don’t have your own website.
- Once you get an “in,” be persistent, but not overbearing. Remember that people are busy with their own affairs and business. It doesn’t hurt to give a nudge every few days, reminding them that you exist and that your niche, whatever it may be, will, in fact, make their life easier or their business more prosperous.
- Confidence is everything. Don’t let your mind get you all wound up. Go into the situation as if you already got the gig, job, whatever it may be. The confidence you exude when you are not only passionate about a trade but know you can do it is infectious.
I followed this formula almost to a T back in 2018. I wanted nothing more than to work for a top rave apparel brand. So I DMed FRW every day expressing my interest in potentially being an intern until someone responded (I believe it was Makenna who was fed up with my BS). She had finally responded and gave me Mike’s email. I immediately sent over my resume and cover letter (yes, cover letters are very important and I would highly recommend sending one EVERY time you send out your resume).
The most important part of sending an email like this with a cold lead is the subject line. You want your subject line to be enticing. A sentence or a few words that spark a sort of curiosity. Because if your subject line is something generic like “Intern seeking work”, it might never get opened. Well, I sent the email over and over again every few days until I got a response. The second that I did, I called and made myself seem necessary to the operations at FRW. Funny enough, Mike was interested in my Podcast skills, which is not what I was marketing myself for, but that’s how life works sometimes. You just have to roll with the punches. Honestly, working at FRW was my dream job. I got to be creative and challenge myself every day. I also made some lifelong friendships along the way. Although, I had to move to the next phase in my career path. It isn’t always a straight line upward. Sometimes you have to take a few steps back to get where it is you really want to end up. But, NEVER burn bridges. As young adults, we need all the references that we can get. Upon leaving a company, don’t be afraid to ask for a letter of recommendation, even if it is just a quick one on your LinkedIn profile.
Just believe in yourself and work hard. Stay determined and you can accomplish more than you think you can.