Why You Should Join a Network

In the professional design industry, networking plays a vital role in securing leads and contracts. The entry-barriers to the job market are higher than ever before. Employers will often test that job-seekers demonstrate familiarity with the most recent software tools, understand industry jargon, and adhere to modern best practices.

Keeping up with updates on complex software and highly-skilled competition can seem overwhelming and cost-prohibitive at times. However, the only way to get better at a skill is to practice. Joining a network can be a good way to meet other creative people, learn new skills, and secure leads to higher paying clientele. Some networks are free to join, while others require membership fees.

At some point, advancing a career may lead to an encounter with a unionized workplace. Professionals form exclusive networks and trade unions to regulate content quality and fix wages at a certain level. This is most commonly seen in the upper echelons of the highly competitive film industry, but many other workplaces have begun to implement and enforce standardized policies regarding acceptable labor practices. Union membership dues and licenses are often required to work in these types of studio settings, though experience and good communication skills can sometimes allow one to circumvent the red tape.

Overall, seeking advice from other professionals offers a lot of benefits and extra opportunities to break past career obstacles. If it isn’t financially feasible to join a monthly subscription service, don’t lose hope. There are many other alternatives to get involved in the community.

Design and Technology

New Media Caucus
Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences
Computing Research Association
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
National Cartoonist’s Society
American Advertising Federation
Graphic Artists Guild
Society of Illustrators
Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators
International Council of Graphic Design Associations
Freelancers Union

Animation and SFX

International Animated Film Society (ASIFA)
IATSE Local 839
Visual Effects Society
CARTOON European Association for Animation Film
Game Workers Unite

Film and Television Industry

Directors Guild of America
Screenwriters Guild of America
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Independent Film & Television Alliance
American Association of Independent Music
Recording Industry Association of America
American Film Institute
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers
Entertainment Software Association
American Society of Cinematographers
The Association of Independent Commercial Producers

Regulatory Oversight, Ratings, Reviews, and Censorship

Film Advisory Board
TV Parental Guidelines
The Game Awards
Academy Awards
Grammy Awards
Emmy Awards
Annie Awards
Golden Globes
Tony Awards
Rotten Tomatoes