You’re reading an excerpt of Land Your Dream Design Job, a book by Dan Shilov. Filled with hard-won, personal insights, it is a comprehensive guide to landing a product design role in a startup, agency, or tech company, and covers the entire design interview process from beginning to end, for experienced and aspriring designers. Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download.
new With COVID-19, the rules of networking have shifted. More events take place remotely, so the opportunities for a casual chat before an event are going away. But in some way, it’s also an opportunity to connect with the person you’re interested in talking with after the event is over. Reaching out to them via email or a LinkedIn invite and letting them know that you’ve both attended an event recently can help you establish common ground in addition to the topic.
Figure: Remote Conferences
In 2020 the biggest design conferences and events primarily took place online. Adobe Max streamed hundreds of sessions across the globe from the US, Europe and Asia. Who knows, remote-only conferences might be the future.
Tips on Talking with Strangers
You might not feel like going out there because you’re not an extrovert and prefer not to be the life of the party. That’s OK. It’s a common myth about networking that you need to get out there, shake hands, and hand out business cards left and right while jumping from one person to the next.
When I first started going to design events I usually froze, latched onto the first person that I met, and kept talking to them as if they were my lifeline. But over time, by attending many events, networking has become more natural. Today, I still enjoy spending my time alone, but going out is no longer a fear-inducing activity—it’s fun to meet new folks and find ways to give back.
At its core, networking is about finding mutually beneficial ways to help each other. If you’re new to it, here are some things you can do. If you’ve gone to events before, feel free to skip.
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