Networking comes easily to some people. They can exchange business cards with ease, make new contacts at any type of event, and build a professional network without a second thought. For other people, networking is not so easy. The good news is that this skill can be learned and perfected over time.
For a networking beginner, the first step is to join a professional organization. There are numerous options, and many of them are based on the specific profession (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, respiratory therapist, etc.) and/or on the specialty (pediatrics, gerontology, etc.). The next step is to treat every networking opportunity as a learning experience. Whether it’s a conference, an online forum, or a vendor fair, the goal is to learn as much as possible.
Go High Tech – and Low Tech
When it comes to networking, many people choose either high-tech or low-tech methods. The wiser course of action is to incorporate both into networking efforts. Social media presents many opportunities that were not available to previous generations. LinkedIn is a great resource for high-tech networking. In addition, many professional organizations have websites or other online resources.
Don’t forget about meeting face-to-face. Professional conferences, inservices, and mentorships all offer great networking opportunities. Each new contact helps grow the network, which is important for building a professional reputation, searching for a new job, seeking advancement, and more.
It’s important to engage in networking all the time, not just during a job search. Networking Tips to Advance Your Nursing Career recommends a “networking toolkit” with certain items “consistently updated and always kept available.”
- Professional business card – in today’s high-tech world, business cards are often overlooked, but they’re a great way to remind a new acquaintance of essentials, including name, contact information, and credentials.
- Online resume – the link can go right on the business card. Make sure the information on the resume is current.
- References – many people don’t think of references until they’re actively seeking employment, but it’s wise to keep references up-to-date at all times.
- Social networking profiles – even if it’s a personal profile, it’s important to keep it appropriate at all times. An inappropriate profile may make an employer decide to steer clear.
- Online professional profile – LinkedIn allows users to maintain an online professional presence; this can be helpful for professional interaction, job searches, and advancement.
- Membership in online forums – these forums can be useful in a variety of ways, including job searches.
- Contact database – it’s important to have current contact information for professional contacts.
We’d like to network with you!
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in recruiting and placing healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities throughout the United States. Add us to your network, and give us a call at 310.436.3650. We’d love to work with you!