The Devil Wears Prada and Networking

So I was watching "The Devil Wears Prada" and it got to the scene where Andy is told to get the newest unpublished Harry Potter book or lose her job.  While there are a lot of things wrong with this setup, how Andy goes about solving her problem really reminded me of how networking is supposed to function. 

Earlier in the film Andy had been sent on an errand when during the event she ran into Christian Thompson a writer she respects.  She had taken the time to introduce herself and connect with him. 

So she is freaking out  over this impossible task and it occurs to her to call him.  She clearly feels awkward about asking, but she does anyway.  She has given up when he calls back and through his network actually managed to find the manuscript and can get it to Andy for an hour, allowing her to fulfill her impossible task for her boss and keep her job. 

This is a dramatized example,  but it struck me as an interesting example of how networking functions and how it can help you.

Let's look at the things that Andy did right:

Be kind and try to connect to people even on errands. You never know who you are going to run into.  Meetups and conferences are powerful places to connect with others but Susan the security guard or Fred down in HR are also good people to connect with as you are running errands during your job. 

The next thing that Andy did right was to ask for help.  Ask for advice.  Ask what your colleges like about their current job if they work for a different company.  When you are looking for a job, ask if they have heard of openings.  It is hard for people to help if you don't ask first.

Let us also talk briefly about what not to do.  Do not ask for help doing illegal actions!  Usually when get a manuscript you have to sign non-disclosure agreements. You should never ask for someone to break the law.

There is far more to networking but I loved watching Andy use networking to solve a problem, albeit in a very dramatic, unrealistic, and certainly imperfect way.  What is you favorite example of networking in drama or in real life?

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