6 Ways to Build Your Network
When it comes to exploring new job opportunities, the old saying “it’s all about who you know,” holds true. As a clinician, one of your most powerful resources is the network of providers you are connected with. The more people you know and those who know you, the better. Use these six easy ways to build your network and develop new connections.
Conferences, Tradeshows and Career Fairs
There are hundreds of conferences, tradeshows and career fairs a year for providers. This is one of the easiest ways to build your network, so take full advantage and attend a few each year. Whether they are statewide or national, what matters is that you put yourself out there.
When visiting the different booths, be sure you truly engage with the people you are meeting. Just because a company does not have a specific state you are interested in doesn’t mean you should walk away. They might have other opportunities, like a travel team, or availability in the future. Also, if this is the first impression you have on a potential employer, you want to be remembered in a positive light.
Check out our latest blog post to learn more about ACEP18, the largest emergency medicine conference in the world!
Residency Programs & Medical School
One of the best ways to boost your network is to connect with those in your medical school program or residency program from the start. You will be spending long hours, day-in and day-out together, so it is important to make an effort, in the beginning, to get to know one another. If you are a first-year resident, check out this letter from Dr. Jesse Irwin about connecting with your new opportunity.
Building relationships with your attendings is also important; you never know how you could benefit from one another. Your alumni network can be a valuable resource, whether you need an “in” or just want their opinion about a facility or group.
Recruiting Dinners & Outings
Often times, recruiting teams are hosting events as a way to meet candidates, deliver information about their companies and share open job opportunities. These are not only a great way to get to know the recruiting teams, but also leadership and other providers in the group. Take advantage of a less formal, fun atmosphere, and attend as many of these events as your schedule allows. Contact Kim Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set-up a residency dinner for your program!
Professional Organizations and Societies
Just because you are a member of an organization or society does not automatically mean you have a huge network of people to benefit from. You must go a step further and get involved with the group and meet those who are a part of it. Attend meetings regularly and make it a point to get to know each member on an individual basis. While it isn’t possible to know every single person in an organization, try to meet at least one new person at each meeting or event.
Social media provides a ton of opportunities to get to know and engage with other providers and employers than ever before. LinkedIn isn’t the only way to participate in a professional social media setting anymore. It is still a great tool and is recommended, however, there are newer ways to build and further your network.
As companies get more attuned to their social media efforts, we suggest you like or follow their accounts and pages. This is a great way to know when recruiting events are happening, what the company is doing and a way to find out what the company is really about. There are “provider only” discussion groups on Facebook that more and more clinicians are joining. These are places to share ideas, news, industry changes and make connections.
A great start to building your network with a potential employer is during the interview process. Don’t just focus on who is conducting your interview. Try and introduce yourself to others on the leadership team including the Lead APC, System Director, etc. We also encourage clinicians to try to connect with a provider outside of leadership when interviewing. This person can be a companion if you join the team, a resource for the future and may help foster a strong trust and relationship with the team.
There are plenty of ways you can build your network, whether it’s within your residency program, on the golf course, at the gym, or at a conference, you never know who you are going to meet.
Don’t forget while you are ultimately trying to build a network for your benefit, you must also get to know the individuals and be willing to help them in return. As you are talking to your different contacts, consider creating a list of questions you want to ask, both personal and career-oriented. Last, but certainly not least, always thank those who have helped you, whether through an email or a handwritten note.