For the month of June, this website and my other nursing website (www.mynursingbusiness.com), are all about networking. Networking is about connecting with people and building a strong base or ‘network’ of people.
If you are like most nurses, the idea of networking doesn’t seem appealing. I used to feel the same way. This is probably because your concept of networking is flawed. You may think that it involves attending meetings and handing out business cards or introducing yourself to everyone in the room. This is incorrect. Did you know you can network with new people without ever even attending a meeting/conference?
I am going to tell you just how you can do this easily and in a way that becomes enjoyable.
Every week this month I will write a blog post (like this one) with specific suggestions for building a strong network of people and opportunities to take your nursing career to the next level.
Why is this even important?
Here’s why: When done correctly, networking can:
*allow you to share your gifts/talents/skills with more people
*introduce you to new/better career opportunities
*provide increased learning opportunities
*keep you connected with influential individuals
Building a strong network is all about connecting and building relationships.
The first step to building up a strong network is to leverage the relationships you already have. Who do you already know? How can you help them? How can they help you?
I want to stress that building relationships is not about people helping you. If you instead focus on building authentic relationships and finding out how you can help others, in the long run, everyone will benefit, including you.
Here’s how you can start leveraging the relationships you already have:
Make a list of 20 people you already know who can be instrumental to your job search.
Not sure who should be on the list? Here a few examples. As always use your discretion based upon whether you had/have a good/decent relationship with the people you contact:
- Former co-workers
- Former managers/supervisors/directors
- Management on another floor/unit/department
- Nurses on another floor/unit/department
- Former nursing school classmates
- Most people in the medical field. I know this last one is vague. But you never know who you are already connected with who knows about new opportunities or is friends/family/acquainted with hiring/nurse managers.
- But don’t stop by just listing their names. Think of ways to either re-connect with these individuals or ways you can build this relationship further. Also think of what value you can provide for them (do you have contacts/advice, resources/referrals that may be helpful for them). Lastly, list what value they can offer to you (do they have connections? resources? information, etc). Also be sure to let them know that you’re seeking a career opportunity. Be wise about this and be mindful of reaching out to individuals who will not jeopardize your current employment if that is a possibility.
As always, I encourage you take quick action. The faster you start something, the less the chance of that dreaded procrastination ever setting in. So go write your list and post in the comments below how you did.
Click here to read the other articles in the Networking series: http://transitionsinnursing.com/free-stuff/networking-for-a-better-nursing-job/
*photo courtesy of sjcockell