Networking might not always be an easy task, but it’s an essential one if you want to advance your career in meaningful ways. By making friends within your industry, you’ll make yourself known to a wider audience, opening the door to potential jobs, mentorship, industry trends, and even personal opportunities. Here’s how you can take your networking game to the next level.
It Starts With Listening
Networking is all about making connections with other people, which means having conversations and making an excellent impression.
Part of that process is exhibiting good listening behaviors to show those you’re trying to network with that you value their time. Plus, you’ll increase their willingness to help you. According to Harvard Business Review, great listening boils down to exercising three simple behaviors:
- Refrain from interrupting the other party
- Let the other party know you are listening through verbal and visual clues
- Be able to repeat what the other party has said to you once they’re finished
Remember, this is all about building sincere connections with others, so leave your agenda at the door when you’re engaged in conversation.
every conversation is important
You can make connections everywhere. Don’t write any conversation you have off as being trivial, because each of them is potentially important, albeit in different ways.
Some people you meet might serve as mentors, for example, imparting knowledge about how to become more effective in your role and how you can “make the most of it.” Others might be a connection for job leads, specific employment opportunities, or even as a referral or reference to help you secure a future position.
Regardless of what specific “doors” a new connection might be able to open for you, you should treat them all as valuable — there’s something to learn from everyone you encounter.
be sure to provide value
Networking isn’t a one-way street. You’ll have to make yourself open and available to your peers to help provide them with aid and advice, just as others have done (or will do) for you. As TopResume notes, “paying it forward” can pay off for you:
“Look for opportunities to provide value to those in your network before you ask for help. The more you invest in your relationships, the more you’ll learn about your new connections and the easier it will be to offer assistance — and get it in return!”
You can also make yourself more accessible by joining the communities of industry-specific sites, like BluePipes, or becoming a part of relevant Facebook groups, like Triage’s Travel Therapy and Travel Nurse pages.
don’t forget to follow Up
A failure to follow up often leads to a failed networking opportunity, so you should get in the habit of checking back with your connections on a regular basis to see how they are doing and keep yourselves fresh in each other’s mind.
Holidays are a great time to reach out, and while it’s true you might be pressed for time, you don’t need to send a long, drawn-out message. Oftentimes, a quick “Just checking in on you,” or “Happy Holidays” will do.
Networking will help you develop your career in many ways, and becoming a part of a medical staffing network like Triage will go a long way towards putting yourself in reach for new opportunities. Be sure to check out our allied and travel nurse jobs see what’s available, and reach out if you have any questions about joining our family.