Rolling Out

Location scout Timothy Matthews says your network is your net worth

Location scout Timothy Matthews says your network is your net worth
Photo courtesy of Timothy Matthews

Timothy Matthews is the location scout for SHOWTIME’s “The Chi” for season five. Matthews talked to rolling out about tips for climbing the career ladder, and the importance of networking.

How did you get involved in what you do today?

I will always preach this to the end: that your network is your net worth. In regards to television, it was a chance meeting. Two years ago, I was selling insurance. God’s gift to me is communication, but that’s not where I knew I needed to be. At the beginning of 2021, I was meeting with my best friend who was working on another series, and at that time, he and I were discussing my next moves. Through a chance meeting, I ended up meeting the person that would end up being my boss, Natasha Parker, and she gave me an opportunity.

How important is networking and connecting with other people?

Besides pushing yourself out as a commodity in whatever space or industry you decide that you want to be a part of, you have to be a good listener. Offering up something without asking is also incredibly important. We live in a society where it’s kind of like, “look at me, what can you do for me.” Most people want to be around people they feel are genuine, but also that they’re not constantly trying to get something from them. To emphasize, if you have a phone book, or you have your phone, you’ve got all these numbers. Right now, I’m pretty confident I’ve got 3,000 numbers, but the point of having all that is I go through my database to find out what else do these people bring beyond just having a nice conversation or having a nice night out because you have to have some sort of level of versatility with your database.

How can Black people continue up the corporate ladder?

You surround yourself with the right circles [of people]. That’s why I emphasize your network is your net worth. In regard to you filtering through your phone, if you feel like all you do is kick it with these people, and if you did a deep dive and realized they don’t have anything to help that will be long-term for you, then it might be a good idea to shed that fat. It’s not because they’re bad people. It’s because at this moment, you’re trying to move this way.

I grew up on the West Side of Chicago and sometimes we can be loyal to a fault. Because you are not associated with these people on a regular basis anymore, [that] doesn’t make you a bad representation of the ‘hood you came from, and we definitely have to cut that off. Everybody isn’t in the same season you’re in, whether it’s family or friends.

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