05.11.19 / New City Jams: or, The Benefits of Having Friends Everywhere

Having left my former job and moved from Adelaide to Sydney three weeks ago (early October), I’ve had to find a job, and find one quickly. Want to understand one of the benefits of being an AGDA member? Let me weave you a story that’s mostly based in fact.

The giant size of Sydney compared to Adelaide might seem like a negative, but, in fact, I’ve already found it to be the opposite. There are so many opportunities here, you just have to know the right people. Or, know people who know the right people.

The most common way of getting industry work in most cities is through contacts and perseverance. So, when I arrived, I hit up some of the kind folks I’d interviewed over the past five years. I won’t name names, but they range from academics to teachers to all types of practitioners. And, if you’ve had the pleasure (?) of moving cities, you’ll know that the first job you get might not be in your industry – but, a job is a job, right? – especially when in a new place, with rent due.

These contacts helped me land a job on my second day in the big smoke. And that job led to me meeting a bunch of people in seemingly unrelated fields to mine (writing, editing, proofing). Those people knew people who knew people, and hey presto! I managed to get some editing work. It’s only early-days, but things are looking up, and AGDA has a lot to do with the forthcoming up-ness.

So, when you’re looking at the value of an AGDA membership, don’t just look at the discounted events, books, and mentorships in and of themselves, take a broader look: who will you meet at these events; what will you learn from those books; and what might that mentor tell you that you can pass on to others? The powerful sense of community within AGDA is palpable here, and I feel like everyone wants each other to succeed, because if we all succeed, the industry grows stronger and more robust – and we can all benefit from that.

We don’t live and operate in a closed system; design exists as part of a bigger industrial machine. We do, however, get to choose how we affect that machine. We can use our powers for good, for the benefit of others, and of course ourselves.

Throughout the past five years working with AGDA, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the most talented, helpful, and selfless design professionals. But the thing is – and I’ve found this to be a common thread throughout the membership – they’ve all been willing, at some point, to drop what they’ve been doing and help out fellow members. They understand that you get out what you put in. Help others, and you’ll reap the rewards.

So, I just want to thank everyone who has given me an opportunity over the last few years, and I hope I can give back as best I can.

Peace and hope from Sydney.

–QS

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Heath Campbell

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